‘Carnivore MD’ Says Carnivore Diet Negatively Impacted His Health

Eating mostly meat gave Paul Saladino heart palpitations and a dip in testosterone


3 Minutes Read

Piece of steak on a fork There's little evidence that the carnivore diet is good for health - Media Credit: Adobe Stock

One of the leading proponents of the “carnivore diet” has said that he gave up the diet after experiencing “persistence of unpleasant symptoms.”

Read more: Does Meat Really Provide All Nutrients You Need? Top Carnivore Myths Debunked

Physician Paul Saladino, formerly known as Carnivore MD, went on the More Plates More Dates podcast to talk about why he quit the diet. He described how being on the almost exclusively meaty diet for two years made his testosterone drop and caused sleep disturbances, heart palpitations, and muscle cramps.

“I started to think, maybe long-term ketosis is not great for me,” he said. Ketosis is when your body uses fat as its main energy source, as opposed to carbohydrates. He said that he conducted some research and concluded that ketosis is “probably not a great thing for most humans.”

TikTok fitness influencer Ben Carpenter shared the interview with his 740,000 followers. “Honestly, I am torn,” he said. “I love seeing people change their mind publicly. Admitting mistakes shows maturity and growth.” But he said Saladino could have done his research “before he wrote a carnivore book, but hey ho.”

The carnivore diet

plant wholefoods
bit24 – stock.adobe.com There is plenty of evidence that eating more plants is good for health

The carnivore diet has developed a cult following thanks to figures such as Saladino, who wrote The Carnivore Code and an accompanying cookbook. The Carnivore Code claims to unlock “the secrets to optimal health by returning to our ancestral diet.” Other well-known proponents of meat-heavy diets include Shawn Baker and Jordan Peterson.

Read more: ‘Groundbreaking’ Study Of Identical Twins Finds Benefits Of Plant-Based Diet For Heart Health

The “ancestral diet” means that which our paleolithic ancestors are believed by some to have eaten. It consists mainly of meat, some eggs, and some dairy. Several studies have shown that it is actually not the case that our ancestors ate mostly meat, with evidencing pointing to high intakes of plants.

On the podcast Saladino describes how he now eats fruit and honey too, as well as raw milk and raw cheese – despite the health hazard unpasteurized dairy poses.

There is a wealth of evidence of the significant health benefits of eating more plants and fiber over meat. Meanwhile, health experts have warned that there is little evidence supporting health claims made about the carnivore diet. Most of the “evidence” is anecdotal.

Even Baker admitted earlier this year that “We just don’t have the data that shows” whether the carnivore diet will benefit health long-term. Despite this, he continues to promote the diet to his many social media followers. 

Read more: Eating More Vegan Protein May Reduce Risk Of Chronic Kidney Disease, Study Finds

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