Bear Grylls Criticized After Endorsing Meat-Heavy Diet

The adventurer claims to eat one steak and up to six eggs every day


4 Minutes Read

Adventurer Bear Grylls, an advocate of meat-heavy diets Bear Grylls is a vocal critic of plant-based diets - Media Credit: ATHENA PICTURE AGENCY ZING LIMITED / Alamy Stock Photo

Bear Grylls has been criticized on social media after endorsing a diet high in animal products to his 7.5 million followers.

Read more: The ‘King’ Of Carnivore Diet Admits He Doesn’t Know The Long-Term Effects

The former SAS trooper and adventurer, who is a vocal critic of plant-based diets, described his daily meal plan as one of his hacks for a “happy, healthy life” on his Instagram page. He claimed to eat one steak, three to six eggs, Greek yogurt, and fruit every day. He also says he drinks 16 ounces of electrolyte water. 

While some proponents of high meat diets praised his recommendation, many commenters voiced concerns about the ethical, environmental, and health implications of his food choices. “It is totally impossible for the entire world to eat a diet like you recommend,” wrote one. “It is already tragic how most of our livestock are treated here in the UK. I am a plant based weightlifter, I eat 130g of protein a day and I’ll never look back!!.” A second stated that his Grylls’ goes against “all the scientific evidence.”

“Not only is it on average unhealthy, but also terrible for the planet and not the least: completely unrealistic and expensive for the average person,” they added. Another said that his diet is “slowly killing the planet,” and urged Grylls to go vegan.

Read more: ‘Carnivore MD’ Says Carnivore Diet Negatively Impacted His Health 

The problem with meat-heavy diets

As well as being responsible for the deaths of trillions of animals each year (many of whom are kept in intensive farming systems), animal agriculture is also a leading cause of the climate crisis. It’s responsible for at least 16.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and it’s also driving deforestation, biodiversity loss, and species extinction.

Grass-fed beef, which Grylls advocates for, is regarded by some as the most environmentally destructive food on the planet. As well as the fact that it takes up huge amounts of land (grazing animals use up 26 percent of the world’s terrestrial land), cows are the biggest contributor to human-caused methane emissions. 

When it comes to health, diets high in animal protein are linked with a number of diseases. Shireen Kassam, consultant hematologist, author, and founder of Plant Based Health Professionals UK, told Plant Based News that it’s “disappointing” to see Grylls advocate for a food plan “that is far removed from the consensus evidence around healthy diets.”

“Eating red meat such as steak everyday is detrimental to long-term health and will significantly increase the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and dementia,” she said. She added that humans “do not need electrolyte water” as we should “aim to get our nutrients from food.”

“These electrolytes will be found in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts and seeds,” she continued.

Bear Grylls’ meat advocacy

Adventurer Bear Grylls, an advocate of meat-heavy diets
Gavin Rodgers / Alamy Stock Photo Bear Grylls previously claimed to follow a plant-based diet

Before becoming a staunch advocate for animal foods, Grylls previously claimed to follow a plant-based diet

“I was vegan quite a few years ago – in fact, I wrote a vegan cookbook – and I feel a bit embarrassed because I really promoted that,” he previously told PA. “I thought that was good for the environment and I thought it was good for my health. And through time and experience and knowledge and study, I realized I was wrong on both counts.” He also claimed to GQ that his “health tanked” on a plant-based diet, and that it “almost” gave him kidney stones (whether vegan diets actually cause kidney stones is contested). 

The “vegan cookbook” that Grylls refers to appears to be Fuel For Life (published in 2015), which advocates for a dairy, wheat, and sugar-free lifestyle. It also contains meat recipes. Since writing it, Grylls has been a vocal advocate for diets heavy in animal protein, including dairy. 

Grylls has previously endorsed a “natural diet” made up of foods like liver, testicles, and raw dairy in a clip posted to Twitter. The video appeared to be part of a partnership between Grylls and an “ancestral supplements” brand. 

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

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