If you’re tired of trying to solve the puzzle of your lifelong health problems and painful or mysterious life-disrupting symptoms and have tried everything possible, then an elimination diet may be your best option.
Or the only option left!
And maybe you’ve tried an elimination diet already to get to the bottom of all the bloating, digestive distress, skin issues, lack of energy, or anxiety and depression.
Maybe it worked for a bit but was confusing. Maybe you couldn’t pinpoint exactly what foods were bothering you. Or you solved some issues but not all. Or not fully?
Where do you go from here?
There is a more extreme elimination diet that can tell you every food you’re sensitive to.
Fasting is the ultimate elimination diet but we can’t fast for long periods of time while we try reintroducing each food back into our bodies to see if we have a negative reaction.
So we’ve gotta eat something that is nutrient-dense and can keep us satiated without causing any immune reactions in the body. While everyone seems to be singing the praises of a whole foods plant-based diet low in fat and high in carbs, I was deteriorating, anxious, bloated, lethargic, and had chronic digestive issues eating this way.
So if “clean” vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, and grains aren’t working what can we eat?
A temporary zero-carb carnivore diet may be the answer.
Yes, a diet where you consume nothing but quality nutrient-dense animal foods.
I know it sounds a little crazy.
It goes against everything we’ve been told about nutrition so you probably have doubts and a lot of questions.
In this article, I’ll lay out all the doubts and questions I had when I was first introduced to this way of eating.
My first concern when I was first considering trying to go carnivore was where I’d be getting my fiber from.
We’ve been continually told that humans need at least 25 grams of fiber a day and that in the US we are rather deficient coming in at around only 12-15 grams of fiber a day. This lack of fiber is what’s blamed for everything from constipation to weight gain, fatigue to diabetes, and heart disease to colon cancer!
Sounds pretty important!
I went carnivore for a week and saw major improvements in my digestion and my skin! Digestion is not a problem for me in any way shape or form.
I can’t imagine the results if I went for a full 30 days.
What about vitamin C, and polyphenols, and antioxidants, and the gut microbiome?
A lot of people worry that without fruits and vegetables there’s no way you could be getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
The fact is, every nutrient the body needs is found in animal foods. Especially when you’re also eating organ meats like liver.
The same cannot be said of plant foods.
Actually, animals foods contain all the nutrients we need in a more bioavailable form.
In my case, it doesn’t matter that sweet potatoes contain provitamin A carotenoids if I don’t even have the enzyme in my body to turn that provitamin A carotenoid into a real vitamin A that my body can actually use. Like retinol, which is found only in animal foods.
It takes energy for our bodies to convert certain nutrients found in plants into forms we can digest, absorb, and use. Omega 3 is another example. Most of the omega 3 in plants is ALA which must be converted into EPA or DHA for us to use it. Bioavailable forms are abundant in fish and eggs as well as other animal foods.
This doesn’t even take into account all of the potential antinutrients found in plants that some people may be sensitive to. Antinutrients may be blocking vitamin absorption from the food you eat completely!
All good questions!
And I was asking the same ones the past month. But after digging into the carnivore community and doing some reading I was shocked by the misinformation we have around cholesterol and heart disease.
It turns out that cholesterol is a very important part of every single cell in your body!
Some of the roles that cholesterol plays include:
- producing hormones
- synthesizing vitamin D
- absorbing fat-soluble vitamins
- maintaining cell structure
Most of the cholesterol numbers you see when you’re tested are actually created by your own body. You can get a small amount from the food that you eat but it usually doesn’t cause a significant change.
In fact, in 2015 the US dietary guidelines were changed quietly to reflect the serious lack of evidence to back up all we’ve been led to believe about cholesterol. There used to be a restriction on cholesterol of 300mg a day or 200mg if you have an issue – but no longer!
Cholesterol is not considered a serious threat anymore.
What we call “cholesterol” in a test isn’t even cholesterol. They are the lipoproteins called LDL and HDL that are carriers of cholesterol and are essential to our health.
I know LDL is supposedly “bad cholesterol” but looking at those numbers isn’t the best way to determine if you’re at risk for heart disease. Over 75% of people who have a heart attack have what’s considered to be normal LDL levels. So really, past studies that have shown the association between LDL and heart attack are just that – an association. Not causation.
In fact, there may even be an inverse association.
The point is, all the authorities have been taught false information.
We are all still learning about the complexities of the human body all the time.
Is The Carnivore Diet Right For You?
Only you can answer this question!
By no means am I telling you that this is a blanket solution for everyone. Eating this way does come with its own set of challenges. But people are finding benefits and discovering that everything we thought was true about health turned out to be based on false information.
Some people have been eating carnivore for years out of necessity or for the simplicity of it.
There is also no rule that says you must stick to a certain way of eating forever. Some people will go carnivore or ketovore (a mash-up of keto and carnivore) for a month or 3 months or 6 months and then add in more carbs and plant foods as their health issues clear up. Sometimes your gut just needs some time to heal before adding in your favorite fruits and veggies.
It all depends on your own gut health journey and your personal goals.
There is a lot more to be said about this zero-carb diet and many more questions to ask before you start. What are some questions you have? Have you tried a low carb or no carb diet before? Let us know in the comments!
I will be sharing my zero-carb carnivore diet details next week!