Carnivore Diet Risks

While the Carnivore Diet has gained attention for its potential benefits, it’s essential to consider its risks and drawbacks. Below, I discuss some potential risks associated with the Carnivore Diet. 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.

Potential Risks

While the Carnivore Diet has gained attention for its potential benefits, it’s essential to consider its risks and drawbacks. Here are some potential risks associated with the Carnivore Diet

Nutrient Deficiencies

By eliminating or severely restricting many plant-based foods, the Carnivore Diet may lead to an inadequate intake of essential nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Long-term deficiencies can adversely affect overall health and increase the risk of developing chronic diseases.

Limited Fiber Intake

Since the Carnivore Diet typically lacks high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, individuals may experience constipation, digestive issues, and an imbalanced gut microbiome.

Increased Risk of Heart Disease

The Carnivore Diet is typically high in saturated and animal fats. Consuming excessive amounts of saturated fats can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems. It is worth noting that there is no clear evidence to support this criticism. 

Potential Increased Cholesterol Levels

Although some studies suggest that the Carnivore Diet can improve lipid profiles by increasing HDL (good) cholesterol and reducing triglyceride levels, it can also elevate LDL (harmful) cholesterol levels, especially if saturated fats are consumed in excess. Cholesterol levels should be monitored closely under the guidance of a well-informed healthcare professional.

Please watch this Video by Dr Robers Lustig before you consult your doctor regarding your blood cholesterol testing.

Kidney Stress

The Carnivore Diet’s high protein content may stress the kidneys, especially in individuals with pre-existing kidney conditions. This diet may not be suitable for those with compromised kidney function.

Potential Bone Health Concerns

The Carnivore Diet may not provide sufficient calcium and other bone-supporting nutrients in plant-based foods. This may increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures, especially in the long term.

Limited Food Variety

The restrictive nature of the Carnivore Diet may lead to food boredom, social limitations, and challenges in meeting nutritional requirements with a limited range of allowed foods.

Difficulty Sustaining

Adhering to a highly restrictive diet like the Carnivore Diet may be challenging for some individuals, leading to difficulty in long-term adherence and the weight potential regained when old eating habits are resumed.

Lack of Long-Term Studies

The long-term effects of the Carnivore Diet on health, including its potential risks, are not yet well understood due to limited scientific research in this area. The proponents of this diet use anthropological data to support its numerous health benefits. It is essential to approach this diet cautiously and regularly monitor health markers.


Important Note

The principles of the Ketovore/Carnivore Diet may be tailored to individual preferences and goals. While some people strictly exclude all plant-based foods, others may include specific low-carbohydrate plant options or incorporate occasional periods of ‘cycling’ carbohydrates to support athletic performance or metabolic flexibility. Before adopting the Ketovore/Carnivore Diet, it’s advisable to consult with a registered dietitian or healthcare professional who can provide personalized recommendations, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or dietary restrictions.

It’s important to note that while the Ketovore/Carnivore Diet may offer potential benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone. It is essential to consider individual health conditions, nutritional needs, and personal preferences when considering any diet change.

Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian is recommended before adopting the Ketovore/Carnivore Diet or any new dietary approach to ensure it aligns with your specific goals and overall health status.