There are a plethora of reasons why one might choose to embark on a paleolithic ketogenic, zero carb, or carnivore diet (hint: all 3 are the same). Below are some of them, in no particular order:
1. Autoimmune disorders – this can be skin conditions, chronic illnesses, you name it
2. Reduce inflammation
3. Reduce oxidative stress
4. Improve sports endurance
5. Improve body composition (lose fat, gain muscle)
6. Improve mood
7. Improve cognition
8. Repair metabolic damage such as insulin resistance or type 2 diabletes
9. Reset your metabolism
10. Improve digestion
11. Fix gut problems such as IBS, leaky gut, or colitis
12. Improve microbiome diversity
13. Break reliance on sugar for energy
14. Treat or cure T2 Diabetes and insulin resistance
Take a minute and read that list over again. Does it sound legit? I doubt you think so, but you’d be wrong. Let’s take a moment and go over exactly what a carnivorous diet is, how to implement it, how long a person should run it, and what goes on in the body that makes all of this possible without eating a single plant.
Lectins, oxalates, salicylate, etc.
You might think that to be successful in a low carb diet, it’s okay to have nuts, seeds, certain oils, and green veggies. Frankly, and for most people (they don’t know it yet or pass it off as a hormetic need), these compounds act as toxins or antinutrients.
Lectins are a protein contained in the protective coatings of seeds. In a nutshell (lmao), they act as a sort of nut “immune system”; fending off attackers. There are also lectins found in meat and animal foods, but it’s important to understand the difference between the two. Animal lectins are known to have no harmful effect on animals; however plant lectins can come with any number of issues if ingested (again, you wouldn’t even think to blame the plant food normally, this sounds so outrageous).
Major sources of lectins include but are not limited to: grains, nuts, seeds, beans, limes, tomatoes, white potatoes, and cinnamon.
What do plant lectins do when humans ingest them? Lectins attach themselves to living cells, specifically to carbohydrates on the surface of cells. They have been shown in laboratory studies to damage said cells and can lead to conditions like leaky gut syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, Celiac’s, MS, and type 1 diabetes.
Oxalates are some of the most common phytotoxins. In brief, a phytotoxin is a plant’s chemical defense against being eaten. Oxalates are found in a large variety of plant foods. Oxalates are corrosive compounds, and they have been linked to a number of issues, most notably, interfering with the absorption of iron, calcium, and magnesium in the body. One minute, you think you’re eating healthy, micronutrient-rich green veggies, the next you’re not actually getting any of that good nutrition because the oxalates have blocked you from absorbing it.
Salicylates are signaling compounds utilized by plants to protect themselves from being eaten by insects (or humans). A commonly-known salicylate is aspirin. Other foods containing salicylates are almonds, applies, apricots, berries, cherries, currants, grapes, nectarines, oranges, peaches, plumbs, tangerines, cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, cloves, coffee, tea, coconuts, and wintergreen.
Some people have a decreased ability to properly metabolize these compounds and excrete them. Salicylates are linked to rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Nasty stuff.
Digestion and fiber
Vitamins and micronutrients
The USDA says that beef contains no vitamin C. The USDA also admitted (it’s still on their website if you would like to look) that they never tested for it. Scurvy should have developed in me well over a year ago – fortunately I’m still scurv-free.