The carnivore diet is the latest evolution in low-carb and ultra-low carb diets––a category which The Kaufmann Diet belongs to, as well. What makes the carnivore diet unique, however, is that it does not focus on macronutrients, i.e., carbohydrates vs. fats vs. protein like other diets do (this is one similarity the carnivore diet has with The Kaufmann Diet, which does not encourage macro counting, nor does it ask you to count calories). Instead, the carnivore diet focuses exclusively on meat, fish, and eggs, with some versions allowing some dairy products. All other foods are excluded, including fruits, vegetables, nuts––everything else.
Proponents of the carnivore diet say that it can assist in weight loss, aid in blood sugar control, improve mood and brain function, and protect against chronic diseases. Anecdotally, many people report some very positive benefits after going on the carnivore diet for a period of time.
Interestingly, the idea that you can survive exclusively on animal products is not a new idea. The Inuit, native to the arctic circle regions of North America, long survived on a traditional diet consisting exclusively of animal products. Obviously, edible plants are hard to come by in regions where the soil never thaws and it is dark for months on end every year. The Inuit, however, did not experience diet-related health problems the way one would assume, surviving merely on meat and an animal fat.
The way the Inuit did this, however, underscores some issues with the modern version of the carnivore diet.
The Inuit, who often hunted whales, seals, polar bears, and caribou, let no part of the animal go to waste. They ate every edible part, including the organs, marrow––anything they could digest. Organ meats and marrow, as it turns out, are rich sources of nutrition, and it is more than possible to get the wide spectrum of necessary nutrients when you are letting no part of the animal go to waste. This is one reason why we have recommended adding some organ meats to your Kaufmann Diet before.
The same cannot necessarily be said for simply eating ribeyes and eggs. Eating the extremely limited cuts of meat we are familiar with in Western diets simply does not supply the wide array of nutrients that would promote optimal health if you are eating those, exclusively.
One thing the carnivore diet does get right, especially from the paradigm of The Kaufmann lifestyle, is that it virtually eliminates sugar. Not only is this good for helping control wild spikes of insulin, which can have negative downstream effects, it is highly useful for someone trying to eliminate pathogenic yeast and fungi from their system. Eliminating sugar is one of the most powerful tools you have available.
By and large however, The Kaufmann Diet encourages a wide array of vegetables, nuts, seeds, and some fruits, which contain a wonderful array of phytonutrients––many of which have potent anti-fungal properties––which support health. These foods also contain fiber, and important nutrients lacking in animal products, which is necessary for good gut health. You miss these benefits if you are sticking to an exclusively carnivorous diet.