I have spoken widely about my shift to a more ancestral lifestyle including more meat, fruit, honey, raw dairy into my diet with minor amounts of cooked vegetables and the incredible health improvements I have experienced from it, including reversing PCOS. This is commonly misconstrued as the carnivore diet, when in reality it is not. I will write a separate piece on an animal based diet, but I recently read The Carnivore Diet by Dr. Shawn Baker, and was fascinated by how well-compiled this book was. 

The carnivore diet is a dietary regimen that involves consuming only animal products. It excludes all plant-based foods, meaning no fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, or legumes are consumed. The primary components of the diet are meat, fish, eggs, and sometimes dairy. No processed foods.  In my opinion, this has a restrictive dietary approach and is not suitable for long lasting wellness, especially for women. 

While I am not on the carnivore diet, I am quite often fascinated by the content Dr. Shawn Baker releases on social media and in his books. The Carnivore Diet delves deep into a dietary approach that has been gaining traction in recent years: a diet consisting solely of animal products. As a former orthopedic surgeon and an athlete, Baker brings a unique perspective to the table, combining his medical background with personal anecdotes and experiences.

Strengths:

  1. 1. Personal Testimony:  One of the book’s strengths is Baker’s personal journey with the carnivore diet. His transformation, both in terms of health and athletic performance, provides a compelling narrative that will resonate with many readers. He practices what he preaches, which is very rare with doctors these days, and he has his entire journey to bring him to this point. 
  2. 2. Simplicity: The carnivore diet, at its core, is simple: eat only animal products. Baker does a commendable job of explaining the nuances and potential benefits of this approach without overwhelming the reader with jargon. While I don’t particularly agree with the carnivore diet entirely, I commend him for his extremely detailed explanations on the topic. 
  3. 3. Addressing Concerns: Baker doesn’t shy away from addressing the common criticisms and concerns associated with a meat-only diet. He tackles issues related to nutrient deficiencies, the environmental impact of meat consumption, and potential health risks head-on.
  4. 4. Debunking Myths: Baker debunks many myths about fiber, cholesterol, vitamin and mineral deficiencies that come along with people who question this specific lifestyle, in addition to the myth that vegetables are good for you. He goes into oxalates, lectins, phytic acid, and more – which are critical to avoid, especially for gut and kidney health. He also debunks that living animal based is ‘expensive,’ giving helpful tips on affordability. 
  5. 5. Research and Anecdotes: Throughout the book, Baker cites various studies and research papers to support his claims. There are pages and pages of sources. He also includes testimonials from individuals who have benefited from the diet, adding a human touch to the scientific data.
  6. 6. Emphasis on the right kind of meat: I really appreciate that Baker stresses the importance of eating the right kind of meat. If you want to learn more about this, check out my following blogs: 

Pasture Raised vs Grass Fed  and Which type of meat is better for you? 

Critiques:

  1. 1. Potential Bias: As a staunch advocate of the carnivore diet, there are moments in the book where Baker’s enthusiasm might come across as bias. A more balanced approach, acknowledging the potential downsides more thoroughly, might have been beneficial.
  2. 2. Not for Everyone: While the book does a good job of highlighting the benefits of the carnivore diet, it’s essential to note that this approach might not be suitable for everyone. Individual health conditions, preferences, and ethical considerations can influence one’s dietary choices.
  3. 3. Women’s Health: While a high meat diet is absolutely critical for healthy cycle function, my concern is that a diet this low in carbohydrates is not suitable for us women with 4 phases of our cycle and fluctuations in hormones. 

Conclusion:

The Carnivore Diet is a thought-provoking exploration of a controversial dietary approach. While it offers compelling arguments and testimonials in favor of a meat-only diet, readers should approach the content with an open mind. I really loved how the last chapter of the book contains nutrition charts, butcher charts, and other imagery regarding how to cook meat and information about the USDA grading. He truly thought about everything when compiling this book.  For those curious about the carnivore diet or seeking an alternative perspective on nutrition, this book is a valuable resource.

Order a copy of The Carnivore Diet HERE. 

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NOT MEDICAL ADVICE