The latest fad diet sweeping the internet is the carnivore diet (also known as the zero carb diet). The idea is that by cutting out all plants and only eating meat you’ll quickly lose fat, control your appetite, improve strength and vitality, and actually cure many chronic illnesses. I call it a fad because it has all the classic signs of a fad diet:
- Promises fast fat loss,
- Promises to control appetite so it feels easier,
- Promises to improve health so you’ll feel better,
- Has no or limited scientific evidence to back claims,
- Yet has many anecdotal stories of success,
- But ultimately even the biggest proponents have no idea what the long-term health consequences are.
That last point is my biggest problem with the carnivore diet. There are all kinds of unhealthy ways to burn off body fat. Some cause short-term damage, while others inflict lasting harm. Other diets (like low-carb diets), which were once thought of as fads, eventually proved their safety and effectiveness and became legitimate dietary practices. The question is which is the carnivore diet, a dangerous fad or a pioneering breakthrough?
I’ll go over why the carnivore diet works, my concerns about it’s long-term safety, and what you can do to minimize those potential unknown harms.