Carnivore Side Effects

Although the carnivore diet has been slowly gaining popularity for how it helps in weight loss, feeling more energetic, and other health benefits, some studies show that this diet may also cause some side effects in a few people.

Let's take a look at some of the common issues and the long-term risks associated with the carnivore diet.

Common Side Effects of The Carnivore Diet

When you first start the carnivore diet, your body might go through a bit of a shock as it adjusts to a high-fat, high-protein way of eating. One common issue is stomach trouble. Since there's very little fiber, you might get constipated. Others might actually experience diarrhea as their gut bacteria change and they digest more fat than usual.

Feeling a bit under the weather is also normal. Headaches, nausea, and tiredness can happen – it's your body switching from using carbs for energy to using fat instead. Think of it as a milder version of the "keto flu" that people on low-carb diets sometimes get. You might even have trouble sleeping or feel a little cranky for a while.

To ease these side effects, the most important thing is to stay hydrated!  Drink plenty of water and make sure you're getting enough electrolytes like sodium. Some people also find that gentle exercise, like walking or yoga, helps them feel better and aids digestion.

    Long Term Risks And Health Concerns

    Apart from these short-term changes that you may notice, some people have also warned about long-term effects of the carnivore diet. While these are not fully proven, it's important to still know about them.

    High Cholesterol: Lots of meat means lots of saturated fat. This can raise your "bad" cholesterol (LDL), which is linked to heart disease and stroke. The good news is many people on this diet see their cholesterol settle down over time. Focusing on grass-fed meats and avoiding processed stuff helps too.

    Deficiency in Nutrition: Carnivore diet means that you'll not be allowed to eat things like fruits, veggies, and all plant foods. This might cause you to miss out on important vitamins and minerals. Over time, this could lead to problems like scurvy (not enough vitamin C) or anemia (not enough iron).

    Tip:Eating organ meats (they're super nutritious!) or taking supplements can help fill in some of these gaps.

    Increased Sodium: Processed meats like bacon and sausage are loaded with sodium (salt). This can raise your blood pressure and put stress on your kidneys.

    Heart Problems: The combo of high cholesterol and too much salt puts a strain on your heart and blood vessels. This is a major concern, especially if you already have any heart-related issues.

    Mental Health Issues: Eating such a limited diet can make it hard to socialize and might even affect your mood. It's important to be aware of how this could impact your mental health. On the plus side, there are some studies that show a positive improvement in mood and cognition, and lower depression levels in people who follow the carnivore diet.

    It's important to look at both sides of the coin when switching to a major lifestyle change like the carnivore diet. If you really want to make the move, talk to your doctor first.  They can help you weigh the pros and cons and make sure it's a safe choice for you.