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I'm thinking of going on a nearly 100% meat diet. Good idea?

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Updated October 21, 2014 at 4:39 AM
Created June 21, 2014 at 1:36 PM

My body is a mess and I want to try something extreme. I'm female, in my early 20s, 5'2 & 98 lbs. I have PCOS, acne, eczema, hair loss, depression, anxiety, IBS and low-energy levels. I also find it difficult to gain/maintain my weight - I unintentionally lost 10 lbs on paleo even though I was slathering coconut oil and butter on everything I ate.

My meat diet would include chicken, beef, lamb, pork, turkey, duck, venison, rabbit, fish, squid, octopus, prawns, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters, organ meat, bone broth, full-fat milk, butter, cheese, and an orange a day to prevent scurvy.

Would I be able to obtain all the vitamins/minerals and other essential nutrients that I need from this diet?

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-6 · June 23, 2014 at 12:41 AM

Eating brain is simply unnecessary. Although the risk of contracting prion disease may be low, I am hesitant to add prion disease to the OP's already-long list of medical issues.

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-6 · June 23, 2014 at 12:36 AM

I suppose eliminating the single orange a day that the OP is eating is unnecessary. However, eaten in reasonable quantities, high-fiber vegetables more than make up for that single orange. Additionally, I did suggest adding complex carbs to her diet, in the form of nuts and beans, to help the OP gain and maintain weight. However, it is in her best interest to consult a doctor and nutritionist for evaluation of her nutrition status.

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41422 · June 22, 2014 at 11:43 PM

Underweight individuals should not be cutting higher calories foods (i.e. fruit) and replacing them with low calorie foods (i.e. greens).

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-6 · June 22, 2014 at 11:00 PM

Have your PCOS symptoms changed, for better or worse, on the paleo diet?

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-6 · June 22, 2014 at 10:57 PM

Whether beans are paleo depends on your definitions of paleo. What is or is not allowed in the "scavenging" part of the diet?

The OP has a number of health issues which paleo is not helping. Many people turn to paleo diets for the positive health benefits. If one's individual biology makes those benefits impossible to obtain, then it makes little to sense to stick with the diet.

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80 · June 22, 2014 at 10:32 PM

I agree 100%

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41422 · June 22, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Agreed. The risk may be low, but still a risk. There is however zero risk associated with consuming an orange, peppers, or broccoli for vitamin C. How about we promote a varied, balanced, scientifically-supported diet centered on plants, instead of artificial cartoonish all-meat "caveman" diet.

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17103 · June 22, 2014 at 9:03 PM

Beans aren't paleo.

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17103 · June 22, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Most of us who are paleo eat grass fed animals, these aren't being fed rendered dead animals back to them in their feed, so the probability of CJD is very low.

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-6 · June 22, 2014 at 8:44 PM

I would recommend against eating brain because of the risk of prion disease.

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5 · June 22, 2014 at 4:09 PM

You want extreme? Go 100% raw meat? ) http://curezone.com/forums/am.asp?i=1453468

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41422 · June 22, 2014 at 1:17 AM

Eating disorders?

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5828 · June 21, 2014 at 9:38 PM

I'm not a fan of extreme diets but if you eat more of the animal than the muscle meats it will be healthier for you.

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12 Answers

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80 · June 22, 2014 at 10:34 PM

Your a female, eating all meat isnt the answer for healing your body. Your young, you need carbs too.

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20 · June 22, 2014 at 9:13 PM

There are quite a few people who eat an exclusive all meat diet with good health. I did it for a while and found it was the best I ever felt. See ZIOH

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1005 · June 22, 2014 at 7:27 PM

If you're going to do that, be sure you eat raw liver and brain and kidney and other organ meats for the vitamin C and rendered fats that are high in vitamin E. This is probably going to get a lot of downvotes and I know that raw anything is risky, just saying to eat organ meats, preferrably raw, for the vitamin C

Fea6afb2ce36ad8df5548e6a5195af4d
-6 · June 22, 2014 at 8:44 PM

I would recommend against eating brain because of the risk of prion disease.

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-6 · June 22, 2014 at 7:15 PM

The diet you describe is one that people use to intentionally lose weight (low-carb), so it is unsurprising that you have lost, and have trouble gaining, weight.

As others have noted, it seems you might have a problem with malnutrition. You should see a doctor to evaluate for conditions that could be causing malabsorption (like crohn or ulcerative colitis).

Personally, I would quit the oranges and add high-fiber vegetables, like lettuce, peppers, squash, etc. Eating some nuts and beans daily would also probably help you to increase and maintain your weight.

After visiting the doctor, consider seeing a nutritionist.

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41422 · June 22, 2014 at 11:43 PM

Underweight individuals should not be cutting higher calories foods (i.e. fruit) and replacing them with low calorie foods (i.e. greens).

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17103 · June 22, 2014 at 9:03 PM

Beans aren't paleo.

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5 · June 22, 2014 at 3:48 PM

I am 34, 5'1'', 90 lbs (some days less). Love experimenting too, sometimes I gain weight but it's impossible to maintain it. I totally understand what you feel. Anyway.. After listening to Thyroid Summit last week I decided to measure my morning temperature and for the whole week it was 97.5, and at night even less. Decided to run an experiment and took iodine tincture 2 drops, next day 5 and on third morning I was starving!! I ate everything I could staff in my stomach and I did gain some weight. It increased my basal temperature and my appetite for a week. I stopped doing this because for unknown to me reason nobody recommends taking tincture, only lugol's which I need to buy.. So my point is, google for hypothyroid symptoms, iodine/zinc/magnesium deficiency symptoms. Google also "pcos iodine".

There is also Anxiety Summit still going on. http://www.theanxietysummit.com One day left.

By the way, my son's cheeks lately became very smooth and round. they had a rough fill, like goosebumps. He is 9. I credit it to painting his tummy with iodine tincture for a week couple months ago. That painting also helped me with fibrocystic breasts, no more lumps and tenderness at all. Ironically I was googling for the cause of those lumps, came up with iodine deficiency thing, decided to test it on everyone in my family to know if I need to buy supplement and for who, and it turned out that that testing itself became a solution. My son's cheeks are actually a side effect of that testing.)

Going back to all meat.. I think I did high meat before. Well.. I think it eventually suppressed my appetite and gave me kinda heavy fill. But I don't think you shouldn't try it yourself. 1 week won't hurt anyway. I noticed adding carbs also helps me with energy level, and I assume you keep carbs low. Is that right? You may need cut down fiber (helps with IBS), but add more slow carbs, cook your kale, and eat more pumpkin (cooked). Sometimes I hate salads and bake all sorts of veggies with lots of oil.

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0 · June 22, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Sounds like a terrible idea to me. You're probably under nourished already.

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83 · June 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM

When i do it myself then bone broth/fat/salt is the foundation of it, followed by seafood, especially with bones, organ meats on the rare side, and a bit of muscle meat. I only do this for a few days or a week or so at most, simply because there's too much tasty (and perfectly safe) food out there to limit myself to eating animals alone. This kind of zero carb GAPS diet may help heal your gut a bit, i tend to cycle in zero carb days here & there but don't stick to it for long. I actually find cooked veggies with lots of fat (coconut milk or especially butter oil) helps with gut issues/acne more than an animal based zero carb diet, but that may not be the case for everyone, maybe i just like the feeling of having a reliably big BM in the AM.

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41422 · June 22, 2014 at 1:22 AM

An all meat diet is quite incomplete in terms of nutrition. Do not do it.

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80 · June 22, 2014 at 10:32 PM

I agree 100%

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17103 · June 21, 2014 at 6:11 PM

For a short period of time, it's fine. From what you've mentioned you need to eat a lot more than you have been. An all meat diet might not fix this. While some folks gain weight on coconut oil, most people lose weight with coconut oil. There was some study where eating 2 tablespoons of coconut oil caused the test subjects to lose weight rather than gain it. Perhaps you went too low carb and hence your weight loss. I'd also be worried that you may have damaged your gut flora and an all meat diet will cause further damage... so when you come off it, have lots of ferments.

If you're gonna do it anyway, be sure to include organ meats such as liver, heart, kidneys, lots of bone broth for the glycine, etc. Try to eat heart as raw as possible (it toughens up when cooked, but it's also a good source of taurine when raw.)

This shouldn't stop you from including stuff like onions or scallions (if you don't have SIBO) because it's a source of sulfur which is used by your own liver to detox. Also be sure to include egg yolks and keep those raw or nearly raw. It's fine to eat the whites and if you do, you should eat them cooked.

Don't do this for too long a time however as it's stressful. You might want to also supplement with calcium-d-glucarate which is useful for us the carnivorous. If you find you're producing too much amonia on such a diet (your pee will stink of ammonia), supplement with a bit of L-arginine powder (half a teaspoon to a teaspoon should do the trick).

I've done these before, almost spontaneously. It's as if I woke up one day and I couldn't look at a leafy green or a vegetable and only craved meat. Even fruit looked gross to me. And just as quick, less than a week later, I was back to eating veggies. Not sure what the cause of that was, but I felt wonderful both during and after. One of my cow-orkers saw what I had in my lunch container and he was like "WTF is that? Meat Salad?" I was like "yea, there's beef, lamb, chicken, and a little bit of olive oil." Must have been something like two pounds of meat for lunch that day. He almost shat a brick.

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4306 · June 21, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Well, I am also an experimenter, with my diet vis-á-vis my personal health concerns. If you can find a way to monitor your results on this diet, and this may be only by internal sensing of improvements or deterioration, I would try it for a while to see how you feel.

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1005 · June 21, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Those issues sound like malnutrition to me. Looking at a diet where you feel it's going to be difficult to get adequate nutrition to prevent malnutrition, I just don't see that as heading in the right direction or solving your problem. I don't get the tight constraints of going meat-only, if you're just going to eat a piece of not-particularly-nutritious sugary fruit every day, haha. A yellow bell pepper would provide more potassium and close to 3 times the vitamin C at close to half the carbs and a quarter of the glycemic index.

I'm against meat-only diets in the modern world, so bad idea, imo.

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105 · June 21, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Muscle meat (beef, chicken, fish etc) is high in phosphorus. You can use cronometer to figure out total

phosphorus intake and add extra calcium from bone meal, supplements or egg shell powder to

keep a healthy ratio. USDA recommends 700 mg phosphorus and 1200 mg calcium for adult.

Dr Ray Peat has mentioned that muscle meat has a lot of vitamin C in a different form which

body converts to ascorbic acid. I remember seeing a study on that. I think it is possible to

get all the required nutrients from foods you have listed. You will also need bone broth

with muscle meat to obtain balanced amino acid profile. Casein in cheese has good ratio of

amino acids and most cheese are have balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio.

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