There are lots of diet programs out there and one of them is called the carnivore diet. This high-protein diet is aptly called the carnivore diet because it focuses on only meat 1, 2. This may sound questionable from a dietary and health perspective, but it has received endorsements from various people and extreme athletes, including the controversial podcaster Joe Rogan.
Carnivore diet includes zero carbs, unlike other popular high-protein, low-carb diets. This diet claims to help with mood issues, weight loss, as well as blood sugar control among many other health issues 3.
To put it simply, the carnivore diet removes all other foods except animal products and meat. This means it lacks other beneficial nutrients such as fiber and is packed with fat and salt, which can make it difficult to follow.
Acceptable foods in the carnivore diet are;
· Kidneys, liver, other organ meats
· Bone broth
· Eggs, hard cheese, butter
· Black coffee
· Pink Himalayan salt
Everything else is restricted, including vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, and any drink that is not black coffee or water.
But can it lower blood pressure?
Ideally, people with blood pressure are often advised to focus on a low-fat diet as well as incorporate plenty of vegetables and fruits in their diet 4, 5. But the proponents of the carnivore diet now claim that the meat-based diet can also improve blood pressure 6.
Well, the evidence we have now suggests that this diet is safe for individuals living with high blood pressure and can also help remedy their spiked blood pressure issues 7. Although the mechanism under which this is possible is still very unclear, it is believed that since the diet helps one lose weight, it, therefore, helps improve high blood pressure issues.
Another way in which the carnivore diet may help improve blood pressure is because it eliminates carbs, which can increase blood sugar levels 8, 9.
A study on the carnivore diet at Harvard found that the diet can help people improve their high blood sugar problems 10.
If you are thinking of trying out this diet, you should know that it is linked to some serious risks 11, 12, especially because of its restrictive nature and elimination of other major, beneficial food groups.
For instance, the carnivore diet is high in cholesterol, sodium, and fat from animal meats and products. Saturated fat has been linked to increasing bad cholesterol in the body 13, which may heighten the risk of cardiovascular conditions.
Excessive sodium on the other hand has been associated with an increased risk of spiked blood pressure as well as other chronic conditions such as kidney issues 14.
The diet also removes plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, and legumes, which are rich in nutritious minerals and vitamins 15.
Many experts advise against the carnivore diet 16 because of its potential side effects. So if you are trying to manage high blood pressure, you should consider other alternative diets, especially ones that are scientifically backed to improve blood pressure 17, 18.
The carnivore diet is a high-protein diet that only allows meat and animal products. This diet is linked to some serious risks, such as increased cholesterol and sodium levels, which can worsen cardiovascular conditions. Many experts advise against the carnivore diet because of its potential side effects. If you are trying to manage high blood pressure, you should consider other alternative diets, especially ones that are scientifically backed to improve blood pressure.