Diarrhoea on an all-meat diet?!

by (425) Updated July 13, 2012 at 1:16 AM Created July 09, 2012 at 12:57 PM

No, I don't mean constipation. Has anyone else experienced diarrhoea after a few days on a meat-and-fat-only diet (or have any idea what might cause it)?

Background: Inspired by posters such as Aglaeé and Melissa I decided to try a meat-and-fat only diet for 2 weeks to begin combatting a suspected SIBO/dysbiosis problem. For the first few days my bowel movements were small but regular. Then, about 7 days into the diet I had a sudden onset of diarrhoea which caught me completely by surprise. Not simply loose stools: this was full on, profuse, watery, why-in-the-name-of-all-that-is-holy-is-it-so-far-from-the-organic-meat-counter-to-the-customer-toilets?-type diarrhoea that hit me in the middle of the afternoon. My diet was pretty constant the whole week (beef, lamb, broth, liver, haddock, a few dried herbs) and I didn't introduce anything new which could have suddenly caused this.

I chickened (or rather 'potatoed' - a big mistake, btw) out of the diet the next day, but I'm considering trying it again for a longer stretch. I'm back on a more standard GAPS-type diet at the moment.

Your thoughts and experiences much appreciated. Thanks!

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7 Replies

174 · July 12, 2012 at 10:22 PM


That's a link to a study where two men ate nothing but mean for I think 9 months to prove that it is safe, and they did prove that as you'll see if you read it. But more to the point, it was noted that there would be diarrhea if only lean cuts were eaten, perhaps that is what happened to you? It doesn't give an explanation, but my knowledge of the subject points to an excessive build up of zinc/other minerals found in high concentration in meat which with sufficient fat intake would be easily eliminated. The recommendation is to get 80% of your calories from the fat of the animal, and 20% from the protein. Quite difficult if your just eating lean steaks! I'm about to try this, and things like lamb shoulder seem to be sufficiently fatty, though in the absence of fatty cuts of meat I will get a few jars of duck/goose/beef fat to supplement my intake.

1977 · July 09, 2012 at 3:52 PM

It is likely a die-off reaction from the gut flora being starved from lack of carbohydrates. You have SIBO so the reaction is large. Just power through the diarrhoea as the SIBO dies.

Drink plenty of broth, and include feet/skin/head/cartalige for gelatin which gut cells can feed on directly. Also natural sea salt, as this will be lost in the diarrhoea water.

598 · July 13, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Both my boyfriend and I got diarrhea about a week in when we tried a meat only diet. It resolved itself after a few days. I think that it is related to the amount of fat you are eating: if i remember correctly, too much causes diarrhea.

If you do try again, be sure to consume plenty of bone broth and organ meats.

11476 · July 09, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Very possibly food poisoning. Sudden and unexpected onset after a regular couple of days- you probably ate a bad bug.

24412 · July 13, 2012 at 1:16 AM

If it isn't a disbiosis issue, depending on what your fat to meat ratio was, gunning a bunch of fat without working up to it can cause this. You can only digest as much fat as you have available bile for, and if it makes it past that part of digestion untouched your body works pretty hard to eliminate it, i.e. diarrhea. You can either take ox bile supplements or slowly build up your fat intake, either will work to provide enough bile to digest fat better.

7249 · July 12, 2012 at 10:36 PM

I would try your experiment again to be sure there isn't some missing variable. for instance, did your diarhea start on a Tuesday? You could be just allergic to Tuesdays. Just kidding there, but my point being that sometimes there are other variables taking place that we don't always think about. Maybe you just had some bad food, or something like that. Just because something happens once during an experiment doesn't mean it will always happen, or that it was the experiment that caused it. I don't personally recommend and all meat diet. I get roughly 70% of my calories from meat though.

5071 · July 09, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Your food is passing through you too quickly for the water to absorbed. Do you have IBS?

Take S. Boulardii.

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