There’s been a wave of vegan bloggers and YouTubers who are no longer vegan. Why is this happening, and why is the carnivore diet even a thing?
While I’m not vegan 100% of the time, I like to have a plant based diet on Monday to Friday. This means that I’m always on the lookout for tasty, hearty and health plant based recipes, which means I follow a few vegan YouTubers like Pick up Limes and Rachel Ama.
I also follow some nutritional commentary channels, like Abbie Sharp and Unnatural Vegan, and I’ve watched some very interesting videos recently!
If you haven’t just hit play, I recommend that you do! Yes, some raw vegans are now introducing meat into their diets… and some are ditching plants for meat entirely! This is a huge 180, and it’s kind of worrying.
So, is it worth trying? Well…
First of all, it’s going to be costly
How much is your weekly food budget? Do you buy a lot of meat already?
Odds are, your bills will go up a lot if you were to try this diet. Advocates are keen that you should only have grass fed, organic meats and animal products like dairy and eggs.
I had a look online for meat delivery boxes. I found this keto box for £65, and if you’re following the standard rules of two meals a day and meeting your calorific needs… this box won’t be enough. Abbey Sharp has calculated the amount of meat you’d need to eat, and it’s staggering.
Bottom line, this is not the budget friendly blog. It’s for the privileged among us.
It costs the planet too
Meat is playing a huge role in our ongoing climate crisis, thanks to deforestation and aggressive farming. Therefore, if you’d like to help our Earth (there is no planet B after all), then you may want to avoid this diet.
It’s like keto, but more extreme
I’m not the biggest fan of the ketogenic diet, but keto looks moderate compared to the carnivore diet! With keto at least, you should be getting plenty of green vegetables in your meals.
You can’t even have avocados on the carnivore diet. Travesty.
Are you ready for scurvy?
Fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains are packed with nutrients. So what will happen if you cut them out?
The two main concerns about cutting out plant based foods are a lack of fibre and a lack of vitamin C. Without enough fibre, you’re at risk of digestive disorders ranging from constipation to diarrhoea.
And, without vitamin C, you’re at risk of basically becoming a pirate. Nobody wants that.
You may increase your risk of certain cancers
There is now solid evidence that a diet rich in red and processed meats, is bad for our gut health because it substantially increases the risk of colon and rectal cancer.
Here in the UK, the NHS recommends that you should only eat 70g of red or processed meat a day. In order to meet this target on the carnivore diet, you’d have to focus on eating lean meats like chicken or fish. I don’t think that the men who seem to love this diet are down for this. They want their steaks!
It’s not an elimination diet
Elimination diets should to be medically monitored, preferably by a dietician. The whole point of an elimination diet, such as one that eliminates gluten, diary, or FODMAPS, is to eliminate and then reintroduce in order to gain a greater understand of your digestive needs.
What’s more, this diet contains a lot of elements which are typically removed from elimination diets in the first place, particularly dairy and eggs. I think that branding this way of eating as a form of healthy elimination is nothing short of a lie.
Lastly, it’s part of toxic diet culture
Personally, I think that this diet is yet another part of the wider, toxic diet culture which we face every, damn day. It’s up there with skinny ‘detox’ teas and eating dozens of bananas every day.
It’s also a very masculine part of diet culture. Loving meat, particularly big and juicy steaks, is seen as an ideal male trait and, as we all know in this industry, protein is king.
Diet culture focuses a lot on how it affects women, but let’s not forget that men can be targets too and can also suffer from eating disorders. The recommendations might be different (i.e. women only eating salads and men only eating meat), but the toxic nature is the same.
If you’re still keen to try this diet, I recommend this article. It’s funny to read, but would be hellish to actually go through.