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Carnivore Diet for 1 Month – My Experience

Originally when I heard about the carnivore diet I thought it was crazy!

However, as time went on, and I looked into it more, it started to seem more realistic and potentially therapeutic.

So then, after a friend went on it and had great results, I thought I’d give it a go.

In the lead-up, I moved to a high-meat diet for 1 month prior but still ate some carbs. Gradually building up my comfort at eating so much meat.

Then, in the last month, I’ve gone pure carnivore (animal products only) eating:

  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Yogurt & Butter
Shawn Baker’s book was a great primer on the topic.

These are my takeaways so far:

  1. Avoiding cravings
    Giving myself free rein to eat meat and fat has (somehow?) allowed me to side-step my usual cravings for chocolate and carbs. I’ll probably need to continue the experiment longer to know for sure, but it appears that meat and fat are doing something for satiety that my previous diet did not.
  2. Maybe it’s more about what you don’t eat than what you do?
    I’m starting to think that if carnivore is beneficial, a lot of it comes from all the things you’re not eating. Sugar, seed oils, and processed carbohydrates are the big ones.
  3. Steadier energy levels
    My energy throughout the day feels more steady, and after big meals, I don’t crash as much. It’s not to say that digestion doesn’t slow me down a bit, but it’s a different feeling.
  4. No lack of energy for sport
    Energy levels are also surprisingly good. I thought that without carbohydrates I might struggle, but I’ve been running, I’ve been to the gym and trained hard, and I feel like I have normal capacity.
  5. Simplicity
    Meal decisions are very simple. However, they do require preparation. I haven’t eaten out much, and probably won’t.
Shawn Baker MD (left) and Anthony Chaffee MD (right) share great content on YouTube about Carnivore

Blood Test Results

I ran a fairly comprehensive blood panel after being on carnivore for a month, and there were a few results that stuck out:

  1. LDL and Total cholesterol were notably high:
    Total Cholesterol – 12.61 mmol/L or 487 mg/dL
    LDL-C – 9.6 mmol/L or 371 mg/dL
  2. Triglycerides were low – 0.9 mmol/L or 79 mg/dL
  3. HDL-C was high – 2.4 mmol/L or 92 mg/dL
  4. Testosterone was in a good range, whereas it’s historically been low for me:
    Total testsosterone – 31 nmol/L
    Free testosterone – 0.617 nmol/L
  5. Creatinine and Urea were high, which are kidney biomarkers:
    Creatinine: 117 umol/L or 1.32 mg/dL
    Urea: 69 mL/min

How I Interpreted My Blood Test Results

Lipids

  • I’m not concerned by the high LDL and total cholesterol. I wrote an article which concluded that having elevated levels of these markers does not condone you to an early death.
  • I’m fairly convinced by the data (see this article) that suggests low levels of triglycerides and higher HDL are associated with lower risk of early death. Thus, am happy with those two results.

Testosterone

  • Testosterone – I tested my testosterone in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022, and every time my testosterone levels were below normal range – both total and free.
    Therefore, to suddenly find them high can’t be a coincidence. I assume it was either due to:
    – High consumption of protein and fat
    – No consumption of carbs and processed foods
    – Or the combination
    Give those were the main variables that I changed.

Kidney Biomarkers

I must admit I did panic a bit when these were high according to the ranges used by my blood test provider.

I spoke to a friend and he suggested to test my urine for protein. Oddly, the test stick(s) I used came back saying I had protein in my urine – which would suggest an actual problem with the kidneys.

So then I paid for an ultrasound on the kidneys, and they didn’t see any issues.

Then I got the doctor to test for protein in my urine, and they didn’t find any (maybe those test sticks I used didn’t work properly?).

So after the ultrasound coming back clear, and there not being any protein in my urine, I chalked up the higher creatinine and urea levels to my high protein diet.

I also later found some ranges tailored to the carnivore diet, such as this one, and my creatinine was in range of that.

Thoughts Since

Overall I was quite pleased with the experience. Beyond the above, my waistline became flatter than when I started – which is never bad.

However, when I added back some carbohydrates and processed food, I found myself gradually putting on fat.

In part because I was still eating lots of meat and fat and the rest.

I’m currently thinking to move back, closer to carnivore, but with some vegetables for variety.

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Jamie
Jamie
1 month ago

How are your blood tests?