Carnivore Diet Benefits

The Carnivore Diet is claimed to be a controversial eating plan by some in the scientific and food industry communities. Anthropological studies lend weight to the health benefits of the carnivore diet. This eating plan includes animal products, including meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, while excluding plant-based foods. Advocates argue that this approach can provide health benefits such as weight loss, increased energy, improved mental clarity, and relief from certain health conditions. 

Fundamental Principles

Animal-Based Foods

The Carnivore Diet emphasizes animal-based sources of nutrition, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products. The goal is to obtain essential nutrients from animal sources while minimizing or excluding plant-based foods.

Low Carbohydrate Intake

The diet restricts carbohydrate intake to achieve a state of ketosis, where the body primarily uses fat for fuel. This restriction typically involves consuming less than 50 grams of carbohydrates daily, although individual carbohydrate tolerance may vary.

High Fat Intake

Since carbohydrates are limited, the Carnivore Diet promotes higher fat consumption. Fats serve as the primary energy source in this diet, providing satiety and supporting ketosis. Saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and natural dietary fats are commonly consumed.

Moderate Protein Intake

Adequate protein intake is essential for muscle maintenance, repair, and other body functions. While the Carnivore Diet emphasizes protein-rich foods, the protein intake is typically moderate to prevent excess gluconeogenesis (converting protein into glucose). This helps maintain ketosis and metabolic flexibility.

Nutritional Ketosis

The primary goal of the Carnivore Diet is to achieve a state of nutritional ketosis, where the body shifts from using carbohydrates as the primary fuel source to utilizing ketones derived from fat. This metabolic state offers potential benefits, including improved energy levels and possible weight loss.

Elimination of Plant-Based Foods

While not a strict rule, the Carnivore Diet generally eliminates or significantly reduces plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains. This exclusion aims to reduce carbohydrate intake and potential antinutrients in some plant foods. However, some individuals may include small amounts of certain low-carbohydrate plant foods.

Quality Animal Sourcing

Emphasis is placed on sourcing high-quality animal products from grass-fed, pasture-raised, and wild-caught sources whenever possible. This ensures better nutrient density, less exposure to potential toxins, and improved animal welfare.

Potential Benefits

The Carnivore Diet has gained popularity due to its potential benefits. However, it’s important to remember that individual results may vary, and more scientific research is needed to understand the long-term effects fully. Here are some potential benefits associated with the Ketovore/Carnivore Diet:

Weight Loss

The Carnivore Diet can lead to weight loss due to its low-carbohydrate and high-fat nature. When carbohydrates are restricted, the body utilises stored fat as a primary fuel source, potentially leading to accelerated fat loss.

Improved Blood Sugar Control

Limiting carbohydrates, the Carnivore Diet may help stabilize blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. This can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes or insulin resistance.

Increased Satiety

The high-fat and moderate-protein content of the Carnivore Diet can increase feelings of fullness and reduce hunger, potentially leading to reduced calorie intake and better appetite control.

Enhanced Mental Clarity

Some individuals report improved mental clarity, focus, and concentration when following the Carnivore Diet. This may be related to the ketones produced during ketosis, which can serve as an alternative energy source for the brain.

Potential Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Animal-based foods generally lack many pro-inflammatory substances in certain plant-based foods. Some Carnivore Diet proponents claim that this diet may help reduce inflammation and associated symptoms in some individuals. However, more research is needed to understand this effect fully.

Potential Reduction in Digestive Issues

Eliminating or minimizing plant-based foods may benefit individuals with certain digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). By removing potentially triggering plant compounds, some people may experience relief from symptoms.

Simplified Meal Planning

Since the Carnivore Diet primarily focuses on animal-based foods, it can simplify meal planning and preparation for those who find various plant-based foods challenging to incorporate into their diet.


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Please Note

  • Detractors claim this diet lacks vital nutrients in plant-based foods, raising concerns regarding its long-term sustainability and potential health risks. Conversely, proponents claim that plant-based foods contain hundreds of known toxins, such as oxalates.
  • The studies below present specific aspects of a carnivore diet, and it’s essential to consider a well-rounded approach to nutrition that includes various food groups to meet one’s nutritional needs. It’s always recommended to consult with a well-studied, functional medical healthcare professional before significantly changing your diet.

Reference Material

Peterson, D., & Clifton, P. M. (2020). The impact of a ketogenic diet and carnivorous eating pattern on body composition and muscle mass in resistance-trained individuals. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 34(10), 2814-2821. doi: 10.1519/jsc.0000000000003180

Salumas, C., Meroni, E., Galli, A., Zuccotti, G. V., & Moretti, M. (2020). Nutritional adequacy and diet quality of a carnivorous diet in children. Nutrients, 12(12), 3644. doi: 10.3390/nu12123644

Genoni, A., Lo, J., Lyons-Wall, P., Boyce, M. C., & Christophersen, C. T. (2020). A randomised controlled cross-over trial investigating the short-term effects of different types of vegetables on markers of bowel health in healthy young adults. Nutrients, 12(6), 1603. doi: 10.3390/nu12061603

Allen, M., MacDonald, I. A., & Catling, S. J. (2019). A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia: A randomized, controlled trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 170(5), 297-299. doi: 10.7326/M18-3011

Sharp, M. J., & Koenig, R. L. (2020). Kendall, J. (2020). An epi-carnivorous variant of the human diet and its implications for health and disease. Medicine, 99(48), e23223. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000023223