Here's the thing about the carnivore diet. Because you eliminate so many problematic foods in our culture today, some people will get crazy good results, not necessarily from eating all meat but from removing all the junk.
There's going to be a spectrum here. Some people will get more benefits from removing toxic foods, and then if they ate a balanced diet that included animal proteins and fats and maybe some plants here and there and certain things like that, they're going to be able to do very well.
Many in the carnivore community go down to those minute toggles and try to find out what's perfect. Should you eat plants, no plants, all meat, this, what fat, protein, more or less, whatever.
99% of people don't need to go there. They don't. If you're at that point where you've already gone to carnivore, and you're doing a strict carnivore and want to optimize different things for specific goals, then you should explore those additional rabbit holes. You should test, tweak, and optimize for yourself.
I'm now six months into this, and there are certain low-toxin plant foods that I'll have in my diet from time to time. I've been loving strawberries lately; they are clean and comfortable; they fill me up. They are super low sugar and high satiety and get rid of my sweet tooth. Avocados, some days I'm just craving it, sounds fantastic. I eat it with just salt; so good. On other days, it doesn't entice me at all.
Then still, as the bulk of my diet, it's mostly animal proteins.
So to simplify this for you, if you're new to this, just getting into it, thinking about it, whatever, the reason you want to go towards that carnivore end of the spectrum, that most animals end of the spectrum, is because it helps eliminate those foods. And for you, there are going to be certain foods that affect you more than others. Getting rid of corn is going to change your life.
Maybe you're eating cassava chips because that's paleo, and it's approved in those circles. Then you take it out because it's not a carnivore, and again, it changed your life because cassava was destroying your gut, for example.
The entire spectrum could be green beans; it could be peas, it could be this, it could be maybe white rice you're eating, it could be spinach, there's going to be the foods in there you don't know how they affect you until you remove them completely. Then you can test adding them back in. So that's the evolution of the carnivore diet for most people.
Let's eliminate everything, and go straight meat, straight seafood. Let's see how the body adapts. Let's add strategic low-toxin foods, avocados, and berries, and maybe experiment with white rice here and there. You could do some iceberg lettuce because it's, like, whatever, it's mostly 99% water, filling.
It's going to depend on what you like, it's going to depend on your biology, it's going to depend on what your body responds well to, and then you start building a log of the foods that affect you because this is now what I think about the carnivore diet.
You have a small, select group of people, maybe with specific autoimmune issues, that have to go straight carnivore. And that even have to go to the Mikhaila Peterson-style where it's the Lion Diet, and it's just beef, water, and salt. It's the far end of this spectrum.
And then you start coming back a little bit. And you're primarily a carnivore, but you eat a little dairy. You try some whole milk yogurt or different things like that. You experience here and there based on what you like, what you respond to, and your goals. And then that's a category of people. And then you have a variety of people that does carnivore plus yogurt or maybe no yogurt, but adds certain plants, avocado, berries, sort of like I talked about.
You have people who want to do a good amount of plants in their diet and do a lot of the low toxins because they want to eat a lot of butter and lard.
They want to do maybe a high-fat style, and they want to keep their protein around 20%. Perhaps they want to have seafood or no seafood at all once or twice a week. They may want to start with grass-fed beef and keep it super simple. They could be somewhere in the middle here. And they can eat 50% of their calories from the plant kingdom in varying ways.
The key, though, is to make that successful because the further we get from the carnivore end of the spectrum, the more issues we'll get and the more things we have to consider. It takes work. The further you go from the range, the more difficult it is. There are more variables. But when you get to that spectrum, and you've removed things, and you come back in, you can have a list of foods you know your body intuitively does well with and enjoy. Where you take, how often you have cheat meals, what you add to your diet, whatever, it's 100% up to you.
This is a problem with all diet and nutrition advice people want, "Do this, don't do this" across the board.
They want, literally, nothing in the middle.
They want to avoid a spectrum in the middle.
They want black or white; it's either plant-based, all plants are good, or animal-based, all animals are good.
And that's closer to the truth than this side, but you see what I'm saying? It's black versus white; people want simplicity. They don't want to think about it; they don't want to do experimentation where they take foods out and put them back in.
That's way too much work. And if that's you, then yeah, you should eat a mostly carnivore diet. Consider throwing in a bit of dairy and spices to add variety and flavor to your life.
But for 99% of the people, you should go over to the strict carnivore and then walk back and figure out where you will fall in that middle. And if you don't want to step back, if this works for you just fine, if you're not a foodie like me that enjoys certain plant foods at certain times, that enjoys being able to eat out and travel and do those things, then stick to the carnivore diet, and you will be in optimal health if you do it the right way.
There are a few considerations, but generally, it's pretty easy to live a long and healthy life by just eating clean, happy animal products like ... That is the simple solution.
But if you want to factor in other things, like lifestyle, enjoyment, and mental sanity, then you'll have to go to this end, come back, and go through the trajectories. Go through testing dairy. Test things like avocados, berries, and certain other low-toxin foods—test whether you should have coffee. Test what of those plant foods you do well with and if you want to have them more often. You could spread your diet a little bit and maybe have more salads.
This is the trajectory that everybody should take, but also, it's a way to redefine the carnivore diet. It's hard because carnivore is a keyword; people search for it. But really, it's something closer to an animal-based way of eating. And we can make that a meaningful way of eating because an essential way of eating is animal-based.
Now I will add one disclaimer to close this video out. So for all the strict carnivores out there, there's one thing for sure. It is a first principle of human health that our ancestors would not have eaten meat daily. You can look at this as meat fasting; you can do a two-day fast, which I did last week in Florida. It was amazing. I will do that way more often, which is doing multi-day fasts. So unique, so amazing. I can't recommend it enough.
Our ancestors would not have been able to have meat year-round all the time, every day without fail. No way could have happened. And even if, like a couple of humans in history, done that, their whole life they were able to have meat every single day, they're going to be the exception rather than the rule. That's why I believe that fasting from meat and fasting completely. So you could do your two-day fast where you don't eat meat at all, which has to go along with the carnivore diet.
I'll do a video on that and look at some evidence. Look at the frequency of eating animals; look at some hunter-gatherers that we have observed. From most of the research I've done without explicitly trying to look into that, it seems hunters in small hunter-gatherer groups would go for periods without successfully killing meat. They would go for periods without meat, eat plants during that time, or maybe they wouldn't eat anything for a while. So that should be added to the carnivore community that we discuss more.
I think the carnivore diet plus fasting go hand in hand. Any diet plus fasting goes hand in hand. I've heard some people talk about not thinking you need to fast on a carnivore because it mimics some of the benefits. I'm afraid I have to disagree with that. If you look at fasting, fasting is whether you eat calories. Like you have fasting or feeding.
This is an evolutionary first principle of human health. People think of fasting as a weight-loss trick, gimmick, hack, or whatever. I don't think about that at all. It is the first human health principle, human metabolism, just like resting and being active, fasting, feeding, night and day. It's only natural. So that's what I'll leave you with today.
I know this video doesn't offer you any crazy call to action or anything simple, but it should give you some ways to think about what you're doing and maybe some things to experiment with. Don't fall into the dogma of thinking that you have to eat only this or only that or whatever. Experiment, and find out what works for you.
There is a perfect human diet for most people. And as much as I hate the "what works for you" advice, because you see it used poorly in like the calories in, calories out camp. If you're using it from a first-principles approach where you're mainly eating clean, healthy animals and then you're going to experiment with some of the low-toxin plant foods, and you're going to listen to your body, then absolutely figuring out what works for you is the best thing you should do. But if you're using the "Well, if it fits your macros and you're under 2,000 calories a day, you can eat pretty much whatever you want." If that is what you're going by, then I'd call it nonsense.
So that's it for today. Like, subscribe, and share if you want to or don't, but make sure you subscribe because I got way more videos coming out on the carnivore diet, plus all things related to health and just being an optimal human in the modern world. I'll see you at the next one.