Is the Carnivore Diet an Ideal Diet?

 In Health, Human History & Evolution, My Notebook, Nutrition, The Carnivore Diet

First if we take a look at human evolution, humans began eating animals 2.5 million years ago – and that was a key player in our evolution, in the size of our brains. The nutrients found in animals was so crucial to who we became as humans.

Now if you reverse engineer it for a moment and have a think about, how do I get all the nutrients I need? And how do I get them all in the most bio-available forms? In this thought experiment – would you agree that the ideal diet would be completely nutrient replete, and have all the nutrients that a human needs, and in the most bio-available forms, and with the absence of toxins?

Can we agree that this is the definition of a good diet or perhaps the ideal human diet?

If we accept that, than it follows, based on significant research, that it’s pretty much indisputable that an animal based diet is going to satisfy that.

You have all the nutrients that a human needs to thrive, and in the most bio-available forms and there are none of the plant toxins.

As far as we’re aware of right now with nutritional science, there are no toxins naturally occurring in animals. (The idea of toxins with cooking animals is different, but there are no toxins naturally occurring in animals like there are in plants who use those toxins as defense chemicals.)

So if we accept that this is a reasonable definition of an ideal diet, a nutrient rich diet or a diet that could promote human health, it’s totally plausible to imagine that an animal-based, nose-to-tail carnivore diet meets that very well.

Now the nuance comes in with the fact that humans are all very individual. And some people can probably tolerate more-or-less plants on top of an animal based diet which can create variety. However, humans don’t require this to obtain all the nutrients that are bio-available, but if people want to eat those things, some people can tolerate more plant foods than others.

What we seem to observe, however, is that some people don’t tolerate them at all! Some people feel best when they eliminate plants completely.

For those people that can tolerate plants, even if just a little bit, it gives them some freedom to think that ‘well yes, maybe there isn’t anything good for me in this lettuce, or nothing I’m not getting in the meat and animal organs that I’m eating, but I’m gonna have a salad because I like it or because I’m just want some variety’ This is fine.

So a nose-to-tail carnivore diet could very well be a construct of an ideal human diet to which people could add plant foods that they tolerate, and as they want to, and hopefully with the idea that they would have some sense of where the toxins would be in those foods, trying to eliminate those most toxic plants accordingly. They might do just fine with adding in some plant foods and have some variety there as well.

And some people might do best on no plant foods, especially those who have severe illness, autoimmune disease, etc.

Source: Saladino, Paul, guest. “Part 47 – The Great Meat Debate w/ Mark Sisson, Dr. Paul Saladino, & Dr. Shawn Baker” Peak Human, 18 July 2019.

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