Carnivore, Vegan, and everything in between
Recently I’ve seen a rising trend toward the Carnivore Diet. This meat-heavy diet has many people feeling better and even reversing the effects of chronic illnesses and disease. In fact, many might attest that it is the best diet out there. However, with every diet fad, it’s worth asking what about that diet is causing positive results for patients. What’s particularly interesting here is that while the Carnivore Diet is anecdotally producing great results for many individuals, plant-based vegan and vegetarian diets often yield similar results in other individuals. So, what’s going on here? How can two virtually opposite diets both be working well for so many people?
To answer these questions, we must forget the notion that there is one best diet for all people. Different individuals have unique body chemistry, so they need different things in their diets.
What is the best diet?
The best diet for you will depend on many different factors, and that’s where functional medicine can be especially helpful. Biochemical, genetic (and gut microbiome) individuality are all tenets of Functional Medicine. With this focus on the whole person rather than a symptom-based healthcare approach, we can evaluate the efficacy and safety of various diets and choose the right program for your body. However, nutrition is an evolving science. So, it can take some trial and error to find a fitting program.
Is a carnivorous diet safe?
I would love to see more research and data about the Carnivore Diet, but anecdotally, it has proven to be safe for many patients. The reality is that people who get results from this or any diet are likely giving their body something it needs and/or taking away something that is causing dysfunction, imbalance or disease. Additionally, like any diet, this one is best attempted under the care of a physician.