Can the Carnivore Diet heal you?  Is it another fad diet, or are there incredible healing powers in this way of eating?  Surely, so many Dr’s, therapists and influencers can’t be wrong.  Or is there more to it than that?


Because I come from a gut healing, GAPS perspective, I see the Carnivore diet as an elimination diet – just as Stage 1 of the GAPS protocol does.  You remove everything from your diet besides red meat such as Beef and Lamb so that the gut is able to detox and heal.  On Carnivore you can prepare the meat any way you wish, but on GAPS you ‘pre-digest’ the meat by either making a meat stock or a stew, cooking the meat in water and salt and thereby softening the fibres in the meat and making it easier to digest.

The Lion Diet

Some people have a digestive system that is so damaged, that these are the only food they can tolerate and digest.  Even veering off the diet slightly will cause a reaction.  Mikhaela Peterson who has created The Lion Diet, is a perfect example of being so sensitive or intolerant to various foods. If she introduces anything other than beef or lamb, salt and water into her diet that she has a reaction or her autoimmune condition returns.  In Mikhaela’s case, she was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis from a very young age and had to have her ankle replaced. She was on copious amounts of medication to try and control her autoimmune condition and treat her depression and anxiety due to her condition.  As long as she follows the Lion Diet, she has no symptoms of RA.  You can watch her story on YouTube here.  Her story is incredible.

All Disease begins in the Gut

According to GAPS, all disease begins in the gut.  If your gut is damaged, you are unable to absorb the essential nutrients needed to have a healthy mind, immune system and digestive system.  This in turn affects every organ and system in the body.  Dr Natasha McBride also believes that an autoimmune condition is not the body turning on itself or attacking itself, which is the way that the medical system views it, but rather that your body is trying to protect you and heal you.  The body is so incredibly clever – It’s sole purpose is survival.  It will shut down organs, if needed for survival.  We need to look at the body as a whole and not separate organs and systems from each other.  Removing the gallbladder due to gallstones for example is not always necessary.  You need to look at the body as a whole and heal it as a whole.  This is where the GAPS protocol comes in and heals the body in a holistic way, starting with the gut microbiome.


But, back to Carnivore and figuring out whether it is sustainable as a lifestyle.  Many Carnivore Dr’s and patients have been on the Carnivore diet for years and feel that it’s best for their health or health condition.  I prefer to see or use it as an elimination diet and as a healing protocol.  I would personally move clients from the Carnivore diet onto the GAPS Introduction Diet (more on the GAPS Introduction protocol in a future blog post).

Reason for going Carnivore

My husband and I decided to do the Carnivore Diet from the 1st January 2023.  We were both overweight, not sleeping properly – even though we were exercising and feeling as though we weren’t overeating or consuming too much alcohol – and just felt tired and unmotivated to do anything.  All the weight was around the mid-section, which signified metabolic issues and high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

We did a lot of research before deciding to embark on the Carnivore Diet and within the first week we already began to feel better.  More energy, better sleep, satiated, no cravings.  BUT, that also came with nausea, chronic diarrhoea (the body getting used the increased fat intake), a bit of reflux and headaches.  I’m assuming the headaches were either from detoxing or from dehydration or an imbalance in electrolytes, which can happen when you remove carbs and sugar from the diet.

What we eat

Thankfully, it only lasted about 2 weeks and then everything was good.  It has been very easy to follow, as when you’re in doubt as to what to eat – you just eat meat and fat.  You don’t have to guess or figure out what you should make for meals, as your go to is eggs and bacon or sausage for breakfast, beef or lamb for lunch and dinner.  What we both found helpful was drinking meat or chicken stock daily.  It calmed the nervous system and gut and helped with a bit of nausea.  The fat in the stock also helps to make you feel full, so you don’t feel like snacking. Here is a recipe for chicken/meat stock.

Eggs and Sausage

So, why only protein and fat?  Why cut out carbs or vegetables and fruit?  The problem with Carbs is that you can eat as much as you like, but you never feel full.  You can just keep going.  And, the more carbs you eat, the more you crave.  It is often what leads to insulin resistance and metabolic conditions.  If you increase your carb and sugar intake, you have to produce more insulin to protect your body from excess glycogen.  Therefore, if your blood sugar levels increase, your insulin levels go up and your body is not able to deal with all the glycogen in your system.  It then has to start pushing the glycogen into fat cells and this becomes a vicious cycle of your body trying to protect you.

Another issue is the intake of Seed Oils such as sunflower oil, canola, rapeseed, soy, rice bran oil, palm oil and sesame oil.  An increased intake of seed oils are toxic to the cells in our body and in order for the body to protect the cells, it pushes these seed oils into fat cells.  Dr Ray Peat is a renowned scientist who studied the effects of Seed Oils on the human body.  You can read his article here.

Blood Test Results

So, my husband and I stayed on the Carnivore diet for 6 months, and after 4 months we had our blood tests done and compared it to our previous blood tests.  The results were astonishing.

My Blood Test Results

  • My cholesterol went up – I have never had high cholesterol and it was now in the ‘red zone’.  My LDL went up, as did my HDL, but my triglycerides remained around the same – maybe slightly elevated.  My specialist was not concerned with these numbers because she was aware that I had been on a meat and fat diet and this was the reason.  She wasn’t concerned about heart disease or strokes, which is what mainstream medicine would like you to believe causes these conditions.
  • Interestingly, my insulin levels almost halved.  Last year my test results showed 9.5 and this test it was 4.5.  My specialist stated that I was no longer insulin resistant and my Blood glucose levels are around 5, which is very good.
  • My hormones are stable and have improved slightly, even though I came off all Bio Identical hormones from the 1stJanuary 2023.  This was a real surprise for me.  My specialist said that I am not entering menopause just yet, which is good news as last year it felt as though I was.  For those of you who don’t know, I turned 50 this year.

My Husbands Blood Test Results

  • My husbands cholesterol also increased slightly – his cholesterol has been high in the past but he refused to take statins for it.  His levels were quite stable, but his triglycerides came right down from 106mg/dL to 89mg/dL.  This is the marker to look out for regarding being at high risk for heart disease.
  • His HBA1C, which are his blood glucose level average over the past 3 months went from 5.9 to 5.7.  Still a bit high which is why his Doctor has advised him to stay on the Carnivore diet for another 6 months and then we can look at introducing other food.  In 2019 his blood glucose levels were 6.5 which was pre-diabetic.  His insulin levels have gone from 12 to 7, which means he was insulin resistant and is now under the borderline for insulin resistance.  Amazing for someone who was an absolute Carb addict.
  • His Uric Acid levels have come down.  They were over 8 (the limit and in red) last time he tested and Dr’s were advising him to cut out red meat and now with eating only red meat and fat his Uric Acid levels have come down to 6.05.  Crazy right?
  • Vitamin D levels have increased, testosterone and DHEA has increased, Lymphocytes have decreased.

The added bonus for both of us, considering the results above is that my husband has lost 20 kg’s and I have lost 8 kg’s.  We have reached a plateau at the moment and are therefore reluctant to just stop the Carnivore Diet, but my husband will continue for the next 6 months and then have his blood test done again and I will start moving onto a more keto/GAPS approach.

Now What?

I have to say I am perplexed.  Everything I have learnt from my studies in Nutrition seems to be turned on it’s head when considering what a difference eating just red meat, eggs, some dairy and SATURATED animal fat has made to our health and the way we feel.

What do you think about any of the information in this blog post?  Have you tried carnivore, keto, paleo or GAPS?  Do you have any gut issues or health conditions?  I would love to hear your thoughts.  You can reply here or on my instagram page – Rene Wright Nutrition.