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How a low-carb/high fat diet can help resolve insulin resistance–a key factor in chronic illnes

Some disturbing trends

Unfortunately, over the past decade, we have noticed an increase in those struggling with irritable bowel syndrome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, weight gain, leaky gut syndrome, food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, fatty acid deficiencies, autoimmune disease, anxiety/depression, and resultant fatigue and brain fog.

Coinciding with these trends has been the ever-increasing trend of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance-the key factor in all chronic illness

Insulin resistance is surprisingly common, even among people without a diabetes diagnosis, with as much as 88% of Americans potentially suffering it to some degree.

Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells become less responsive to the effects of insulin, leading to increased levels of glucose and insulin in the blood. This can lead to a state of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, which can damage tissues and organs over time. Additionally, insulin resistance can cause other metabolic disturbances, such as dyslipidemia, weight gain, hypertension, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which are associated with an increased risk of chronic illnesses.

It could also be argued that insulin resistance is even more common in the chronic illness population because the body, when dealing with certain threats of toxins and infections food allergies cell phone Wi-Fi radiation etc. goes into a cell danger mode–where insulin is not readily taken into the cells.  In other words, the cell danger response, which is most commonly seen in chronic conditions involves some level of insulin resistance.  In such cases, we see things like weight gain and sometimes weight loss as the body is not able to manage insulin properly.  Only until these threats have been removed from the body they resume insulin uptake and normal metabolism

The role of diet and insulin resistance

Undoubtedly there is overwhelming evidence that excessive carbohydrate intake leads to insulin resistance and diabetes.  This in turn has been shown to lead to all of the chronic conditions mentioned above.  Quite simply, when one lowers one’s carbohydrate intake significantly enough to trigger a reduction in insulin weight loss and inflammation reduction are observed.  Then we observe a slow reduction in all related chronic conditions.

In addition, there is evidence that there are various plant toxins that may be contributors to low-grade leaky gut syndrome and inflammation, food allergies, etc. Patients suffering from gastrointestinal disorders often report improved symptoms when eliminating certain plant foods, suggesting that not everyone is designed to consume them. Plant-based diets can be difficult to maintain long-term, especially for those with food allergies.

While plants are known for their beneficial minerals and antioxidants, they also contain potentially harmful compounds like lectins, phytic acid, soy and glycoalkaloids, oxalates, solanines, saponins, phenolics, and gliadin/gluten. In individuals with sensitivities or allergies, these compounds can cause a range of health issues. For those experiencing allergies and gastrointestinal problems, a low-carb diet focused on increasing meat, fat, and seafood intake may be beneficial.

Now that we know that plant toxins are contributing to some of the leaky gut and inflammatory conditions that we have been observing, the first thing that is generally recommended for someone dealing with irritable bowel syndrome is to eliminate certain plant foods, especially corn, soy, wheat, gluten nightshades, etc. Most patients doing some form and elimination diet get at least some relief from their symptoms.

Yet, despite the success of some people with these elimination diets, there remains a certain percentage of people who experience an ever-increasing trend of sensitivity to various plant foods which led to the adoption of even stricter elimination-type diets.

In light of all this, some of our patients have elected to try various forms of diets (low Fodmap, GAPs diet, autoimmune paleo diet) but the one we have seen have the most dramatic impact in terms of improving health has been the carnivore diet, which eliminates all/most plant foods. 

While this may seem a bit extreme consider that this diet has been able to very quickly reverse many of the symptoms mentioned above in a relatively short time.  While this would be pretty remarkable even if it was just one patient there are now tens of thousands of patients reporting similar benefits.  Could be a low-carb diet such as the carnivore diet be the most optimal for those dealing with this constellation of chronic health conditions?  Read on …

Whoa there!

Just the mere mention of the word carnivore and the suggestion that plant foods in some way could be harmful may give some a great deal of pause.  It was quite shocking even for me years ago when I heard it and even when our patients, who, out of desperation, started exploring a meat-focused diet.  Having been a long advocate of a whole food plant-based diet, at the time I thought the concept was a bit of a stretch.  How can a person only eat meat?  How can that be enjoyable or even palatable?  How can that create the microbial diversity that we need with this style of eating?  We will get all these questions, however, keep in those who are suffering from chronic conditions are, in a sense,  ‘canaries in the coal mine’ and are perhaps giving us clues as to what is ailing us.  They are also potentially teaching something deeply profound about the potential storm on the horizon. And, the more I research this I believe they are telling us that insulin resistance is a key issue affecting the majority of us especially those suffering from current health challenges.

And of course, for these patients who adopt this way of eating, this has been out of mere necessity to improve their health and well-being.

Please note that I am not saying that you should adopt this lifestyle or way of eating. I am simply saying that we really need to keep insulin resistance at the forefront of our awareness and perhaps get into monitoring this phenomenon, even if we do not have outward signs of insulin resistance.  I am also suggesting that we need to be aware of the various plant toxins that may be contributing to the spectrum of chronic illnesses that we are seeing today.

Ultimately whether you decide to try a low-carb approach or not the point is simple.  Chronically elevated insulin levels could be a significant factor in creating fertile ground for your chronic condition to persist and therefore increased awareness is the first step in resolving this issue.  In addition, if you are a patient of ours or even someone who is working with another practitioner, it is critical to keep your levels of inflammation on the low side.  This means keeping insulin levels consistently low.

Meet Holly

When we first met Holly in our clinic approximately 5 years ago, her stomach was so distended that she looked pregnant, she was so fatigued that she could barely function or even go to work.  As many of you know type of presentation is consistent with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO and can lead to profound fatigue and nutrient loss.  In fact, her situation was so dire, that she had to take a leave of absence from her job so that she could focus on getting better.  After many different attempts at a low FODMAP diet, elimination of potential food allergens, treatments for SIBO, etc., mold treatment, and treatments for parasites and other pathogens, she was only experiencing moderate health benefits.  She even received very extensive treatments with various emotional healing modalities such as a motion code and body code.  This gave some relief but her symptoms persisted.  Nevertheless, in approximately 30 days after adopting a carnivore diet much of her bloating had improved, her energy and vitality started to return and she was able to tolerate more supplements.  She eventually found herself going back to work and resuming her normal activities.  She credits the carnivore diet amongst other interventions, to be one of the key things that move the needle in her current healing journey.

How it all began…

The origins of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet can be traced back to the early 19th century, when physicians first began to use a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet to treat patients with diabetes. This approach was based on the observation that carbohydrate-rich foods caused spikes in blood glucose levels, and that reducing carbohydrate intake could help to control blood glucose and improve insulin sensitivity.

In the early 20th century, a physician named Dr. William Banting popularized the concept of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss. Banting had struggled with obesity for many years and had tried numerous diets without success. He eventually began following a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet and lost a significant amount of weight. Banting published a pamphlet called “Letter on Corpulence” in 1863, which detailed his diet and weight loss journey and became widely popular.

In the 20th century, the high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet gained popularity among bodybuilders and athletes, who found that it could help to improve athletic performance and body composition. In the 1960s, Dr. Robert Atkins developed the Atkins diet, which is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that is still popular today.

More recently, the ketogenic diet has gained popularity as a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that can be used for weight loss, improved metabolic health, and potential therapeutic applications. The modern ketogenic diet was developed in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy and has since been studied for its potential applications in a range of conditions. Today, the high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet remains a popular approach for weight loss and improved health. Currently, there are 150 studies evaluating this diet for its benefit in a variety of chronic health conditions

The paleo diet

The paleo diet, also known as the “caveman diet” or the “hunter-gatherer diet,” is based on the idea of eating the way that humans did during the Paleolithic era, which lasted from about 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. The diet consists of foods that are believed to have been available to our ancestors during this time, such as meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, while avoiding foods that were introduced after the advent of agriculture, such as grains, dairy, and processed foods.

The modern paleo diet was first popularized by Dr. Loren Cordain, a professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University, in the 2002 book “The Paleo Diet.” However, the concept of eating like our Paleolithic ancestors has been around for much longer. In the 1970s, the gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin published a book called “The Stone Age Diet,” which recommended a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet based on the foods that were available during the Paleolithic era.

The paleo diet gained popularity in the early 2010s, as more people became interested in “primal” or “ancestral” eating patterns. Proponents of the diet argue that it is more in line with our evolutionary history and can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

The autoimmune paleo diet

The autoimmune paleo (AIP) diet is a specialized version of the paleo diet that is designed to help people with autoimmune diseases manage their symptoms and improve their overall health. The AIP diet is based on the idea that certain foods can trigger inflammation and autoimmune reactions in the body and that by removing these foods from the diet, individuals can reduce inflammation and promote healing.

The AIP diet was developed by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, a medical biophysicist and author of “The Paleo Approach,” which was published in 2014. Dr. Ballantyne developed the AIP diet based on her own experiences with autoimmune disease and her review of the scientific literature on autoimmune conditions.

The AIP diet is similar to the paleo diet in that it emphasizes whole, nutrient-dense foods and excludes processed foods, grains, legumes, and dairy. However, the AIP diet also eliminates other potentially inflammatory foods, such as nightshades (e.g., tomatoes, peppers, eggplants), nuts, seeds, and eggs.

The AIP diet has gained popularity in recent years as more people have become interested in the role of diet and lifestyle factors in autoimmune disease. While there is limited scientific research on the effectiveness of the AIP diet specifically, some studies have suggested that dietary interventions can have a positive impact on autoimmune conditions, particularly in reducing inflammation and improving symptoms.

What is the carnivore diet?

From the low-carb high-fat diet trend as well as the keto and paleo diet evolved the carnivore diet. The carnivore diet, also known as the all-meat diet, is an extreme variation of low-carbohydrate eating plans that emphasize the consumption of meat and animal-derived products.  Thousands of anecdotal reports as well as some studies are reporting numerous health and wellness benefits, including alleviating autoimmune issues, facilitating weight loss, enhancing energy levels, and reducing blood sugar, among other potential advantages.

The carnivore diet primarily consists of high-protein, high-fat, and virtually zero-carb food items, which means that fruits, vegetables, grains, and other plant-based foods are excluded. While the diet is quite limiting, it has been employed as a means to address various health problems, piquing the interest of even the medical community.

On the carnivore diet, individuals typically consume meat, organ meats, bone broth, and animal fats, based on personal preferences and tolerances. Dr. Paul Saladino, MD (Author of ‘The Carnivore Code’) a prominent advocate of the diet, has outlined five different tiers of the carnivore diet to accommodate specific needs. Although animal products like cheese, yogurt, and milk are allowed, low-lactose options are preferred to maintain the low-carb nature of the diet. Eggs and dairy, which can be highly inflammatory for some individuals, are generally not recommended, especially during the initial stages.

Some people identify as “mostly carnivores” because they include small quantities of other food groups, such as fruits or dairy, in their diets. The carnivore diet may be most effective for short-term objectives, such as weight loss, addressing autoimmune symptoms, identifying food sensitivities, and detoxifying the body after a high-carb diet.

The carnivore diet has gained attention for its potential benefits for individuals with severe chronic conditions, such as autoimmune diseases and even cancer. Notable examples include Mikhalia Peterson, who reported significant improvements in her rheumatoid arthritis and depression symptoms after adopting the all-meat diet, and Dr. Al Danenberg, a nutritional periodontist who incorporated a primarily meat-based diet into his unconventional cancer protocols and experienced cancer remission.

Potential Benefits of the Carnivore Diet

The carnivore diet, an all-meat eating plan, has been associated with various health benefits, from improved digestive health and reduced inflammation to stabilized energy levels and mood enhancement. However, it is important to note that these benefits are primarily based on anecdotal evidence and testimonials, and have not been scientifically proven in larger populations.

  1. Alleviated Autoimmune Disease Symptoms: A 2021 Harvard study found that 56% of surveyed carnivore diet participants reported trying the diet to address autoimmune conditions. Among these individuals, 89% experienced improvements or resolutions in their symptoms.
  2. Lower Blood Sugar Levels: The carnivore diet may help stabilize blood sugar levels and energy by eliminating sugar intake, a common issue in the average American diet.
  3. Improved Gut Health: Removing plant-based foods, such as fiber-rich, lectin-containing, and phytochemical-rich items, may reduce gastrointestinal issues, such as gas, bloating, and stomach irritation.
  4. Reduced Inflammation: Eliminating sugar, inflammatory vegetables, and processed foods may decrease inflammation. One study found that low-carb diets can help prevent the formation of inflammation-causing fatty acids. To maximize these benefits, avoid processed and non-organic meats.
  5. Enhanced Cognitive Function: The carnivore diet may improve mental health and cognitive function, as meat contains brain-supporting nutrients like vitamin B12, zinc, and iron. The diet’s potential to stabilize blood sugar and promote ketosis may also contribute to better brain function.
  6. Improved Heart Health: Meat is a rich source of vitamin K2, which may reduce arterial calcification, a crucial factor in heart disease development. A 2019 review suggested that high-protein diets could help lower LDL (“bad cholesterol”) levels. Although some people may experience increased cholesterol levels on the carnivore diet, the overall impact on heart health may still be positive due to reduced inflammation and glucose/insulin spikes.
  7. Weight Loss: The carnivore diet may promote weight loss by triggering ketosis and increasing satiety due to high protein consumption. A 2018 study found that keto dieters lost an average of 24-39 pounds within the first three months. Additionally, the carnivore diet may discourage mindless snacking and encourage the body to use stored fat for fuel once its primary energy source (sugar) is depleted.

Are there any studies to support the carnivore diet?

There is a limited amount of scientific research on the carnivore diet, which is a diet that consists primarily of animal products such as meat, fish, and eggs, with little to no plant-based foods. Most of the studies that have been conducted on the carnivore diet are case studies or anecdotal reports, rather than randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or other rigorous scientific studies.

One small study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in 2020 followed 38 people who followed a carnivore diet for an average of seven months. The study found that participants experienced improvements in several markers of health, including weight loss, reduced inflammation, and improved insulin sensitivity. However, the study was limited by its small sample size and lack of a control group, and further research is needed to confirm these findings.

Another case study published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports in 2018 described a patient with an autoimmune condition called rheumatoid arthritis who followed a carnivore diet and experienced significant improvements in symptoms over the course of a year.

The case of Vilhjalmur Stefansson

Vilhjalmur Stefansson was a Canadian explorer and anthropologist who, along with his colleague Karsten Anderson, spent a year living with the Inuit people in the Canadian Arctic in the early 1900s. During their time with the Inuit, Stefansson and Anderson subsisted almost entirely on a diet of meat and fish, with little to no plant-based foods.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Stefansson and Anderson participated in a series of studies designed to investigate the effects of an all-meat diet on human health. In one study, Stefansson and a colleague named A. Spitz studied the effects of an all-meat diet on their own health over the course of a year, with regular medical check-ups and laboratory tests. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1930.

The study found that Stefansson and Spitz experienced no ill effects from their all-meat diet and that their health markers remained within normal ranges throughout the year. The study concluded that an all-meat diet could be a safe and effective way to meet the body’s nutritional needs.

It is worth noting, however, that the study was limited by its small sample size and lack of a control group. Additionally, Stefansson’s experience living with the Inuit people may have influenced his ability to thrive on an all-meat diet, as the Inuit have adapted to a diet that is high in animal products due to the limited availability of plant-based foods in their environment.

Keto vs. Carnivore Diet: Key Differences

The primary distinction between the carnivore and keto diets lies in their carbohydrate allowances. The carnivore diet promotes zero carb intake, while the ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate plan that induces ketosis, a metabolic state where the body burns fat more efficiently due to glucose depletion.

Both the keto and carnivore diets share similarities, including a focus on protein and fat consumption and a drastic reduction in carbohydrates, often leading to rapid weight loss for most people. The carnivore diet can be considered an extension of the keto diet, as it completely eliminates carbohydrates.

However, there are notable differences between the two diets:

The keto diet does not restrict food based on plant or animal origin, while the carnivore diet exclusively includes animal products.

The keto diet requires tracking macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) to maintain ketosis. Consuming excessive protein can lead to sugar conversion and disrupt ketosis.

The carnivore diet is more restrictive regarding nutrient sources but places less emphasis on tracking macros or calories.

The carnivore diet can induce ketosis once the body’s glycogen stores are depleted, but ketosis is not the primary goal, unlike with the keto diet. Determining which diet is “better” is difficult due to a lack of long-term studies comparing the two.

How to determine if you are insulin resistant

When you go to the doctor’s office most likely they will run a fasting glucose level and a hemoglobin A1c which determines your approximate glucose levels over the previous 90 days.  However, often these values are normal because they do not necessarily evaluate insulin levels.

Measuring insulin and C-peptide levels can provide additional information beyond glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels in evaluating insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone that regulates glucose metabolism, and C-peptide is a byproduct of insulin secretion. Both insulin and C-peptide levels can help identify insulin resistance, a condition in which the body’s tissues become less responsive to insulin, resulting in high blood glucose levels.

In addition to insulin and C-peptide levels, adiponectin and fructosamine levels can also provide valuable information in evaluating insulin sensitivity. Adiponectin is a hormone produced by adipose tissue that plays a role in glucose and lipid metabolism. Low levels of adiponectin have been associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Fructosamine is a measure of average blood glucose levels over the past two to three weeks and can be useful in monitoring glycemic control in people with diabetes.

Therefore, measuring insulin, C-peptide, adiponectin, and fructosamine levels, in addition to glucose and hemoglobin A1c, can provide a more comprehensive evaluation of insulin sensitivity and glycemic control.

Continuous glucose monitoring

To get a true depiction one of the most damaging things that can happen is a rise in blood sugar after meals.  This is because these blood sugar rises interact with proteins in the body leading to something called glycation or advanced glycation in products which leads to cellular damage, advanced aging, and lays the foundation for cardiovascular disease.  Perhaps the best way to measure the effect of how each meal affects blood glucose levels is to wear a continuous glucose monitor (CGM).  If you have a diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes, you may be able to obtain a CGM through your insurance.  The other way to obtain it is through a company called Levelshealth.com

Why We Get Sick:

“Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease – and How to Fight It” is a book written by Benjamin Bikman, a biochemist and expert in metabolic disorders, along with co-author George Newbern. The book explores the underlying causes of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, which have become increasingly common in modern societies. The authors argue that these diseases are caused by a condition called “metabolic dysfunction”, which occurs when the body’s cells become resistant to insulin and the normal signals that control energy metabolism. This leads to a state of chronic inflammation that damages the body’s tissues and organs, and increases the risk of developing chronic diseases. The book also provides practical advice on how to improve metabolic health, including dietary recommendations and lifestyle changes that can help to reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity.

Planning on starting a carnivore diet?

As we have shown you here there is quite a variety of approaches to a high-fat low carbohydrate way of eating.  And, depending on your genetics, stress levels, activity level, and lifestyle, you may have a certain level of daily carbohydrate intake that may serve you well and may not translate into any level of meaningful insulin resistance.

And I am certainly not saying that this type of diet is for everyone.  Some for various complex reasons that we are yet to understand are unable to tolerate it.  However, I hope that this article has given you some idea about the spectrum of plant toxicity that you should be aware of and what we need to look for to avoid those, as well as the importance of being mindful of your insulin levels and how to measure them and ultimately lower them.  Simply lowering carbohydrates can go a long way to improving your health.

That being said, if you have an O blood type, and from northern European descent, your transition to a carnivore diet could be very seamless and beneficial.  However, if you are of equatorial descent you may need more carbohydrates.  Everyone is different and therefore, this diet is not for everyone.  However, if you are experiencing weight gain, autoimmune disease, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic nutrient deficiencies etc. as mentioned, starting a carnivore diet can be a key dietary measure that could optimize your health.  However, as mentioned, there is a transition.  That is involved with this diet, and for some could involve certain risks. Therefore, we strongly recommend working with a health professional who is familiar with the Keto/Paleo/carnivore diet, physiology, potential side effects, and lab markers.  Doing so will help you get the most out of this important diet and lifestyle.

Adopting a Carnivore Diet: Key Points

The carnivore diet is known for its simplicity, with only two main rules: eat meat (and possibly some animal products) and eat until full. The diet’s goal is to promote optimal functioning and overall well-being.

To start the carnivore diet, purchase fattier red meats that are grass-fed and grass-finished. Foods to consume include steaks, pork belly, pork chops, chicken thighs, lamb chops, fish rich in omega-3s, eggs, organ meat, bone broth, and animal fats. Seasonings can be used at your discretion. Foods to avoid include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, grains, processed foods, dairy products, and most beverages.

Various nutrients supplements and organ support could be helpful during this transition:

Electrolytes:

Supplementing with a good electrolyte blend is absolutely critical when initiating a carnivore diet.  Due to the high carbohydrate consumption of the general population many of us are carrying around five to twenty pounds of water weight.  As the level of carbohydrates is gently reduced the body will tend to expel a good amount of water weight.  While this is great for weight loss, with unfortunately includes electrolytes.  Without electrolyte supplementation, you could experience, dizziness, brain fog, etc.  We use various electrolyte blends in our office which are specialized for this purpose however you can always experiment with various sea salts etc.  Keep in mind that various sea salts contain heavy metals etc. and you want one from a very good source.  We like the one from Iceland called crucial four mineral salt.  You can find that one here: https://crucialfour.com/products/icelandic-flake-salt?variant=34641935859866.  And you certainly cannot go wrong with magnesium, which drives approximately 500 enzymatic functions.  It is important to maintain adequate magnesium status while on this diet.  We prefer a topical magnesium lotion for this purpose.

Carbohydrate withdrawal:

Because for many years most people have eaten too many carbohydrates and are in some form of insulin resistance, suddenly reducing carbohydrates could lead to symptoms of carbohydrate withdrawal including fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, sleep disruption, flulike symptoms etc. to avoid this we recommend slowly reducing carbohydrates over a 4 to 12-week period.  This process can be a delicate one and is different for everyone.  The general recommendation is to try to slowly reduce daily carbohydrate intake to approximately 50 to 80 grams per day.  However, keep in mind that for most people to experience weight loss, one must try to get daily total carbohydrate grams down to 30 g or less…

Fiber:

Because this diet removes most if not all plant foods, the body will go through a period of transition of having less fiber and because of this some may experience an intermittent period of potential stomach cramping and constipation.  Therefore, some have found that supplementing with a small amount of fiber in the first 30-60 days of initiating a carnivore diet to be helpful.  After the first 3 to 8 weeks, the microbiome has a chance to adjust and often long-term fiber supplementation is not needed.  Always make sure that you are having at least one full bowel movement daily.  If, for whatever reason you do not experience this and are still struggling with constipation please reach out to your medical provider for further evaluation.

Organ meats (liver, pancreas, spleen, kidney, etc.):

Organ meats are a critical component of the carnivore diet in the sense that they provide key fatty acids, protein, minerals and vitamins that might be missing with eating purely muscle meat.  Most people, however, do not have any experience with preparing her eating organ meats and in general to do not find them to be very palatable.  However, beef liver, once prepared properly is an excellent source of vitamins A, B12, and key minerals and vitamins when prepared properly.  In any regard, due to the fact that most people do not know how to initially prepare these foods, we suggest supplementing with desiccated organ meat supplements.  Keep in mind that you should not purchase these from anywhere, as the supplement quality may be lacking.  Please reach out to us for further info.

Gallbladder and liver support:

In some instances, the person can experience some diarrhea as a result of the inability to digest the extra fats. Therefore, when initiating this diet at least in the first 2 to 3 weeks some people need extra gallbladder and liver support as these organs accommodate more protein and fat intake.  Digestive enzymes and in particular ox bile extracts can be helpful when taken with meals to help with fat and protein digestion.

Nutritional support:

While many proponents claim that supplements aren’t needed, it is essential to monitor vitamin levels and consider supplementation if necessary. For instance, vitamin D3 is recommended, while omega-3 fatty acids may also be necessary for optimal brain and inflammation management.  B-complex vitamin, multimineral, trace mineral support is generally recommended on this diet.

Since animal meats do contain trace levels of vitamin C, is unlikely that a vitamin C deficiency will occur on the carnivore diet, but monitoring is still advised.

Intermittent fasting:

If weight loss is her goal, you must consider intermittent fasting as a way to supremely lower insulin levels and achieve consistent weight loss.  Due to the satiated quality of meats and fats, many find that they have not increased their ability to fast.  Many are able to dramatically reduce their feeding window to 4 to 8 hours/day.  This of course further enhances insulin sensitivity and has the ability to provide additional weight loss benefits.  However, we recommend that if you are interested in starting an intermittent fasting program do so very slowly perhaps 1 or 2 days out of the week, and only in certain circumstances where your stress levels are low and you have become metabolically flexible.  This process can be rather tricky and we recommend that you work with a practitioner who is familiar with this process

Acidity:

Proteins found in meat tend to leave an acidic residue however this can be offset with things like drinking lemon water throughout the day.

Meat allergy:

Some have a rather rare condition where they are simply unable to tolerate various meats and may even have a meat allergy, such as alpha-gal syndrome.  If you feel this is a problem for you.  Please reach out to us for allergy testing.

Chronic health conditions:

If you are diabetic or prediabetic, dealing with hypertension, or high cholesterol, etc., going carnivore could have a profound effect on lowering insulin levels and reducing the need for diabetic medications.  Similarly, blood pressure and cholesterol medicines may need to be adjusted over time.  Therefore, it is critical that you work with a health practitioner as frequent monitoring of these conditions, medicines, and side effects, is warranted.

Tried a low-carb/carnivore diet in the past without results?

This could be due to various hidden problems such as heavy metal toxicity, specific vitamin deficiencies such as thiamine, various medications, sleep disturbances, chronic emotional stress, still pathogens such as Epstein-Barr or Lyme disease, mold toxicity etc.  If you are still struggling despite this way of eating, consider working with a skilled functional medicine practitioner to get to the root cause of what is causing you to plateau.

Sample meal plans:

Here is a general idea of what a sample meal plan looks like on the carnivore diet.  More detailed shopping list and meal plans are available

A sample 3-day meal plan:

Day 1:

  • Breakfast: Beef and bacon
  • Lunch: Bone broth with shredded chicken
  • Dinner: Ribeye steak

Day 2:

  • Breakfast: Salmon and sardines
  • Lunch: Turkey burger
  • Dinner: Pulled pork

Day 3:

  • Breakfast: Egg omlette
  • Lunch: Tilapia and albacore tuna
  • Dinner: Pot roast

Snacks aren’t typically necessary, as animal foods tend to be filling, but options like jerky, shrimp, or anchovies can be consumed if desired.

Potential drawbacks

Potential drawbacks of the carnivore diet include changes in bowel movements, difficulty sustaining the diet long-term, a lack of variety, increased expenses, and potential health risks. However, the diet may be beneficial for some individuals with specific autoimmune issues or other conditions.

As you can see, considering a low carbohydrate high-fat diet and this way of eating has been a fan of it as well as many potential challenges.  Furthermore, whether you are planning on adopting a keto-paleo approach or are willing to go a bit beyond that and try a carnivore approach, it is strongly recommended that you work with a health professional familiar with these concepts.  Therefore, please please contact us for further info before considering this dietary approach!

Further reading

There are many doctors who are now promoting the carnivore diet as they are seeing dramatic health benefits in their patients.  Here are just a few worth mentioning:

Ben Bikman, Ph.D. (Metabolic Scientist-Lipid Research) How to optimize your metabolism: Metabolic scientist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsB95WzLhQM&t=2369s

Dr. Ken Berry, MD https://drberry.com/

Dr. Paul Saladino, MD https://www.paulsaladinomd.co/

Dr. Nadir Ali, MD Cardiologist https://alicardiology.com/

Also of these great books:

  • Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease – and How to Fight It by Benjamin Bikman PhD, George Newbern, et al
  • The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss, Dr. Jason Fung, MD