Weight loss and the many ways to actually accomplish that goal have been the subject of discussion for several decades in the United States, as well as in other developed countries around the world. But some of the actual diets used in these efforts, have been and continue to be somewhat extreme.
For example, many veteran dieters may remember popular fad diets based solely on cabbage soup or extremely low-calorie, protein shakes. Even more extreme are the diets that include days of water-only fasting or those where dieters drink only small amounts of juice combined with fasting or other restrictive measures. But the most extreme of all may well be the diet currently gaining in popularity -- a completely carnivorous one.
What is a carnivorous diet?
As the name implies, a carnivorous diet focuses on eating animal-related foods, including meat, poultry, fish, and seafood. Some carnivorous dieters also include additional foods sourced from animals, such as full-fat dairy products, like cheese, yogurt, and butter, while others follow an even more restrictive way of eating that includes only meat, usually beef, and water to drink.
The most surprising aspect of a carnivorous diet is that this way of eating does not simply recommend the inclusion of animal-related foods, along with certain vegetables, fruits, and grains. Instead, carnivorous dieters limit their menu to only animal-related foods, eschewing other food groups completely.
Well, what about scurvy and Vitamin C?
Because a solely carnivorous diet is so extreme and the group of people who eat this way is still very small, few studies have been done to determine whether or not it is a healthy way to lose weight. Many carnivorous dieters cite the nearly century-old research and experiences of Canadian anthropologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson as evidence of the healthfulness and effectiveness of eating a carnivorous diet.
His studies of native Inuits in the Arctic led him to believe that the body does not require carbohydrates to fuel healthy function. Instead, he extrapolated on the idea that the body could burn fat, both ingested or stored, as fuel in the absence of carbohydrate intake and would be healthier for doing so. The basic Inuit diet of sea creatures, like fish, whales, and seals, along with native land animals, such as caribou, bears, and birds have become the basis for today's carnivore diet.
If you are interested in the carnivore diet or need help finding a weight loss program that is healthy and well-suited to you, take time to discuss your situation and concerns with your family doctor or medical health care professional.