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They Thrive on All-Meat Diet (1929) (macleans.ca)
70 points by sridca 37 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 134 comments

A detail not mentioned here was that (if I remember correctly) they initially ate an all-muscle-meat diet and had real problems; it was only after they included a lot of organ meat (imitating the Inuit) that things stabilized. I think eating liver can get you enough Vitamin C, for example.

To be more specific, the doctors wanted Stefansson to start with an all-lean diet. Stefansson had already lived for much of 10 years on a meat diet and had a better idea of what to eat. Quoting the original medical publication at http://www.jbc.org/content/87/3/651.full.pdf :

> At our request he began eating lean meat only, although he had previously noted, in the North, that very lean meat produced digestive disturbances. On the 3rd day nausea and diarrhea developed. When fat was added to the diet, a full recovery was made in 2 days.

Concerning the meat,

> The meat used included beef, lamb, veal, pork, and chicken. The parts used were muscle, liver, kidney, brain, bone marrow, bacon, and fat. While on lecture trips V. S. occasionally ate a few eggs and a little butter when meat, was not readily available. The carbohydrate content of the diet was very small, consisting solely of the glycogen of the meat. The men, except during short periods of special observation, ate as much as they wanted and proportioned the lean meat to the fat as they desired. T. S., in 31 days of special diet in the ward in which he was free from digestive disturbances, took an average of 0.81 kilos of meat per day while K. A. for 110 days averaged 0.70 kilos per day.

Another problem with lean meat is protein poisoning. If your body has no other sources of energy than protein, you’ll eventually produce too much waste for your kidneys and liver to handle.

Citations needed. Bodybuilders eat ridiculous amounts of protein; way beyond what a normal person does, and don't seem to suffer from this condition.

Here is the wikipedia article [0] on protein poisoning. Like mentioned above adding fat to the diet helps avoid this condition.

[0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_poisoning

Rabbit starvation isn't the same thing as "too much waste for your kidneys and liver to handle." It's just starvation.

There is protein toxemia where the kidneys can't deal with the wastes; it's as far as I know always a symptom of kidney damage. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_toxicity

That protein is used to build muscles, not for energy. Their bodies still run on carbs, or fat if they’re in ketosis

Yes, that was covered in a cousin thread, with a link to the Wikipedia page.

Sources, please.

Inuits, and possibly others, also consumed predigested vegetation in animal stomachs (1)

Also, worth noting that a meat-heavy diet can also kill you from lack of fat. This is known as protein poisoning. This obviously depends on what your source of meat is.

(1) https://www2.dmu.dk/1_viden/2_publikationer/3_fagrapporter/r...

If you eat meat meat, as in complete meat from an animal, you're gonna be ok (although you probably need to supplement Omega 3, something Inuit had in excess because they ate fish too). If you eat organic low fat meat from Trader Joe's you'll have a bad time for various reasons. Not only will you not get enough fats, but you're gonna get very little amount of micronutrients, which are not prevalent in muscle tissues.

I don't think this is 100% true. Some wild meat is too lean. The other name for "protein poisoning" is "rabbit starvation." Wiki makes 2 separately sourced references that eating nothing is better than only eating rabbit meat (1)

(1) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_poisoning

Meat has plenty of omega3 and omega6 (usually more omega6) The ratio in the standard American diet is about 20:1 (3:6) eating a grass fed ruminant will get you much closer then that. Eating some marine products might get you closer to the (possibly optimal) 1:1.

I meant to write Omega 3, that's a typo, fixed. (i.e. animal muscle tissues are usually too omega 6 rich, so you need extra omega 3 sources)

Weren't the Inuits or some other population preferring the fatty sides of the animal and throwing the muscle to their dogs? I heard that about them somewhere.

Muscle tissue is very protein rich, but is of very low protein and micronutrient density. Humans need a certain amount of protein per day, and it's very easy to get that from any animal tissue. The hard part is getting micronutrients and calories. Well, fats are calory dense, and organ tissue is micronutrient dense.

I don't think not eating muscle tissue makes any sense in modern day. Nobody will just eat whale organ tissue any more, realistically. I mean, if you really do eat it, it might work, but will you really do that? You need those lean proteins from animals and you'll hopefully supplement fats, vitamins and minerals from other sources. Animals muscle is very Omega 6 rich, so ideally you wanna eat lean proteins (chicken, turkey breast, lean red meat...) and supplement your diet with Omega 3 sources like salmon, acai berry, walnut, flaxseed etc...

Liver also has enough Vitamin A to give you hypervitaminosis A if you’re not careful.

You have to eat a heck of a lot, but definitely be careful with polar bear liver :)

Yowza. My wife has a PhD in nutrition and teaches a "culture in foods" course at university. It's about how various cultures around the world and throughout history had all their nutritional needs met from their various diets.

An explorer might last a little while on an all-meat diet but you'd be missing out on a lot of essential vitamins and minerals. The Inuit for example, only avoid scurvy by getting their vitamin C from raw fish. (Cooking it destroys the little it contains.)

Interesting article, though!

There's a modern movement of people adopting an all-carnivore diet [1][2], who report it to be effective at overcoming conditions like autoimmune illness, depression and other chronic illnesses that defied other forms of treatment.

The theory is that for highly sensitive individuals, any carb/fiber/allergenic content in food causes inflammation and dysbiosis, which leads to these chronic conditions.

They believe that by removing all these food components, even if the diet has low levels of essential nutrients like Vitamin C, they are absorbed and utilised better than in a regular diet, due to the reduced inflammatory activity.

I haven't tried it and won't be doing it myself, but I have been through episodes in my life where I was afflicted by these kinds of chronic "mystery" illnesses that didn't seem to respond to any kind of treatment, and I can understand the kind of pain and exasperation that would lead people to try this.

[1] https://hvmn.com/podcast/meat-heals-the-autoimmune-disease-c...

[2] https://www.reddit.com/r/zerocarb/comments/8f0o1w/my_experie...

I'm a celiac and I have a slightly different take on it. I've cut out gluten, sugar, caffeine, sodium nitrites, and MSG as triggers for sinus headaches (took years of trial and error to identify them all).

First, I love hearing carnivore diet stories because I relate to them a lot. Varying symptoms, cut out some foods, drastically improved health. I lived for 23 years with sinus headaches, I had to figure out how to work through them in college. Life is so nice now that I don't want to take a drill to my forehead.

That said, I think the carnivore diet is the shotgun blast approach. I bet there are specific triggers for their symptoms that they could identify by following a strict diet (e.g. chicken and rice) and slowly reintroducing stuff.

It's an area that is drastically understudied. All the celiac papers are on gastrointestinal issues (which I had, but the sinus headaches were 50 times worse). My understanding is eating gluten while celiac causes your body to attack your small intestine, which causes deterioration. This usually leads to problems with FODMAPs. My brother has issues with lactose, and for me it was fructose.

It's hard going to something that isn't evidence backed, but sometimes the best we can do is do the experiment on ourselves. I'm tracking what I eat everyday and when I get sinus headaches. I primarily eat protein. I get 3 beef patties and 2 small chicken breasts each day from the burger place at work. The french fries and corn chips at work are safe for me to eat, so those are the carbs I get regularly. I take a vitamin C supplement. On the weekends I cook steak, and some brazilian cheese breads. There is also a brand of gluten free bread with no sugar that I really like.

I'm extremely fortunate that I work somewhere that can accommodate my diet and that I can afford meat regularly outside of that. So yea, shout out to everyone else with weird food reactions, stay strong.

You'll love my story. I'll keep it short.

Basically, one day, I started getting pressure and pain and ringing in my ear. It was really bad about every other day. I went to an ENT and he diagnosed me with meniere's disease and told me that I had permanent hearing loss. I kept going to doctors. One of them diagnosed me with endolymphatic hydrops.

I spent a month or so obsessively reading research papers, and internet sites seemed to basically be support groups for people whose lives are ruined and can never think straight again.

I had good reason to suspect it was an autoimmune disease, because steroids cured my symptoms. I also had my personal suspicions that wheat was involved but I couldn't correlate anything.

So I started eliminating foods and keeping a food diary. Long story short, about a year later, I was very confident that wheat was my biggest trigger. If I eat a large amount of wheat, my symptoms come back 36 hours later, and last for at least 2 days.

I struggled with the fact that I have no doctor suggestions, or diagnosis, or study of what problem I have, what it is, or any way to prove to anyone else that wheat is causing my problem. Most people think that I'm just jumping on a gluten free fad bandwagon. Oh well. I've tested it about 8 times, including blind tests where I accidentally ate wheat. I've been almost symptom free for like 2 years now.

One of the supermarkets near me often sells bags or vacuum packets lamb or beef offcuts. There are usually fatty, boney, meaty that don't display well.

Usually for about AU$4.50 a kg, compared to $14+ / kg for "quality" cuts of lamb.

I slow cook them, often with curry powder and extra turmeric, or a tomato base.

If I eat bread or pasta or baked goods regularly, I get intense urges to scratch my skin, cervical lymph nodes become active, my sinuses start getting mucousy, my knuckles and wrists start to ache, and I feel like my ears are a little blocked and sensitive.

A few good meals of mostly slow cooked mammal results in rapid improvement, and if I stay away from the things I know cause general, non-localised inflammation, I generally feel well. More awake when I'm awake, and more asleep when I'm asleep.

Just bear in mind there are people reporting the same cures from an all-plant diet. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.

There are also people who report things for almost everything. All of this anacdotal data is next to worthless.

Anecdotes are the first step to observing patterns that can lead to hypotheses that can be tested in controlled experiments.

Is there any other way that a chain of events leading to a scientific finding can begin?

Contrary to your beliefs there is lot's of data in favor of an all plant based diet (which i do not follow so I do not push any agenda here).

The data has been pretty clear since the early 90s and the large population studies that were made then.

Its not my beliefs. I'm just pointing out that the simple act of strictly regulating your diet will almost always make you healthier because you have to watch what you eat and avoid crap like takeaway

Different diets foster different environments for bacteria. Different diets can work for many one works better than others

I think a very small number of people have carb intolerance (e.g. Jordan Peterson and his daughter), but a much larger number of people would benefit from reading The Mind Body Prescription first. I was about to try keto when I found that book, which was literally a miracle cure for me.

Also meatheals.com is chock-full of anecdotes of people healing themselves using the carnivore diet.

Interesting. It's almost like religious faith-healing anecdotes.

Unfortunately most nutrition science is so bad, that I've come to the conclusion that "if it works for you, great!" If people change their diet and it makes them feel better, who am I to tell them they are wrong?

Do you have anything worthwhile to say, instead of sarcasm and cynicism, in response to people actually healing themselves by eating exclusively meat?

Or are you just here to denigrate your fellow human beings?

If a person is suffering from chronic or mild-acute allergies I usually suggest they try eating nothing but steamed or slow cooked fatty lamb or beef for at least a few days and a see if symptoms improve, then introduce vegetables one at a time.

As mammals, being allergic to mammal muscle meat and organs isn't compatible with life.

That's not necessarily true. For example, humans do not have Neu5Gc[1] unlike most mammals. Having Neu5Gc antibodies is perfectly compatible with human life, yet consumption of lamb, pork or beef can cause inflammation.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N-Glycolylneuraminic_acid

AFAIK, none of these studies have been done on humans.

The popular article where I read about it referenced: [1] [2]. I guess it is a quite recent finding. But I am no biologist to judge.

[1] Okerblom J., Varki A.: Biochemical, Cellular, Physiological, and Pathological Consequences of Human Loss of N-Glycolylneuraminic Acid, ChemBioChem 18, 1155, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201700077

[2] Peri S. et al.: Phylogenetic Distribution of CMP-Neu5Ac Hydroxylase (CMAH), the Enzyme Synthetizing the Proinflammatory Human Xenoantigen Neu5Gc, Genome Biology and Evolution, 2018, DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evx251

Thanks for bringing this up, I wasn't aware of it.

>There's a modern movement of people adopting an all-carnivore diet [1][2], who report it to be effective at overcoming conditions like autoimmune illness, depression and other chronic illnesses that defied other forms of treatment.

Famously, Jordan Peterson:


This drives me crazy, this all stems from Jordan Peterson and Joe Rogan. We have no idea what JP or his daughter are actually eating. This is the smallest sample size of anecdotes. The fact that this diet has gotten this much attention is absurd.

Peterson and Rogan are new kids in the block. Charlene Anderson for example has been on it for 20 years.

There is nothing absurd about this diet if it is enabling people to successfully manage their diseases (meatheals.com). You should respect and appreciate that fact instead of getting mad about it.

Diet is not religion. It is simply a tool and for some can be a lifestyle.

No it doesn't, there are lots of people 5,10 or longer years on a zero carb diet, has nothing to do with JP. Lots of anecdotes as well ( amber ohearn, kelly hogan, shawn baker, zeroing in on health FB group etc)

A Facebook group? Really? Those are not the kinds of sources that increase credibility in my book

You cherry-picked one of several sources listed just so you could snarkily dismiss the whole point.

We're talking about groups of people experiencing similar health problems, engaging in ongoing discussion to experiment with possible remedial techniques and reporting back with their results.

If they are achieving positive results, which seems to be the case, they deserves better than this kind of sneer.

rsynnott 36 days ago [flagged]

There are also people reporting that they have cured cancer with crystals. I mean, always consider the source.

This is such a low-quality comment.

You're talking about people who have suffered for years with painful illnesses that have seemed impossible to treat, connecting online and working together as they experiment to find possible treatments, testing the results and reporting back so others can benefit from the learnings.

It deserves better than this kind of grunting dismissal.

People say that about the crystals, too, though. And alleged non-coeliac gluten intolerance, and fluoride avoidance, and vaccine avoidance, and many, many other things.

People deserve to be judged on the outcomes they achieve and the evidence they provide.

Sure, much of the evidence around for this stuff is anecdotal or n=1 pathology results, but it's necessarily the case that anecdote and small-sample data is the first step in the chain of events that can lead to scientific findings.

If your point is simply that sometimes people believe things that are untrue, that is obvious to the point of banality.

If it’s that anyone experimenting with carnivore diets and reporting positive results should by-default be treated with distrust or contempt, your point seems to lack both compassion and scientific awareness.

Good thing these people on the carnivore diet did not have you cynically advising them when they were coming across it, eh? Otherwise they would still be suffering and this conversation may not be taking place.

Plain old cow muscle meat contains at least enough in 1lb to prevent scurvy (10mg). Vitamin C competes for glucose transport, so less glucose means less need for vitamin C.

What other vitamins and minerals can’t be found in animal products? So far as I know, pretty much 0.

The vegans on the other hand... no B12, limited K2 (except fermented stuff), limited vitamin A, limited EPA/DHA/DPA/CLA, limited vitamin D (mushrooms maybe have some D2?). I’m being generous with “limited” here.

I've been on an all meat diet for ~3 months. I've lost ~20 pounds (I was 30-40 pounds over what I consider my ideal weight) and feel great.

Oddly, no scurvy or other health issues. I do not supplement apart from salt and other seasonings. Probably 50% of my calories are from grass fed beef, combined with other high quality meats, eggs and a little diary.

There are people who get good results from only beef. And there are people who have done this for many years without adverse health effects.

There is a ton of conventional wisdom / "science" that says we can't thrive on an all meat diet. Anecdotally, there are a ton of people who do.

My health cares not for your wife's education.

I'm glad you feel good, but your health hasn't really been established yet.

A few things to remember:

- 3 months is not enough time to know if a diet is good for you personally in the long term, even anecdotally

- weight loss is a poor metric for the healthiness of a diet

- anecdotes are not what you should base decisions about your one and only body on (remember that some diet pills in the 90s worked well and spread by word of mouth because people lost weight but also caused heart attacks in some)

Other things to remember:

- Personal health and nutrition is one of several criteria by which diets can be compared - A carnivore diet is harmful to the environment - A carnivore diet causes more suffering to sentient animals

It doesn’t necessarily cause more suffering. The only thing it necessitates is more death. Suffering of livestock is not a given, though it’s very likely.

Yes, I was indeed making a point about the actual conditions of farmed animals; not an abstract one about what may hypothetically be possible. I do consider what happens in the world to be more relevant here, than what we imagine could be happening.

Death, even if painless, is usually something we prefer not to have happen to us, most of the time.

FWIW, a lot of people who are really into meat also care about the living conditions of the animals they eat.

And regarding death: the alternative for livestock is not a life of leisure where they get to meander through the country side and nibbling a little here and a little there. No, the alternative is never being alive. And death on a farm is usually much more humane than death in nature.

> No, the alternative is never being alive.

Interesting. If we accept this argument -- that one who has brought someone else into existence is allowed to use lethal force on them (although "gently") -- because otherwise this someone wouldn't be in existence; then wouldn't we then also have to allow human parents to euthanise their children?

> And death on a farm is usually much more humane than death in nature.

Non-human animals are usually transported in trucks or on trains for many hours or days on their way to the slaughterhouse, with little access to food and water, under conditions you surely wouldn't want to travel.

Regardless, if we ignore that, and assume the trip to the slaughterhouse is 100% painless, would you still want someone to give you a "humane" death at the time of their choosing? Often animals are gassed; and I wonder how the same method of causing someone's death can be "humane" when applied to non-humans, but not (and here I'm of course making an assumption on your behalf and might be wrong) when done to humans?

Humane is perhaps a poor word choice on my part.

But, no, I do not consider animals to be morally equivalent to humans, so I am okay having a different moral system for animals. And I, personally, would rather live to be executed than never get a chance to be alive. Life is precious. I think we forget that. Here’s something that will perhaps drive home just how precious it is. Almost every black American is the descendant of people who thought it was A) worth living in cruel and brutal bondage, and B) worth bringing children into such a life.

> Life is precious. I think we forget that.

Life is precious. So why do we allow suffering and killing to please our taste buds?

While existing life is precious, do you also believe that not-yet-existing life of a calf is so precious, that we need to forcefully inseminate cows at the highest possible rate their bodies can handle?

If life is that sacred, do you support doing that to human women, too? Because otherwise we'd be acting unfairly to all the unborn children who would otherwise "never get a chance to be alive", right? If we don't do that we'll take away the life of millions of hypothetical humans, right?

> But, no, I do not consider animals to be morally equivalent to humans, so I am okay having a different moral system for animals.

This is somewhat agreeable. Non-humans are not equivalent to humans, and therefore it would be non-sense to argue that dogs should have the right to vote, and pigs should be allowed drivers license. They are so different from humans that they lack the capacity to do any of this.

However, many mammals (dogs, cats, cows, pigs, horses) can feel pain and distress and react to it in a way very similar to humans, by screaming and wrenching and sweating, by trying to escape. Why should their interest in not feeling pain be considered?

If we are OK to just say that we have a "different moral system" for a anyone who is not a member of our species -- regardless of what capacities they may have -- then surely it's also OK to have a "different moral system" for anyone who is of a different gender, or different race, or different nationality than ours, isn't it?

> Almost every black American is the descendant of people who thought it was A) worth living in cruel and brutal bondage, and B) worth bringing children into such a life.

Is your point that life is so precious that it's fine to enslave animals (both human and non-human) because even when someone is living under horrid conditions, it is still "worth bringing children into such a life" and "worth living in cruel and brutal bondage", and that makes it somehow justifiable?

It doesn’t necessarily even necessitate more death.

If you ate only meat you eat the equivalent of 1 cow per year.

Compare that with the amount of bugs, nematodes, rodents, etc. killed by modern farming methods.

Consider that it takes anywhere from 6 to 20 pounds of feed to get a pound of beef. That's way more resources used, environmental harm done and creatures killed to produce meat.

Only if you replace meat consumption with grains. A quick look at vegan and vegetarian recipes on social media makes it obvious that is not happening. Plants have a 50x range in the amount of calories they provide for $1, which suggests a similar range in their environmental burden.

What do you think most farmed cows eat?

> weight loss is a poor metric for the healthiness of a diet

Most people are near-totally uninterested in their actuarial life expectancy. As a result, close to 100% of people on a diet are looking for weight loss.

Whether you should consider it a "health" objective is a more interesting question. From a Darwinian perspective, attracting a mate is much more important than whether you live to be 67 or 72.

While you are right, it's not a choice between pure life extension on one side and pure weight loss for attractiveness... Because the "healthiness" of a diet, in my opinion, includes its sustainability (do you regain the weight immediately after stopping?), reliability (can you use the diet to reduce your weight in a controlled way?), compatibility with exercise (which can also work to make you more attractive and therefore more successful in the Darwinian sexual selection sense). Another reason that "scale weight" is a poor indicator of the healthiness of a diet is that depending on the diet you may be losing mass via fat loss, muscle loss, water loss, etc. What's more important is body fat percentage reduction if we are talking about both traditional Western attractiveness and (usually) physical health overall. There are diets and lifestyles that make you more attractive and also increase your life expectancy.

Sustainability should be whether or not you are going around hungry. Because if not, then why would you ever stop the diet, or even worse go back to the old habits? Why would it be surprising that you would then gain your weight back?

And yeah muscle tissue is the important one. Any diet is sustainable until you burn through all your secondary reserves. How many buff vegetarians do you see? In my experience, you need to be a bona fide nutritional expert to maintain muscle mass on an exclusively plant-based diet.

Chronic reflux, constipation, nocturnal urination etc also make these diets unsustainable.

As buff vegan the proportion of buff vegans among vegans is probably the same as proportion of buff non-vegans among non-vegans. You have to be braindead not to be able to figure out what to eat as vegan to grow muscle, in the worst case I guess you can go to factory farmers who have mastered the art of growing muscle from plants..

Did you do any blood tests before and are planning on doing some in the near future? I'd be really interested in hearing how they compare. Three months also might not be enough time to develop any serious deficiencies.

Weight loss isn't a really good metric. I also lost a similar amount of weight in the first few months of going vegan. Around 40 pounds after half a year and I feel great. My blood tests came back more than great even after 3 years now.

The requirement for vitamin C is a fact of human biology, and established science.

Either you’re getting it from your dairy or other dietary sources or eating enough meat that’s raw enough to get your minimum.

My experience as a lactose person is that people tend to greatly underestimate how much dairy they consume, which is largely fortified (edit: as others point out it’s not fortified with vitamin C).

When you say all meat diet are you sure you’re not exaggerating? You probably consume all sorts of other stuff in small quantities. You don’t have any candy ever (often a source of vitamin C)? No potato chips ever? No cheese ever? No fortified yogurt or milk ever? You don’t ever eat cheeseburgers with buns or cheese or mayo?

> No cheese made with fortified dairy ever? No fortified yogurt or milk ever? You don’t ever eat cheeseburgers with buns or cheese or mayo?

I don't think I've ever seen dairy fortified with vitamin C. In the US, at least, dairy is typically fortified with vitamins A and D.

The carnivore diet is getting pretty big, a lot of people have been on it for years. I think their theory is you don't need as much Vitamin C when you don't eat carbohydrates.

On the other hand there are carnivore Youtubers like sv3rige who drink vegetable juice but don't talk about it on their channel, so who knows if it's true or not: https://youtu.be/rQlvvbHqtj8?t=25

> I think their theory is you don't need as much Vitamin C when you don't eat carbohydrates.

If that's the theory, it's definitely wrong. Vitamin C serves basic structural purposes like binding your cells to your other cells.

Herbal teas, like anything with hibiscus as the base can be a very potent source of Vitamin C as well.

> Collagen is a primary structural protein in the human body, necessary for healthy blood vessels, muscle, skin, bone, cartilage, and other connective tissues. Defective connective tissue leads to fragile capillaries, resulting in abnormal bleeding, bruising, and internal hemorrhaging. Collagen is an important part of bone, so bone formation is also affected. Teeth loosen, bones break more easily, and once-healed breaks may recur. Defective collagen fibrillogenesis impairs wound healing. Untreated scurvy is invariably fatal. [0]

Looks like we should see several prominent YouTubers die horribly... about a year ago.

> The onset of symptoms of scurvy depends on how long it takes for the person to use up their limited stores of vitamin C. The human body is unable to make vitamin C. For example, if the diet includes no vitamin C at all, the average onset of symptoms is about four weeks. [1]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scurvy#Pathogenesis

[1] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/scu...

Sv3rige aka Gatis is notorious for being bashful about his consumption of fruit and vegetable juice but maybe supplementing with human blood lowers one's vitamin C requirement?

He doesn't say much about the blood's nutritional content in the clip here but he does express what might be a feeling of sexual arousal at around 2:50: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RX9T4xJqxFo

Yeah I find it hard to believe anyone eats literally 100% meat no exceptions.

I’ll bet $1000 Jordan Pederson is full of shit when he claims he eats nothing but cooked beef.

The Bear (Owsley Stanley) ate nothing but animal products for several decades. It's definitely possible.

Recently, he added chicken to the menu.

I don’t see what Jordan Peterson gains by lying. If anything it’s just another thing people can use to attack him.

He and his daughter do consultations at $150/hour based on the diet, so he has $150/hour to gain by lying.

By your strange logic contractors and freelancers would automatically be lying as well.

Funny, I hire freelancers all the time and work as one myself. There are plenty of frauds who are all talk until it comes to proving their value, and then they can't.

Why? There is an incentive to lie for a profit. However, I never claimed that Peterson is a fraud because he charges for consultations. I responded to a comment asking about what he had to gain from lying by showing that he has ample financial incentive to do so.

Just because you disagree with my comment, doesn't mean you should strawman my post.

People wouldn't be suspicious of Peterson's claims if he provided proof. I mean, even breatharians agreed to be documented while following their purported diet. Surely Peterson can do the same.

The keyword is "automatically". Your previous comment is cynical. Not even a modicum of curiosity is in there.

Weird, I don't see any curiosity in your posts, just emotional reactions to mine.

You're also confusing healthy skepticism with lack of curiosity, almost as if you're jumping to the defense of something you made an emotional investment in without consulting rationality.

sridca 35 days ago [flagged]

> Weird, I don't see any curiosity in your posts,

Curiosity as to what? The cynical content of your mind?

> just emotional reactions to mine.

Respond to my words, not your imaginations of what I'm feeling.

> You're also confusing healthy skepticism with lack of curiosity,

First of all, yours is a knee-jerk rejection of someone's report of recovering their health. It is unhealthy cynicism, and not even remotely healthy. It is just as well I did not have you advising me, all those years ago, when coming across the likes of Peterson and meatheals.com before proceeding with curiosity to heal my own chronic condition of 4 years, eh? Otherwise this conversation would not be happening.

> almost as if you're jumping to the defense of something you made an emotional investment in without consulting rationality.

Look, factual reports are there to establish a prima-facie case worthy of further investigation (sign of curiosity) – rather than capricious dismissal like yours (sign of cynicism) – and thus find out what it is on about. It is called being sensible. Maybe this is how your mind words, but neither emotional investment nor the counteracting rationality (which ironically tends to be emotion-influenced) is required.

You need to have an emotional investment to be cynical.

You’d be surprised... perhaps if you expand you definition of meat to animal products (eggs, cheese, fish, shellfish, etc), then I would say a growing number of people do this.

I may be mistaken, but I don't think there's dairy in the carnivore diet. Just meat, organs, and maybe bone marrow? Also, I'm not sure why you would think that burger buns and potato chips are so irresistible as to doubt people don't eat those things?

Dairy is optional on the carnivore diet, some believe it is better without as it can be another source of allergens. Others are less dogmatic and see no issue with it. Lastly, some recommend to go without for some time like a month or so and then reintroduce to see how you do. In this way the carnivore diet can be used an elimination diet to discover allergens.

Good going.

It's amazing what creating a caloric deficit combined with weight training can achieve.

I've also lost weight, I'm down about 9 kg of real weight (using the weight from week 2 of diet as start point) in 4 months. I took four weeks in Jan "off" from my diet, just eating when I was hungry (unfortunately lots of crisps). I still dropped 2kg over that period but 0.5kg of that was muscle.

I changed me eating pattern such that I ate a normal balanced evening meal (50% veg, 25% protein/carb) with either a banana for breakfast and two slices of bread with filling for lunch OR porridge for breakfast and a banana for lunch. On trainings days I have two eggs on my bread and ham if I have it in stock.

I've also added about 2kg of muscle mass overall.

I would strongly recommend following a "diet" that you can stick to long term. I've done the whole meat-only diet, I've done the 6-a-day bodybuilders diet. I've done soup diets. Every single time I've put most of the weight back on afterwards and have had to battle hunger the whole way through. With my current attempt it's far easier because I'm not hungry and I love what I'm eating.

> My health cares not for your wife's education.

From all I've seen nutritional sciences barely qualify as a science given the large corpus of falsehoods produced by it, even in recent years. (Remember cholesterol in eggs?)

In all seriousness: as a non-expert who has read a few popular books that make contradictory claims, “nutrition” seems to be a field of non-knowledge, with about the same scientific credibility as social studies. So what does it mean to have a PhD in nutrition—-are there experts with a track record of scientific rigor whose claims have withstood close scrutiny?

Nevermind PhD, all MD education on nutrition is based on weak science--almost no clinical trials to support current recommendations: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19177014

Thanks for asking a serious question.

Getting a PhD in nutrition is the same as another other PhD -- you study at a graduate program under an existing tenured professor in that field, do original research and successfully defend your dissertation.

My wife happens to have gotten her undergrad degree at a great school, did her dietetic internship at an excellent hospital and worked as a dietitian for a decade before returning to do her graduate work at an even better school.

But one can call themselves a "nutritionist" with no training whatsoever; the term isn't legally protected like "doctor" is.

Nutrition is a field where the underlying science is difficult as, say, cryptography, but is far more obviously relevant to the average person's life. So popular books are easy to get published and there's no guarantee that the author has much actual nutrition training at all.

And again unlike crypto there are several large, entrenched, deep-pocketed interests in America that aggressively promote low-quality science to increase consumption of their products.

When you make tens of billions of dollars per year, it's not too hard to fund a hundred studies that year and use p-hacking and other tricks to get at least a couple to come out with some result that shows your industry in a good light. Then you make sure that those get covered with a headline in some newspaper or magazine.

> Are there experts with a track record of scientific rigor?

I'm not the one with the PhD but I know that my wife is a big fan of both Walter Willett and Marion Nestle.

Thank you for the thoughtful answer and the names - it is very hard to google this topic or to find credible experts. I will be sure to look them up.

I like Taleb too, but looking at what has happened to software, what does it mean to have a PhD in computer science? Or even an MD for that matter, judging by the drive-by prescribing most doctors do.

The older I get, the more I understand why red-state bubba hates most accredited "professionals".

The information you gave seems to contradict information from elsewhere.

You write "An explorer might last a little while on an all-meat diet".

As the Maclean's article points out, "The Arctic explorer Stefansson and a former Arctic confrère, Andersen, went on an exclusive meat diet for a year".

I think of "little bit", for a diet, as being somewhat less than one year. How long do you mean by it?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilhjalmur_Stefansson#Advocacy... further points out "In the end, the one-year project stretched to four years, during which time the two men ate only the meat they could kill and the fish they could catch in the Canadian Arctic. Neither of the two men suffered any adverse after-effects from their four-year experiment."

Surely four years is enough to show that one can last a long time on an all-meat diet, yes?

You write "The Inuit for example, only avoid scurvy by getting their vitamin C from raw fish."

The Wikipedia article on Inuit cuisine, at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inuit_cuisine , says instead, "Vitamin C is obtained through sources such as caribou liver, kelp, whale skin, and seal brain; because these foods are typically eaten raw or frozen, the vitamin C they contain, which would be destroyed by cooking, is instead preserved."

Note that while those meats are raw, they are not fish. The Wikipedia page cites http://discovermagazine.com/2004/oct/inuit-paradox (which in turn cites the same Stefansson described in the Maclean's article) wherein we can read:

> Native foods easily supply those 10 milligrams of scurvy prevention, especially when organ meats—preferably raw—are on the menu. For a study published with Kuhnlein in 2002, Fediuk compared the vitamin C content of 100-gram (3.55-ounce) samples of foods eaten by Inuit women living in the Canadian Arctic: Raw caribou liver supplied almost 24 milligrams, seal brain close to 15 milligrams, and raw kelp more than 28 milligrams. Still higher levels were found in whale skin and muktuk.

This makes it seem that the Inuit were not "only" dependent on fish, but also had non-fish sources for dietary vitamin C.

The underlying scientific article is at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S088915750... . It lists raw fish eggs, raw whale, caribou liver, ringed seal liver, and blueberries as the most notable sources of vitamin C in traditional foods.

Thanks for calling out my mistake on fish vs meat. For what it's worth, I had originally typed "raw meat" but then second-guessed myself and changed it to fish. And my wife wasn't around to correct me.

I'm aware that the article claims that these two went on an exclusive meat diet for a year. I'm saying that personally I don't believe the claim. Alternatively, that it's true but that they accidentally got required nutrition in ways similar to the Inuit.

Why do you not believe the claim?

Do you think they were lying/cheating on the food they ate, as published in http://www.jbc.org/content/87/3/651.full.pdf ?

Do you discount the observation that "Inuit would often go 6 to 9 months a year eating nothing but meat and fish"?

Do you think the meat items mentioned in the JAMA are incomplete sources of nutrition?

Why "accidentally got required nutrition in ways similar to the Inuit"? After his many years of polar exploration and friendship with the Inuit, how can you dismiss that it was a learned practice?

Do you know of subsequent papers casting doubt on the results? Or replicating it, for that matter?

I found http://home.exetel.com.au/surreality/health/A%20Review%20of%... which says

> This level of protein intake may have been sustainable if hepatic enzymes were given time to upregulate (as there were several years between Stefansson living with the Inuit and the experiment at Bellevue Hospital and any previous upregulation of hepatic enzymes would have diminished), but the result for this limited study (where n = 1) indicates that the values shown in Table 1 are at least realistic, although we would speculate that individuals would tend to be at the lower end of the range for MRUS without a lead-in time for upregulating hepatic enzyme function.

which considers it feasible.

When people say they don't believe something (despite available facts) it could also mean that those facts run contradictory to what they already believe.

In modern times, you can supplement vitamins that you don’t get with food. Otherwise e.g. vegans wouldn’t survive (I think their diet is missing B12).

It's always from slightly worse to no absorption at all though, if you take them as supplements. Getting them from food is optimal.

Pro tip for vegans or veggies taking B12: chew the pill before you swallow. You’ll absorb more, according to “vegan for life” by Norris and Messina (which seems pretty well referenced).

More info.

Vilhjalmur Stefansson's book, "THE FAT OF THE LAND": https://web.archive.org/web/20180802084820/http://highsteaks...

Vilhjalmur Stefansson's coverage of the same topics from Harper's Monthly Magazine, November 1935:

- Part 1: https://web.archive.org/web/20180109155358/http://www.biblel...

- Part 2: https://web.archive.org/web/20180104021843/http://www.biblel...

- Part 3: https://web.archive.org/web/20171206075942/http://www.biblel...

The Harper's Magazine articles cover the same ground as the book but are better written in my opinion.

Also note: I am not associated with any web site.

Something I've read multiple times throughout the years being somewhat curious about nutrition and diets is that the Inuit's would often eat their meat raw.

When eaten raw, there can actually be significant carbohydrates present. The mitochondria for instance contain glucose in-flight that apparently gets destroyed by the cooking process.

At least that's what I've read. It seems plausible to me that one could get all the nutrition they need eating copious amounts of raw animal flesh, drinking the blood, eating the liver, everything.

There are no essential carbohydrates. Your body can function perfectly fine without them.

My intention in mentioning the carbohydrates lost when cooked was more meant to suggest other nutrients are also likely intact when consuming the meat raw.

The classical Inuit diet is more unique than just being meat-based, it's also mostly raw. This detail is often overlooked by those using the Inuit diet as proof for some dietary argument.

I’m curious how other mammals, which are essentially purely carnivorous, get their vitamins and minerals. Presumably they’re similar enough to us that they’d require similar amounts?

They, except us, guinea pigs, and a few others, synthesize vitamin C within their bodies.

I find this pretty fascinating. Apparently it's a single gene that is responsible for the inability to synthesize vitamin C. [1]

[1] https://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/401/why-do-human...

Owsley "The Bear" Stanley (legendary SF producer of acid and sometimes sound engineer for Grateful Dead) was huge all-meat guy.


Stayed healthy till his death in a car crash at 76.

A fun story here:


I pretty much only eat meat and bread. I’ve only eaten vegetables a handful of times in my life, usually because my parents were forcing me when I was young. It’s not so much a conscious choice as just who I am, I personally find vegetables pretty gross.

Though it’s not really about vegetables either I think I just have some weird food phobias: I don’t like my food to touch, I only eat ‘plain’ things, I need my food to be homogenous (like smooth salsa vs chunky salsa).

>I personally find vegetables pretty gross.

All of them?! Gee, there's such a wide range. Even, say, potatoes can be cooked so many entirely different ways - steamed/boiled, baked, chips etc. I guess you can say that because you've never tried almost all of them. Your parents 'forced' you only 'a handful of times' to eat vegetables? I can't begin to fathom how someone could have a child and virtually never give them any vegetables of any kind to eat...

I like french fries. But I don’t rrally consider that a vegetable I guess. I’ve tried carrots and broccoli a couple times. Carrots are okay, but I don’t like broccoli. I’ve never tried most other vegetables: lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, etc.

My parents certainly tried to give me vegetables. Even going so far to pay me to eat them, but I always refused. Even as a 2 year old.

What if your dislike for vegetables is actually not abnormal, and that it is society's love for vegetables that is atypical of nature? What if humans are facultative carnivores? https://facultativecarnivore.com

This book will probably extend your lifespan by much longer than it takes to read. https://charleseisenstein.org/books/the-yoga-of-eating/

I’m exactly sure what that book is about, but reading the description, it seems to be geared for people (women?) who have trouble eating healthy and want to.

I’ve never really met someone like me before, but let me explain my seemingly unique situation. You know how when you look at garbage or vomit you have this viceral reaction of disgust? That’s me, but for most food. I don’t even like to look at salad, it makes me want to vomit.

I’ve been this way since I was born (according to my parents) and maybe if I worked really hard and CBT or something for years I could overcome it. But why fight it? I’m not overweight, if a little bit out of shape. I’m happy with what I eat (steak, pizza, plain hamburgers, chinese food with no vegetables, candy, etc) and feel fine (though I don’t have anything else to reference I guess).

I know two people just like yourself. One has a texture aversion, to the point of gagging, and both eat very plain diets like what you describe. They were essentially raised on the American kids menu (hamburger, fires, chicken nuggets, macaroni, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.), and the picky eating became worse over time, continuing right into adulthood. The younger of my acquaintances is in his 20s, skinny but with a gut, visibly undernourished to my eyes. My older friend is in her 40s, and is suffering severe health problems likely due to or exacerbated by her diet.

I have many friends and acquaintances who put no effort into directing their kids away from their picky eating habits, and the kids invariably end up living on the canonical kids-menu diet. Some kids naturally grow into more balanced eating habits and preferences, but many don't, and those parents are setting their children up for a lifetime of health issues.

This may or may not have anything to do with you. It's just what I see in my circle.

You know, that's fair. Maybe my parents could have done something. I don't really remember or really know.

But at this point in my life (I'm 26), I'm not sure I can do anything to change it (or if I could, it would take a tremendous amount of will power). I take vitamins and omega-3 pills, and, hopefully, this will be enough. But I feel the ship has sailed on my food habits.

If I had a kid, I think I would probably try to encourage them to eat healthy food. I'm not really sure how hard my parents tried, but they're good parents, and probably they tried at least a little bit.

If your kid doesn't want to eat the food you want them to eat, what should you do? Force feed them? At some point, you just have to accept that they are who they are, and they (and you) will have to deal with the consequences.

> But I feel the ship has sailed on my food habits.

No! NO NO NO NO! It's never too late! Will power, yes, but you can do it, and I'll tell you, no exaggeration, your life depends on it. I know it doesn't feel like it at age 26, when the shear force of youth can power you through tremendous abuse and neglect. But that won't be true for long.

Your brain is an adaptive, plastic, brilliant fucking miracle of a learning machine, and you've spent 20+ years training it on a tiny, bland set of flavors and textures. It makes sense that retraining it will take time, but I think it'll happen faster than you imagine. I have often heard that children become accustomed to new flavors and foods within a small-ish number of exposures -- around ten or so. I believe this is true for adults as well, at least nearly so. Start small, and make it easy on yourself. Pick a dish or type of food you find challenging. A good prepared dish, not something spare and ruthless like a bowls of spinach, but rather dishes prepared with taste in mind, like a good curry. Eat at a reasonably priced restaurant or get it from a store so you can work on it with minimal effort. Appetizers. Don't force yourself to clean your plate, but give it a good try, every time. Take your time, let the flavors and textures become familiar bit by bit. I bet it won't take more than a dozen tries. Then move on to the next thing.

All kids can be made into picky eaters. The most stubborn picky eaters are created in an instant the first time parents give in and allow the kids to determine the menu. That's insanity. Every two-year-old understands clearly the kind of power they've thus been given, and they'll fight hard to keep it. For my kids, we enforced a simple rule: we never made them eat their entire meal, but they had to try everything. And I mean really try, not a token lick. We put some effort into learning how to cook tastefully, and we we made each meal for everyone, no substitutions, so we didn't train them to win PB&J by refusing to eat dinner. I forbade kids-menu food when we went out to restaurants. Starting as soon as they could eat solid food, they ate what we ate. As a result, I had kids I could take anywhere and eat any almost kind of food, even when they were toddlers. There were struggles, and they still have their preferences; my youngest still doesn't like salads, but she eats them without gagging or complaining. Most importantly, we've given them the foundation for expanding and refining their tastes. They're not hesitant to try new things because their palates are experienced, and they know they won't be punished if it turns out they don't like something. My oldest in particular loves food. She eats blue cheese with a spoon. She loves caviar. Fucking caviar.

This took patience and consistency on the part of my wife and me, and it's still a work in progress, but it's a fundamental, critical part of parenting. It's one of the few things I feel I didn't fuck up as a parent.

All humans are unique in their own way- thus what might be working on some humans it might have a different effect in some others. As an example: My wife has horrible migraines almost every other week. She has followed so many different diets that worked for some others but didn’t even improve her migraines at all. Simply put, be mindful about what you read and what you put in your body.

>The "classic" ketogenic diet is a special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that helps to control seizures in some people with epilepsy. Doctors usually recommend the ketogenic diet for children whose seizures have not responded to several different seizure medicines.

You're saying she already tried a ketogenic diet for a few months and it didn't help?

Sleep depravation releases a stress hormone that can also cause migraines. Check if they correlate to times she has missed on usual sleep and just taken a nap to restore it ( frequent culprit).

You can get tested for micro allergies. Might find out you have a common trigger.

For some perspective, contrast this to the current fashionable trend of recommending plant-based diets where people unwittingly use nutrition epidemiology studies to validate their beliefs: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19100718

I found Dr. Ede's website helpful on the subject if anyone else is interested. She also includes a lot of information on other food types as well.


> a lot of us might be dwelling too anxiously on what to eat and what not to eat

100 years and nothing has changed

Today 70% of the adult US population is classified as overweight. Globally the rate is 30% and rising, at some 2.3 billion people now. The top three global causes of death are "lifestyle-related" illnesses. Perhaps dwelling a little on what we eat is reasonable.


Ha, post on HN that you are on a carnivore diet and people will pounce on you to tell you that you are not eating """healthy""".

Warring internet factions of meme-dieters are all lamers.

And so are their criticisers. Why don't we all become nihilists and stop curing our medical conditions via dietary intervention?

It's the internet part. Taking something as deeply rooted in the physical world as food, and using online as a venue to clash over it. It's a recipe for lame outcomes.

I like meat, but I wonder if the powers that be reached all the way back to 1929 for this nugget because there's a surplus they want to liquidate.


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