When I originally turned to the carnivore diet it was to improve upon health conditions I was suffering from, namely autoimmune related. It was a pretty easy switch since I’ve never met a steak I didn’t like! Technically I’m what they refer to as a facultative carnivore – or maybe you want to call me a meatatarian!
But you can’t get all the nutrients you need without consuming plants… ACTUALLY yes you can. You can definitely get the required nutrients from a proper nose to tail carnivore diet, just be sure the quality of animal protein you are consuming is top notch (like the stuff you are going to find through Farm 2 Fork).
Let’s discuss the obvious vitamins like vitamin C (uh oh scurvy!), raw liver has a pretty decent amount of vitamin C in it, in a format that the body can use (bioavailable). You can whip up a liver smoothie, fry it up or you can just take some desiccated liver caps if you aren’t into the taste. Don’t worry I cringed too when someone mentioned raw liver, even cooked it didn’t exactly tickle my fancy. The brain also contains some pretty high levels of vitamin C, if you are so inclined… I however am not (if you follow my social media you may have seen my attempt at lamb brain, it wasn’t pretty!).
What about retinol (vitamin A)? Well for starters if you have specific polymorphism’s (genetic issues) you wont be able to convert the betacarotene from the plants you are consuming. This is the precursor to retinol (vit A). Luckily for us carnivores, retinol is found in huge concentrations in the liver (I know, I know, what’s up with this chicks obsession with freaking organ meat). You see, betacarotene is not a molecule that humans use, we require an enzyme (BCMO-1) effected by certain single nucleotide polymorphism’s which inhibit or decrease the efficiency that we convert betacarotene (plant precursor) into retinol (actively used format) – nerd alert.
Heme iron is one we don’t even need to discuss, we all know the best format hands down – eat meat folks!
Fiber… Look we don’t need fiber to poop, in some cases it actually seems to make people worse, especially if you have SIBO due to feeding the methane producing bacteria. It certainly worsens bloating and gas for most people (including me). I’ve never had healthier poops since starting carnivore. There are some who discuss pre-cancerous lesions that are suppose to be eliminated by including fiber. This is just not the case. In some studies it actually made certain cancers or adenomas worse (colon cancer included). There are bacteria found in the gut that are able to turn protein into short chain fatty acids so we are pretty safe not having fiber for a healthy and happy gut lining.
We are supposed to also consume ligaments, tendons, bones (calcium) testes (oh hey there sweetbreads) and yes the thyroid. But the reality is that here in a western society we are not going to be eating brain all that often, so we supplement. The balance of amino acid is not found in only muscle meat. We need connective tissues (bones and tendon) for collagen (this is why I add it in as a supplement). Muscle meat is high in methionine, but low in glycine. As much as I wish I could live on steak alone, I know I need to mix it up (enter those organ meats I mentioned).
I’m also a fan of salmon roe, I mean I love some wild caught fish but the mercury content adds up eventually so eating smaller amounts that have a higher nutrient density means less exposure to mercury. Plus salmon roe are high in Omega 3’s (which we cannot make) in the most bioavailable format (so is krill oil if you prefer to supplement). But check this fun fact out, duck that has been fed a diet of flax seed is going to have 3 times the Omega 3 as salmon without any of the mercury. Great news for those who hate fish.
OK yes I do add in some greens here and there when they are in season (even if I pay for it after), who doesn’t love a good caesar salad – or was that a vodka caesar?
So why my sudden (or not so sudden) swap to carnivore and do I truly believe plants are toxic? I believe that plants can definitely effect us in a negative way, but like I said I do still plan on having the occasional plant. As far as me swapping over, it had to due with my own battle with autoimmune disease and a healing journey which has proven the best one so far. Being sick is one of the best motivators for many of us changing dietary theories. From gut health, leaky gut (plant toxins and autoimmunity) all the way to purely performance based motivation.
Remember that how we approach the diet will be based on where we are coming from. If you are like me it was a place of ‘sickness” but for you it may be a place of wellness where you are just looking for a boost. The one thing that is standard no matter which dietary theory you follow – eat quality.
Looking at getting into the carnivore diet, why not book for a mini session with yours truly https://hollywarnerhealth.com/product/carnivore/
Holly Warner Health
Holly Warner is a Functional Medicine Practitioner and Cannabinoid Therapist who specializes in hormone imbalances, bHRT (bio-identical hormone replacement therapy), thyroid/gut/adrenal health, autoimmune disease, LDN therapy, functional genetic testing and clinical/forensic nutrition. Her approach is rooted in science while combined with a modern holistic perspective.