8 Things We Can Learn From the Carnivore Movement

A few years ago, I wrote a post describing all the things that avowed Primal eaters can learn from plant-based or even vegan dieters. Sure, we’re diametrically opposed on the role of animal foods in human health, but there are still relevant takeaways.

Carnivores are much closer to Primal eaters on the dietary spectrum, The Primal Blueprint posits that animal foods—meat, fish, fowl, shellfish, eggs, and dairy—represent the most nutrient-dense, most crucial component of the human diet. Carnivore takes that and runs with it, to its logical conclusion: Animal foods are so nutrient-dense and so important that we should eat them to the exclusion of everything else.

I don’t exactly agree, but I see where they’re coming from. And there’s a lot we can learn from the carnivore movement. I’ve got 8 takeaways today.

1. That a Steak Really Isn’t Going To Kill You

I’ve covered these arguments dozens of times on these pages. But it’s truly heartening to see hundreds and thousands of anecdotal reports from people who are thriving while eating two, three, four ribeyes a day for months and even years on end. When you see that, even though it’s “just” a collection of anecdotes, it gets really hard to think that eating a big grass-fed ribeye whenever you want is really going to give you cancer or diabetes or whatever else malady they’re trying to pin on red meat.

2. That More Fiber Isn’t Always the Answer

Of all the food components out there, fiber is the one that really trips me up. I still can’t quite get a handle on it. Is it important? Is it harmful? Is it useless? There’s conflicting evidence at every turn. My hunch—and reading of the anthropological and scientific literature—tells me that some prebiotic substrate is a good thing for healthy human guts, but it also tells me that fiber can be harmful in certain situations and in certain gut biomes. After all, we aren’t living like the Hadza, eating antelope colon sashimi and never touching soap. We live relatively sterile existences. Our guts are not ancestral, no matter how many quarts of kefir we quaff.

What carnivore offers is evidence that fiber isn’t always the answer. And remember that animal proteins can offer prebiotic substrate in the form of “animal fiber” (bones, tendons, connective tissue, gristle) and—if you consume dairy—milk oligosaccharides.

3. That Oxalates May Be An Issue

You know that strange feeling you get on your tongue and gums after a big serving of spinach? Those are oxalates, an anti-nutrient found in many if not most plant foods. They can bind to minerals and form crystals, the most infamous being the calcium oxalate crystals which are the most common type of kidney stone. Yeah, not fun.

The carnivore movement has seized on oxalates as a reason not to consume plants. Many animals have the adaptations to digest and nullify large amounts of oxalates. Humans, by and large, do not. There are exceptions, such as the Hadza whose guts harbor oxalate-degrading bacteria, and likely others yet to be discovered. And there’s definite variation even among humans living in industrialized settings—not everyone gets kidney stones because they ate creamed spinach. But it’s a good idea for the average human to at least be aware of oxalates.

Thanks to your newfound awareness of oxalates, you can figure out ways to reduce their impact if you still want to consume them.

You can ferment your foods. Lacto-fermented beets, for example, have lower oxalates than fresh beets.

You can choose low-oxalate plants. Kale is quite low in oxalates compared to other leafy greens, as are collard greens. Same goes for others in the brassica family, like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower: all low in oxalate.

You can improve your calcium metabolism. Eating enough vitamin A (retinol), vitamin K2, and vitamin D will improve your calcium metabolism and leave less of it hanging around to bind with oxalate and form crystals. Eating enough boron (or supplementing with it, as it doesn’t appear in many foods) can also reduce the formation of calcium oxalate stones.

Drinking about 4 ounces of lemon or lime juice in your water throughout the day will also reduce the formation of calcium oxalate stones.

I don’t mean for this to become a “what to do about oxalates” post. But without the carnivore movement’s broad transmission of the oxalate issue, many people wouldn’t even think about them.

4. That Meat Truly Is the Ancestral Foundation Of the Human Diet

I mean, we knew this. We knew that our hominid ancestors have been eating meat and marrow for over three million years. We knew that our meat-eating is probably what helped set us apart from our primate cousins, that calorie-dense and easily-digestible meat allowed us to shrink our guts and grow our brains. We knew that of all extant and known populations on earth, not a one was vegan.

But the carnivore movement makes you feel it. By eating exclusively meat and not just surviving but apparently thriving on animal foods alone, they force you into a reckoning of their historical primacy in the human diet. Now, not everyone thrives. The drop outs, well, they drop out. We only see the success stories—but that’s true for any diet, including Primal. The drop-outs from diets like Primal or carnivore tend to be less catastrophic and numerous than the drop-outs from veganism or fruitarianism, but they’re definitely out there.

5. That the Best Elimination Diet Might Be an All-Meat One

I wrote a post recently about the Autoimmune Paleo diet, a highly-restrictive but effective elimination diet used to identify trigger foods in autoimmune patients.

Going carnivore might just be a bare-bones version of the same thing. It eliminates all the same foods, plus more. And because it’s more of a scorched-earth approach, it’s simpler. You just eat meat and meat byproducts like bone broth, and nothing else. Such stark boundaries are somehow more digestible to a certain type of person. Less wiggle room, less to think about, less to get wrong.

That’s basically what Robb Wolf recently did to treat lingering gut issues: he ate meat and drank bone broth. For the full story, check out his recent appearance on Dr. Paul Saladino’s podcast.

6. That Phytonutrients Aren’t the Only Way To Induce Hormetic Stress

There are other ways to induce hormetic stress besides plant polyphenols. You can fast. You can exercise. You can expose yourself to cold or heat. You can expose yourself to “meat carcinogens” (yum). However, phytonutrients are good to have around. If you aren’t eating blueberries and broccoli because “those hormetic stressors aren’t the only game in town,” you’d better be doing the other stuff. You’d better be using the sauna, fasting, training hard (but smart), and going out into the cold.

7. That Strong Physical Performance Is Possible Without Tons Of Exogenous Carbs

You only have to look as far as Dr. Shawn Baker breaking rowing records, squatting 500 pounds for reps, and doing box jumps that would shame someone 30 years his junior to know that elite performance is possible—at least in one person—on a carnivorous, carb-free diet. It’s not “supposed” to be possible for anyone. Is Baker a genetic freak? Is he the only person for whom it’s true? I doubt it.

Now, glycogen is helpful. But you can manufacture glucose from amino acids and deposit it as glycogen, which you’ll be getting plenty of from all the protein you eat on a carnivore diet. This might not be the most efficient path for all elite athletes, but the carnivore movement shows that it’s at least possible for some.

8. How To Choose the Most Nutrient-Dense Animal Foods

There are the carnivores who eat steak and assume they’ve covered all their bases, and then there are the carnivores who eat steak and eggs and salmon and liver and kidney and marrow and mussels because they want to ensure they’ve covered all their bases. The former group will say something about “nutrient requirements going down on carnivore,” which may be true, but do all nutrient requirements drop across the board equally? Meanwhile, the latter group might agree with the former about nutrient requirements, but they’ll probably also want to be safer than sorrier. They can tell you all about the vitamin C content of fresh liver, the manganese in the mussels, the selenium in the kidney, the long-chained omega-3s in the salmon, the choline and biotin in the eggs, and the B-vitamins and creatine in the steak.

I’d listen to the latter group, personally. In figuring out the best way to obtain maximum nutrient density through animal foods alone, they can provide a roadmap to anyone who wants to include the most nutrient-dense animal foods in their omnivorous diet.

Diets aren’t ideologies. They aren’t religions. You don’t have to accept everything. You can pick and choose what works for you, especially if it actually works for you. You can heed these lessons contained in the post without actually going full carnivore, just like you could incorporate some of the lessons learned from vegans without going anything close to vegan.

Thanks for reading, everybody. What have you learned from the carnivore movement? Let me know down below in the comments, and have a good week.

TAGS:  reviews

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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67 thoughts on “8 Things We Can Learn From the Carnivore Movement”

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  1. At first I was entirely skeptical. But the elimination aspects of the carnivore diet really appeal to me, as someone with Hashimoto’s who has struggled to follow the AIP. Carnivore is just so much simpler! And seeing how I seem to discover something else I’m sensitive every year – nearly ALWAYS some kind of plant – there may be something to ditching the phytochemicals and looking for my hormetic stressors elsewhere.

    I don’t think I’ll ever go 100% carni for a long period of time, but focusing on meat, (with some brassicas, berries, chocolate, coffee, and tea thrown in, primarily for mental/emotional reasons), sounds like the way to go, at least as a good long-term experiment.

    1. Dani, Like you the first Autoimmune disease that reared it’s ugly head was Hashimoto’s. Now others have cropped up, or maybe Hashimoto’s was just the first one I noticed? Anyway, due to every vegetable being on either my intolerance list or allergy list (seriously allergic to celery!), I can’t eat them. I also avoid most fruits due to sugar content – addicted to that stuff! By elimination of what I can’t eat, all that is left (for me) is meat. Over a year and down over 100 lbs! very stubborn pounds. Hang in there, I hope to be able to re-introduce foods but so far encounter serious debilitating side effects.

  2. I’ve been Keto for years & now thrive on an adapted Keto Veg diet.
    My conundrum is this.: Why do very unhealthy, sick people across the board get better (way better) on a vegan diet? The numbers appear to support this. Maybe it’s the simple effect of leaving a very SAD diet?

    1. Only when starting out but not long term. YouTube is full of testimonials by ex vegan s that saw their health deteriorates. I don’t know what you are doing specially but it’s extremely difficult to do a ketodiet that relies on just plants

      1. First off, I’m not vegan. Not even close. Secondly, it simply isn’t true that all people who are long-term vegans “get depression, poor muscle tone and feel horrible”. I know many people who are thriving on a vegan diet. Is it guaranteed? Absolutely not. Nothing is.

        I’m not sure why people feel the need to resort to unsubstantiated and over broad statements to try and make a point. It’s like saying ALL people who adopt Paleo, Primal, Keto… whatever diet experience the same benefits and no negative effects. That isn’t true either. Not even in my own home, my extended family, my friends or colleagues.

        Mark has long advocated for a flexible, inclusive approach to the Primal lifestyle, and the Primal community. He is also one of the few voices in this area willing to publicly change his mind, when evidence or experience supports it. That’s one reason I’ve been following Mark’s counsel for so many years.

        I’m not advocating for any particular lifestyle, but rather restraint from over-generalization when it comes to these discussions. They’ll be better for it.

    2. I agree. People get better short term on vegan because they had a poor SAD diet, but long term, they get depression, poor muscle tone and feel horrible. Every vegan I’ve known.

    3. I think you nailed it with the “leaving the SAD diet” comment.

      Just about any nutritional intervention is going to be better than that. Especially a whole foods based approach, be it vegan, vegetarian, keto, carnivore, etc.

      You have to then look at the long term effects on those people. The majority of people who go vegan go back to eating an omnivorous diet within a year. It takes time for things like nutrient deficiencies to show up as well and after a few years the drop out rate is something like 95%+

      There are also things like genetic factors with some people being more inclined to be able to convert ALA to DHA/EPA, having higher oxylate thresholds, response to things like saturated and polyunsaturated fats, etc.

      But getting away from the SAD is likely the most significant component of it all

    4. The couple athletes I know (semi-pro cyclist and a half-marathoner) that went Vegan both ended up with serious health issues after a couple years of dedication. But yes, they appeared very healthy the first year when they stopped eating sugar and processed foods.

    5. I’ve never met a Vegan who stayed healthy. It always caused systematic inflammation because 99% of vegans eat way too many grains and don’t get enough protein and fats.

      I am a Type 1 diabetic and am 40 and have read all the books and tried, vegan, i did carnivore for 30 days and my body loved it and it cleared up some skin issues that haven’t returned. But hands down the best book i’ve Read and i recommend it almost daily is Primal Blueprint and the primal diet. Good fats, quality proteins and lots of veggies and some macadamia nuts, dark chocolate and red wine for pleasure.

      I take 1/3 of the insulin and am shredded and feel great.

    6. Try this: Don’t eat any food, just drink water, from the start of the day. You’ll feel great! Spring in your step by the evening. Carry on, the next day, still feeling good, just water! Carry on… Not feeling so good, just water.



    7. It’s probably more a factor of simply paying attention to diet for the first time in their lives. Barring physical allergies, everyone seems to experience positive effects upon pursuing their first real diet – regardless of what that diet is. Every serious diet, whether vegan or carnivore or somewhere in-between, calls for cleaning up the quality of their food choices. Remove the processed sugars and unnatural fats and you’re not so much left with arguments of healthy vs unhealthy (compared to the SAD) but of optimal vs suboptimal

  3. Thanks for the great artical. I am not a vegan but eat a “normal” diet and now don’t feel guilty about it. It confirms my belief in a balanced diet of meat and vegan.

  4. Interesting idea. What are some good carnivore websites to look at? I mean, how far do you take it? No garlic? No curry powder? No salt? How do you flavor the meat?

    1. “Purist” carnivores eat just meat and drink water. Other “zero-carb” folks also eat dairy to some extent. Most that I’ve read say to do this for at least the first 30 days since it’s easier on your digestive system then mixing in veggies. I found good information at https://zerocarbzen.com and via various facebook groups. I seem to do quite well on mostly beef, but wander back into the veggie world during social times and family meals. The greatest advantage for me personally has been relief from joint pain and gut issues. Meat, especially beef and other ruminants (lamb, bison, deer, elk), is very easy to digest so it gives the gut a rest. I’m not a purist, however, since I haven’t given up my few veggies once in a while or my daily coffee either.

    2. Hi.
      Just follow Dr Paul Saladino or Dr Baker.
      …or join the carnivore group, Principia Carnivora.

      1. Thank you for all the responses. I like Dr. Baker, he seems like the real deal. Meatrx has some good recipes, though a bit heavy on the dairy for me. Very creative though. I’ll check out the others as time allows. Really appreciate it! <3

  5. The biggest thing to learn is that rhetoric and memes are more effective for spreading truth than arguing over fact selection.

    Bitstein explains this perfectly for both Carnivory and Bitcoin

  6. Great post! Reading it after just returning home from Costco where, as I loaded my cart contents onto the checkout belt, I noticed how few nutrients and how much air were in the (plastic) bag of crackers (that my husband and daughter insist on) compared to the bag of nuts, and then compared to the 6-pack of cans of sardines. A carnivore diet could claim environmental superiority as least due to the packaging. Way more calories and nutrients per ounce of packaging. And if it’s grass-fed/pastured/wild, there’s that going for it, too, environmentally.

    1. Way less packaging with carnivore and way less waste of all types – including time in the grocery store, prepping meals, dishes to wash! As well, going with Mark’s 2nd group of carnivores who are eating the organ meats (aka “nose-to-tail”) there is also way less waste of the animal itself at slaughter. We LOVE the bits most others don’t like, consider them a delicacy even – and bonus: cuts like tongue etc are much less expensive too, especially if from your local farmer!!

  7. I am the latter carnivore group. I eat chicken liver, eggs, seafood, dairy, and of course meat. I agree with mark that fasting, exercise are vital to stop MTOR pathways, autophagy, etc. I wish I had a sauna and not just a hot tub. Getting cold is always harder for me. But an all meat diet is definitely the ultimate elimination diet and there’s no doubt we were most likely meant to be closer to carnivore than vegan. Still people have different muscle make up and probably different sensitivities. Organic clean whole food is the most important. But I can tell you that fiber makes me worse and most plants do as well. I build much more muscle on carnivore, but my skin has improved from eating chicken liver (can’t tolerate beef liver). Follow my journey at lekimball.com

  8. Mark, what’s your position on the carnivore diet up-regulating the mTOR pathway and the fact that some research shows that up-regulation can lead to longevity decreases?

    1. The protein experts are Dr.Don Layman and his protoge Dr. Gabrielle Lyon

      see anything by the latter on youtube

    2. Dr Paul Saladino got Dr David Sinclair to back off on that mTOR vs longevity argument in a recent podcast. Seems that it’s not actually a problem. Turned out that Sinclair ate little meat because of social/family issues, not concerns about mTOR. As I understand it.

    3. It looks like insulin is worst for mtor than meat provoking a 3 to 4 hour activation against 1 hour for meat, besides eating 2 meals a day or one due to satiety of meat and fat vs 3 meals and snacks of carb eaters is a lot easier on mtor. check Paul saladino MD

    4. The best approach to mTOR, as with many other things, is for it to be intermittently activated. It needs to oscillate between active and inactive, so, as long as your fasting insulin is low (insulin signals mTOR) and you include some fasting and, ideally, intermittent low-dose rapamycin, then you should get the best of both worlds.

  9. I’m no expert, but I thought that our ancestry was hunter-gatherer. We hunted animals and gathered plants. It therefore seems to me that a good diet would include both animal and plant foods.

    1. Not a single tribe or culture was 100% carnivore even if some came close. Truly uncharted territory here but I think it’s valuable short or long term if you can do it correctly. Definitely more nutrient dense than vegan, that’s for sure

    2. Agreed, but consider a handful of wild blueberries vs a handful of current (bred, farmed) blueberries: the nutrient density and sugar content are vastly different.

      Same applies for all plant foods: being bred for sweetness and size has them all out of whack: some apples are the size of small melons now!

      So yes, you’re right, but even the fresh ones available in most stores are not relevant since our bodies are still working on that original hunter-gatherer operating system with wild plants.

    3. Hi Michael, That gathering also referred to gathering animal based items, like eggs, clams, grubs and honey… from what i’ve read, very little effort would have been put into plant based foods if the other foods were available, and fruits were mostly desired over leafy veg, but we were very adaptable when times were tough, and would eat anything to survive.

    4. Gathering is ancient cheating. Catching a live animal is hard work. Sometimes you come home from the office and you just want to pick some berries instead of going out in the bush with your spear.

  10. I’ve been full on Keto for over 3 years now and am T1D for 38 years. I’ve found many benefits and truly have no desire to look back. However, I am curious about insulin resistance with higher protein and fat. What is the reason people may become more insulin resistant and does this have a negative affect on comorbidity such as heart disease in a diabetic? The only issue I’ve noticed with myself is even with a very small portion of carb such as sweet potato, I have to take more insulin than I did pre-Keto. Why is this??? Should I be concerned? I’m constantly learning because once you know this information you simply can’t un-know it or go back (no desire to do so) but as a long term T1D, I’m also different than other people and have unique concerns and questions. It’s also difficult to find a doc to support my lifestyle so I’ve made all changes and done all my own research.

    1. What you are describing is a temporary physiological insulin resistance as part of a glucose sparing strategy. Your body is running on fat. So you muscles “resist” taking in glucose because it doesn’t need it. But it’s not metabolic syndrome insulin resistance. If you ate a little more carbs every day you would see the insulin resistance back off. But, what you are describing is normal and apparently healthy in a keto state.

  11. I was less sick on a meat/poultry/fish/eggs diet but it was so much work for me as a non-cook that I slid off it again. Now my gut is killing me so I probably need to try again.

    For the person who was worried about flavorings, I found Primal Kitchen marinade/dressings to be a great answer–Ranch tastes nothing like Sesame Ginger and adds good fat. Not truly carnivore but it made carnivore more doable.

    For those trying to figure out how to eat organ meats, my daughter suggested putting 1/4 pound ground organs in with 2 pounds of ground beef. That worked for me. Now, if she was here to do my cooking. 🙂

  12. Hunter Gatherers eat a wide range of animal and plant food when & where it’s available; not exclusively animal products. Insects* are consumed whole – usually with their gut contents (plant material + bacteria). Look at the diet of the Australian indigenous people pre European invasion.
    *Chitin from their exoskeleton acts like crude fibre.

  13. I love posts like this that look to new movements to identify new things to try. I think the carnivore diet is hugely important for some people to overcome various problems (autoimmune, skin, GI, mental). I tried it for 4 months but it dnd’t have any effect. But I think everyone should give it a go for a few months to see what results they get.

    I think also it’s good to realize there are many versions of carnivore. Some people focus on mid-quality beef salt and water. Some people focus on nutrient density (organ meats, roe). Some focus on just one thing (ground beef). Some incorporate ‘aged’ meats. Different things seem to work for different people.

  14. My personal experience is carbohydrates are not necessary for performance.

    A typical day for me is up at 4am, in the water around 4:30 am. Surf for a couple hours, then dry off and go run stair sprints with a 25lb weight vest – or – go home and do weight vest pushups, 10 minutes of saw planks and weighted pull-ups. All fasted and on a diet of about 25 grams daily carbs. My diet these days is most meats, eggs, dairy with some pistachios and avocado.

    Results? I put on four pounds of muscle this year at age 53. My blood glucose barely budges and stays within 10 points all day long whether fasted or postprandial.

    Obviously my body is very efficient at making its own glucose and i run very efficiently of free fatty acid and ketones because my carbohydrate consumption couldn’t even run my brain for four hours it that’s all I had to rely on.

  15. I am rather sold on the idea that we should follow the lead of our evolutionary ancestors… In which case, we would be eating both animal food and plant food. Simple, straightforward vegetables and meats. And a decent variety of those, since there would be seasonal changes to a primitive human’s diet.
    Of course, throughout history, humans have striven to eat more meat. The kings and queens and nobles and brigands at the top of their heap got more meat. But they also got the first of any fancy newly discovered or otherwise special vegetables – think brussels sprouts, potatoes, chocolate, beets …
    I eat vegetables and meats of all sorts, and nuts and dairy, and fermented foods from my own sauerkraut, salumi, and yogurt, to chocolate and wine. I think that works well for most people, and that carnivores are largely reactionary – though some are there for medical reasons.

    1. Yes, but we eat meat on a good day, and plants on a bad day when the hunt failed. Not equal footing.

  16. What I’d love to know is how to incorporate much of this into a temporary meat only diet to treat dysbiosis underlying gut issues BUT! Can you do it if you’re aiming to keep saturated fat and heme iron intake low? I have to keep iron intake in check as someone who has a genetic predisposition to storing too much iron.

    I’m also a lean mass hyperresponder and my lipids go bananas on LCHF diets.

  17. I think carnivore can be a great tool for identifying food sensitivities, particularly if they are plant-based sensitivities like mine are. It doesn’t have to be a life-sentence though. With time you could add in the plants that you tolerate. Everyone responds differently and I believe you should be open to trying something. However just because it serves a purpose at one time doesn’t mean it must be permanent.

  18. Mark, one of the reasons you are my main man is your open mindedness. I just skimmed this post. Giving up vegetables is out of the question. I love ALL of them, and of course fruit. No point for reading about carnivore. Even if you, or someone, convinced me carnivore was the healthiest diet, I would not stop or even cut back on vegetables.

    1. Well, at least avoid spinach. At over 1000mg of oxalate per cup. Spinach is one of the few veggies that truly qualifies as toxic.

      For reference the fatal does of oxalate for a human is anywhere from 3.5gram to 35 grams.

      The safe daily level is considered 150mg or less. But preferably 50mg.

      I was a veggie heavy vegetarian for 30 years. Now I only eat pistachios and avocado daily. The rest is animal foods. No more bloat. And now, if i do eat spinach, it hurts my stomach and makes my tongue itch. When I ate so many veggies the discomfort just got lost in all the fiber and bloat.

      1. Thanks. I do eat a lot of spinach. Not supposed to eat anything on the oxalate avoidance list, nor on the purine list. I ignore. Lots of the oxalates are bound up with calcium in spinach. My nephrologist said to just get calcium with oxalate foods. I believe there is some research supporting this, provided you eat the calcium at the same time as the oxalates. The doc said to take a Tums with every meal that has oxalates. LOL. Not doing that. I generally would have a sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

    2. Harry, thank you. I’m glad you’re here and always appreciate reading your perspective on the boards. I’m with you on the vegetables. I love my Big-Ass Salads, and self-experimentation tells me that I do better with them. That said, it’s been intriguing to read about others’ experiences with carnivore eating, and I’m happy so many in that camp find useful information within the Primal community. Best — M

  19. I think the carnivore diet can really work when your gut is critically injured and as an elimination diet when nothing else seems to work. It really helped me when I had bout after bout of food poisoning and I also found some relief from my crohn’s symptoms.

    However after a few months I am now starting to notice that I feel inflamed when I eat Protein (mostly seafood for me) and just tired and a bit sore. I’m very thin and weight is not an issue (my biggest worry is actually trying to not become skeletal) so that is not a factor at all for me. But I am really starting to feel the need to shift to a new way of eating now. More veg and less fish/lightly cooked meat- still craving shellfish oddly enough but nothing too dense.

    So in summary (sorry for the ramble) I think just listen to your body and follow where it’s at sticking to whole real foods and adjusting accordingly.

  20. That carnivore +coffee is a fantastic way to spend January

  21. After 2 ½ years on Keto, I tried carnivore and it just wasn’t for me. I tolerated it OK to a degree but I saw no real reason to do it. I’m far happier on regular keto that allows me to eat some low carb vegetables. I do find that there are times that I have all meat type meals just by accident but I do eat some vegetables every day. I figure that I gave up all carbs to fight insulin resistance and stave off diabetes. I’m just now eating to give up all vegetables too.

  22. “Everybody knows” that man developed in the following stages…”
    ..always assumes the evolutionary, or near so, perspective.
    If man was created, or his development modified and jumped by other intelligence, most of that that “evolutionary development ” superstition doesn’t apply.

    Bring out the rocks and torches. Heresy.

  23. Five months in on Carnivore – qualified as all animal products plus tea/coffee. Initial motivation was to try and find a solution for a couple of chronic issues that seemed to improve under a whole-food primal-style diet, but weren’t resolved.

    I’m not “religious” about it, and try adding other foods back in from time to time, but the results from those experiments have never been better than “meh” and sometimes obviously negative.

    That aside, there are two reasons that I like this way of eating.
    The first is that so many of the supposedly “healthy” plant foods taste unpleasant. Making them palatable requires a relatively high sugar or butter content, so what is the point? (Not that I dislike butter).

    The second is that the plant foods that do taste good, tend to make me want to binge. What’s the point of eating half a dozen blueberries or nuts (both of which I enjoy) when I then have to deal with the dis-pleasure of resisting the desire to eat more.?

    If I start to run into problems, I’ll change again, but so far it’s been pretty good. It makes things very simple and easy for a bachelor who isn’t interested in cooking. A frying-pan anda slow-cooker are all I need.

    1. While I think of it, those who wish to argue from ancestry need to consider seasonality.

      Most plant foods don’t actually store that well without processing….. the same kind of drying that will make meat store, in fact.

      Otherwise, grains are eaten by insects and rodents, same with nuts. Fruit rots very quickly and most greens rapidly pass optimum palatability.

      Arguing about how much some ancestor-group or other ate, while ignoring the seasonality issues that potentially had them relying on animal products exclusively for a large part of the year…… is not exactly realistic.

      Anyway, I’d suggest to anyone who is interested, that they give it a try. Six weeks won’t kill you, and you may be surprised.

      1. Well you know that the american indian had pemmican. meat/fat and pounded fruit. Fruit was actually easy to have year round.

        1. “Easy to have” if somebody else is doing the work.
          That’s not something to be discounted….. plus it faces the same challenges that every other stored food does. If we like to eat it, so do other creatures.

          We are rather prone to under-estimate the benefits of modern mechanisation. There are many things that we’ve come to regard as staples when they were originally either luxuries or survival foods.

      2. I figure that if I just eat animal types of protein then I’ll get whatever they ate and processed and turned into my food.

    2. I totally agree. Vegetables have to be doused in fat to taste good, and plants that are naturally tasty (as you said, fruit and some nuts) I have a binging problem as well. Bananas are my biggest weakness. I am NEVER satisfied with just one. The most satiated and free from thoughts of food I’ve felt was when I finally cut those foods out and was eating mostly meat, eggs, butter, and coffee with cream. I would usually avoid vegetables, and I literally felt so free. I recall going one day where I just had no desire to eat and it felt great. I may try that again. Thanks.

  24. What I’ve learned from the carnivore movement: 1) Eating loads of meat and dairy doesn’t kick me out of ketosis or make me gain weight. 2) Going carnivore with plenty of broth plus coffee, coconut butter and coconut cream really did alleviate months of bloating, gut pain, gout-like inflammation, reflux and reduced energy and was much easier to do than previous attempts to fix my issues with fasts or bone broth fasts, and can now eat a few oxalate foods without pain – incredible! 3) And last thing is – boy does a plate of brown look so boring compared to colorful, shiny, crispy, crunchy fresh from garden veges and berries! Feels like human nature to take the opportunity to eat for pleasure and variety when the opportunity arises. Carnivore defiantly has a place in my tool kit.

  25. I tried the carnivore diet thinking it would be the perfect exclusion diet for my ulcerative colitis. I don’t now if it was a co-incidence but I landed in hospital with a huge flare of my condition.I believe it might be related to how well you digest animal protein. If you do have a problem with this it can cause havoc all through your digestive system.Just a theory though.

  26. Thank you for that balanced view on things, much appreciated! 🙂
    I do have a question for people who do carnivore regarding the use of bone broth when one is histamine sensitive. I’m very interested in trying to go carnivore to give some rest to my system but I have problems with foods high in histamine (which is the case of red meat, pork and broth). Does that change when you go carnivore? And is there anyone without a gallbladder who has successfully followed a carnivore or a keto diet?

  27. In simple terms, I’ve begun to think of meat as nutrition and plants as medicine. I’m selecting the plants I eat based on my personal medical needs. I’m no scientist so don’t expect anything weighty from me, but I think it bears looking into.

  28. What I took away from the carnivore movement is to treat veggies, etc. as vitamins or drugs. Good to have but you wouldn’t eat a plate full of vitamin pills, would you? I’m surprised how easy it’s been to eat mostly meat for the last year.

  29. Hi Mark. I recently read your 8 Things We can Learn From the Carnivore Movement. I found it interesting. I do love meat but have concerns about how much I should have on a regular basis. You provided some good thoughts I can learn from. Not to say my concerns have gone away yet. Thank you Mark for providing these idea. Thanks John

  30. Dear Mark

    Do you know if Omega3 from algae is less good for us humans than omega 3 from animals. Many omega3-supplements are made from algae.

    Greetings from Germany.

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