The carnivore diet has gained a lot of attention in recent years for its alleged ability to resolve health problems that other diets cannot. However, this diet has also been met with controversy, particularly from proponents of a plant-based diet.
In this article, we will explore the truth about the carnivore diet and why some people believe it may be beneficial.
Eating meat has been a part of human history and culture for thousands of years. Despite the recent rise in vegetarian and vegan diets, many people still choose to include meat in their diets for various reasons.
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5 Main Benefits of Eating Meat
- Provides essential nutrients: Meat is a rich source of many essential nutrients, including protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, while iron helps to transport oxygen throughout the body. Zinc is important for immune function and wound healing, while vitamin B12 is necessary for healthy nerve and blood cells.
- Can aid in weight management: While it's not recommended to consume excessive amounts of meat, moderate portions of lean meats like chicken, turkey, and fish can help to promote feelings of fullness and reduce overall calorie intake. This can be particularly helpful for those looking to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight.
- Supports muscle growth and repair: Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue, which is particularly important for those who engage in regular physical activity or strength training. Meat is a particularly rich source of high-quality protein, making it a valuable addition to a muscle-building diet.
- May reduce the risk of nutrient deficiencies: As mentioned earlier, meat is a rich source of many essential nutrients that can be difficult to obtain from plant-based sources alone. By including meat in your diet, you may reduce your risk of nutrient deficiencies and associated health problems.
- Can improve brain function: Meat is also a rich source of choline, an essential nutrient that plays a key role in brain function and development. Choline has been linked to improved cognitive performance and may be particularly important for brain health during pregnancy and early childhood.
Balanced Carnivore Diet
Of course, it's worth noting that not all meats are created equal. Processed and red meats have been linked to an increased risk of certain health problems, including heart disease and certain types of cancer.
It's important to consume meat in moderation and choose lean, unprocessed varieties whenever possible. As with any dietary change, it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet.
Paul Saladino MD, a physician who promotes the Carnivore Diet, spent seven months as a raw vegan before switching to an all-meat diet. According to him, the vegan diet caused him health problems. He believes that some plants contain toxins that can trigger health problems, and that eating only animal products can resolve these issues.
Dr. Saladino's extensive blood testing on himself and his clients shows that their values are in optimal or exceptional ranges. This, he claims, is evidence that the Carnivore Diet is beneficial for health. But how is this possible? How can a diet that excludes all plant foods be healthy?
Dr. Saladino explains that some plants have molecules called “phytoweapons” that are designed to discourage insects, animals, and fungi from eating them. These molecules can harm humans too, and he believes they are responsible for many autoimmune illnesses we see today.
He categorizes these molecules into a few categories, such as phytoalexins, polyphenols, oxalates, and lectins.
Dr. Saladino's belief is that animal foods do not have similar toxins and weapons, as animals can run away and defend themselves with their bites. Therefore, he suggests that removing plant foods from our diets can help heal the gut and calm the immune system.
This, he claims, can lead to the resolution of autoimmune illnesses such as SIBO, thyroiditis, secondary hypothyroidism, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn's or ulcerative colitis.
“We have a genetic blueprint and there does appear to be a species-appropriate diet for humans. What can we take from these ancestral narratives about what that diet might be? If you look at indigenous groups today, they eat animal meat, animal organs, and seasonal fruit but plants as fall back foods for survival in times of scarcity.
That's completely different from the non-supportive narratives that we've been told today about red meat. There's no real evidence that red meat is bad for us and why would it be? Why would these animal meat and organs that we have been eating for our entire evolution as hominoids be bad for us? That's completely evolutionarily inconsistent.” – Dr. Paul Saladino
The Carnivore Code
The idea of a carnivore diet may seem extreme to some, and it is important to approach it with an open mind. The Carnivore Code, Dr. Saladino's book, provides compelling historical anthropology data that suggests our early ancestors evolved to hunt, which led to our divergence from primates.
However, it is important to note that this is just one perspective, and other experts may have different opinions.
In conclusion, the Carnivore Diet is a highly controversial approach to optimizing health that has offended many plant-based proponents. Dr. Saladino's belief is that plant foods are triggering most of the autoimmune illnesses we see today, and that removing them from our diets can lead to better health.
However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before making any significant dietary changes, particularly if you have an existing health condition.
Ultimately, keeping an open mind and doing your research are key to making informed decisions about your health.
Watch the full conversation with Paul Saladino MD.