100% Carnivore

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
stress raising blood sugar seems pretty common
Yes, I imagine stress hormones will raise blood sugar no matter what, since that's in their job description. The interesting thing for me was to see what that looks like without (significant) dietary interference. Now the thought of someone stress eating sugar (which I used to do) makes me cringe :eek:
 

Ryan T

Level 5 Valued Member
@Snowman I bet Dr. Shawn Baker would be really interested to see you results. You might consider sharing it with him if you feel comfortable with it.
 

Ryan T

Level 5 Valued Member
I still don't know that I'd be able to stick to something like this. My family wouldn't go for it and I think I'd miss fruit and vegetables and the occasional startches... But I love the idea of virtually zero inflammation marker. I keep hearing a lot about silent inflamation being one of the big issues of the modern age. Might be able to alleviate with a better diet all around, but it's appealing to have something that has zero guess work too.
 

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
My family wouldn't go for it and I think I'd miss fruit and vegetables and the occasional startches... But I love the idea of virtually zero inflammation marker.
My guess would be that you could get many of the benefits by doing an animal based low-carb diet, since many of the benefits seem to come from a combination of high protein intake, high fat intake, and low carbohydrate intake. Something like unlimited amounts of fatty meat and eggs with 25-50 grams of total carbs in the form of fruits and veggies, showing a strong preference for animal fats over plant fats (butter and rendered fat instead of plant oils and nut butters). A salad with lunch and fruit for dessert after dinner. Dairy (beside butter, which is fine for almost everyone) would have to be dependent on personal tolerance. You could try that for a few weeks at some point and see how you feel. We like to split dietary practices into neat little disciplines, but that's more for the sake of group identity than practicality.

I avoid carbs pretty stringently, but only because the more I eat, the more I want. It's less troublesome for me to just avoid the issue altogether.
 

Tarzan

Level 4 Valued Member
I was having postprandial hypoglycemia and experiencing other pre diabetes warning signs and I then watched Widowmaker and soon started watching Ivor Cummins vids on youtube. I have a background in Engineering like Ivor, so everything he said made perfect sense to me.

So I went keto and that was a great reset for me, it eliminated the postprandial hypoglycemia and I just felt better all around. Then I went full carnivore for a while and I started to experience a lot of pain in all my old injuries. I never got any blood work but it seemed like it increased inflammation for me.

I think it was partly due to dehydration through not having the water binding effect of the carbs. I was drinking water with Himalayan rock salt and a dehydration pinch test seemed fairly normal so I could be barking up the wrong tree there. I was experiencing more cramps than normal so there was probably a mineral balance issue going on.

The worst thing for me was my bowel habits almost stopped. I know meat and protein are supposed to digest almost completely and leave almost no waste but stools are composed of bacteria to a large extent so I should have still been going but I think it caused (or aggravated) disbiosis in my gut.

So now I'm back to a low carb borderline keto arrangement where I include enough carbs for my bowels to function properly and the aches and pains have mellowed a lot too.
 

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
So now I'm back to a low carb borderline keto arrangement where I include enough carbs for my bowels to function properly and the aches and pains have mellowed a lot too.
Sounds like you made the right choice. You probably could have tweaked and adjusted until things worked out, but that begs the question, if one way seems to improve health and another way does not, why force it?
 

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
@Marc I love the part where he says something like "I only eat the meat of meat eating animals, because I want my meat to eat meat, too"

Something else I'll throw up, since I mentioned it before on this thread, but I had a coronary artery calcium scan done. It's a test that looks at the level of plaque build-up arteries. My current CAC score is a 0, which is a good as it gets, so it looks like the only way I'm gonna drop dead anytime soon is if a bus or meteorite is involved.

I should note that, as a physically active 27 year old, there's not really anything special about having a CAC score of 0. We do know that people can have CAC scan detectable plaque in their 20's, but they are often folks that are checking the wrong boxes (bad genes, tobacco use, poor diet, sedentary, etc). All it really proves is that ten months of very high LDL (around 230-270), in the absence of inflammation and insulin dysfunction, is not enough to cause plaque build up (in me). Maybe that means that my CAC score will still be 0 when I'm 50, maybe it means that I would have had some detectable plaque if I had just waited another month to get the test done.

My main reason to get it done now is to get a baseline for later, so I can track any changes. According to the current understanding of lipidology (which is pretty heavily based on the LDL hypothesis), I'm putting myself at grave risk for plaque, and I should have detectable plaque fairly rapidly compared to the normal population. I'll check it again in a few years and see where I'm at.
 

LukeV

Level 5 Valued Member
I've checked back through the posts but the answer is not clear.

Who has been 100% carnivore (or close enough) for long periods of time (ie 12 months plus)? And what has been the perception health wise?
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
I have serious doubts about the carnivore diet for long term health.

I think the human body is wonderfully adaptive and we can thrive on many diets, training methods, and lifestyles.

My concern relative to this one is for the health of the gut microbiome. With all of its important effects on health, I just don't think it can thrive properly on meat alone.

Interested in any thoughts on that.
 

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
Who has been 100% carnivore (or close enough) for long periods of time (ie 12 months plus)?
There are a few people like Charlene and Joe Anderson, Kelly Williams Hogan, and Charles Washington who have been doing it for a decade or more. There's also the célébrités du jour, Shawn Baker and Mikhaila Peterson who have been doing it for well over a year.

I think a lot of people end up using it as an elimination diet, and then adding things back in as tolerated. Like I said before, with the exception of some people (like Mikhaila Peterson, for example), I think there are a variety of healthy ways to eat. That being said, I do think the carnivore diet is a good starting point.

My concern relative to this one is for the health of the gut microbiome.
I think we have to careful when we apply new sciences. We're just starting to understand the microbiome, and at this point the only mainstream microbiome therapy we have is to kill it all off and re-seed with donor poop. We don't know how to reliably change it without using a scorched earth approach, and even if we did, we don't know what bugs do what. Think of the genome project. We now know exactly what gene causes cystic fibrosis, and that still hasn't changed CF treatment because we're not sure how to change the gene (although they are working on that). We don't know exactly what bugs cause inflammation, obesity, and mood problems, or which ones decrease inflammation, aid metabolism, and help our gut produce loads of serotonin. We also don't know specifically what foods each type of bug likes.

I think microbiome therapy is going to be a big part of medicine in the future, but we just don't have it figured out yet. From what few people I've seen who have had their microbiome tested after a few months of carnivory, it seems like it does alright. The microbime changes in response to what it's fed (which is going to happen any time someone changes their diet), but from what I've seen, people have had a lot of "good" bugs, not many "bad" bugs, and a pretty high variety overall. Obviously, all the people who got back negative results might have just kept their mouths shut...

In areas where basic science is lacking, we have to turn to other areas to fill in the gaps. In this case, I look at anthropology. We look at cultures that have had meat-only diets for large parts of the year, and we don't see any evidence of rampant gut dysbiosis. We can also look back to (in our specific case, @Anna C ) our European ancestors from a couple hundred thousand years ago, who wouldn't have had access to plants for months or years at a time. They died of a lot of things (accidents, infection, and all the infant mortality causes that we take for granted today), but there was literally hundred of thousands of years for our gut microbiome to adapt to long stretches of a low-residue diet.

I would agree that some people's microbiomes are going to be less able to adapt adequately, and I think this is one major cause of failure of the carnivore diet. Our microbiome depends on where we live and what we eat, and if those things change, so does out microbiome. If, for some reason that we have yet to understand, our microbiome is unable to adapt properly, problems ensue. If someone starts a new diet with one of the "wrong" microbiomes (one that can't adapt to that diet), they'll likely have issues. I think this explains part of the phenomenon we see of someone trying a diet, having a terrible time, doing a different diet instead, and then trying the original diet again a year later and succeeding. Their microbiome (and likely metabolism), has had time to "come around" to a place where it can now adapt. This is one of the reasons why it pains me to see such religious zeal surrounding diet; it pushes people to force themselves through months of brutal "adaptation," when they could likely get the desired results with a slightly different approach.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Good answer, @Snowman. I especially agree with the last paragraph.

I think fiber is pretty important for the gut. I wonder if, even in cases/cultures that did OK with meat-only for large parts of the year, were they also consuming "not very delicious" fiber? Because you can pretty much always find that in any environment.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
I think the biggest problem with studying historical cultures that were largely meat and extrapolating is we tend to miss a lot or all of the context. Also, local adaptations can make an otherwise unhealthy diet feasible for those with said adaptations (Eg Inuit larger than average liver).

Inuit for example ate a lot of uncooked meat and meat that had been fermented naturally. Plus blubber is not like the fat of land dwelling mammals - it has insanely high carbohydrate content. They were actually getting more carbs than anyone on a modern meat diet - who are almost 100% keto even though Inuit were not - actually were more resistant to going into a ketogenic state than the average European of the day.

And we know they traded oil for inland berries and other foodstuffs as often as they could. We really don't know 100% what their diet was, but I have to assume over centuries their gut biome couldn't have been too whacked out.

Something to consider, even the big game hunting specialist Neanderthal estimated 30% of their diet came from plants and starchy roots etc. 100% modern meat diet really is an experiment with a diet that has no natural analog, not even among obligate carnivores.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
I have serious doubts about the carnivore diet for long term health.

I think the human body is wonderfully adaptive and we can thrive on many diets, training methods, and lifestyles.

My concern relative to this one is for the health of the gut microbiome. With all of its important effects on health, I just don't think it can thrive properly on meat alone.

Interested in any thoughts on that.
People are super tough, so what is possible is a lot different from what is optimum.

That said I'll be many years dead and buried before there are enough long term studies of a modern 100% carnivore diet for me to trust it - even if I live to my 90s.
 

LukeV

Level 5 Valued Member
Inuit for example ate a lot of uncooked meat and meat that had been fermented naturally. Plus blubber is not like the fat of land dwelling mammals - it has insanely high carbohydrate content. They were actually getting more carbs than anyone on a modern meat diet - who are almost 100% keto even though Inuit were not
Just googled that, how amazing. You really can't assume anything
 

Al Ciampa

Level 8 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Having trouble getting your mind around a lifestyle that is obviously, “at least not deleterious to health”, if not health supportive, is a testament to the power of mind-conditioning.

Even more so than training principles, diet is protected with a religious fervor.

This isn’t rocket science, but you do have to question your belief system to whatever degree:

-plants absorb energy from the sun and nutrients from the earth
-some animals eat plants
-some animals eat other animals
-some animals eat both
-hell, some plants eat animals

We’re just passing life around, in the form of energy and nutrients. It’s asinine to believe that adaptive creatures such as those human animals cannot thrive on an eating pattern that is reflective of any of the above bullets, except for, most obviously, the first. They thrive everywhere from north to south, east to west, sea level to elevation.
 

ali

Level 7 Valued Member

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Final thought on this line as its turning into a hijack:

Stefansson had to add a bunch of fat to his diet compared to what the Inuit were consuming - making it more of a modern Keto diet. He couldn't hack the high protein and didn't have the capacity for gluconeogenesis the Inuit possessed.

I'd also suppose the blubber eaten first was from parts of the animal that had the highest carb concentrations (was sweet tasting and imparted a warming sensation). IIRC their total diet actually was not much higher in fat than the typical European of the same time period and possibly a bit less - fat was more of a condiment than a major macro most of the year.

They had to hold back a lot of the blubber to be rendered down for oil or they'd literally have no drinking water, heat, cooking fuel for the long Winter, and less to trade with inland communities.
 
Top Bottom