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16.02.2022


Is the carnivore diet unhealthy?

A small group of people eat only meat, chicken and fish for health reasons. Scientists and dietitians abhor such a diet, but a study published in Current Developments in Nutrition suggests there may be something to be said for a carnivore diet.


Is the carnivore diet unhealthy?


Study
Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital recruited over 2,000 study participants online who had been eating virtually nothing but meat, chicken and similar animal products for at least 9 months. They found the study participants through Reddit, Facebook and Twitter groups.

Results
The overwhelming majority of study participants indicated that the carnivore diet had made them healthier. Chronic illnesses were better controlled, and the study participants reported greater focus, more energy and strength, better memory and improved sleep.


Is the carnivore diet unhealthy?


Remarkably, most diabetics in the group studied indicated that they no longer needed insulin or other diabetes medications.

Click on the figures below for a larger version.


Alleen maar vlees eten ongezond? Valt reuze mee...


Alleen maar vlees eten ongezond? Valt reuze mee...


A downside of the carnivore diet was that the 'bad cholesterol' LDL of the study participants was increased. On the other hand, the concentration of the triglycerides in the blood decreased and that of the 'good cholesterol' HDL rose. In addition, the study participants lost no less than 9 kilos of their weight.

Conclusion
"In this social media-based survey, a self-selected group of adults consuming a carnivore diet [...] reported perceived good health status, perceived absence of symptoms of nutritional deficiencies, and high satisfaction with this eating pattern", write the researchers.

"To our knowledge, this is the first modern report on a large group of people habitually consuming few plant foods, a dietary pattern broadly considered incompatible with good health."

Source:
Curr Dev Nutr. 2021 Nov 2;5(12):nzab133.

More:
What happens if you go on a meat-only diet for a year? 23.07.2010

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