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Do experts approve of TikTok’s new ‘lion diet’?

Carnivore diet improves overall health but not in the long-run. — Pexels

Another bizarre diet trend has taken over TikTok where some influencers swear by “carnivore diet” which includes beef, butter, bacon and eggs. 

The diet heavily relies on meat and often excludes fruits and vegetables. Recently, people on the famous video-sharing app have been seen consuming large portions of steak and scrambled eggs, snacking on butter like carrots.

The carnivore diet, also known as the lion diet, high-fat diet and animal-based diet, is a popular lifestyle that is believed to promote clearer skin, healthier gut, and improved overall health, similar to the keto diet.

“One of the best things that’s happened since I quit the vegan diet and went carnivore is that my body odor just disappeared,” a TikToker said in one of her videos. 

“I don’t use any soap, I don’t use any deodorant and I smell amazing.”

Experts think carnivore diet is a bad idea. — TikTok/@steakandbuttergal
Experts think carnivore diet is a bad idea. — TikTok/@steakandbuttergal

Why is carnivore diet a ‘terrible idea’?

Well, it seems that experts are not impressed by it.

Dr Walter Willett, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health, states that people who follow the carnivore diet experience significant weight loss due to the reduction in carbohydrates, which is a key benefit of this diet.

“It’s possible that some people who have been eating a lot of refined starch and sugar may get better in the short run,” with the carnivore diet, Willett says. “But this sounds like a diet that is going to be very unhealthy in the long run.”

What do TikTokers eat as part of their carnivore diet? — YouTube/Laura Spath

The diet, primarily consisting of beef, butter, bacon, and eggs, lacks essential fiber, carotenoids and polyphenols which are found in fruits and vegetables.

Fiber and carotenoids are crucial for gut health, reducing the risk of depression and breast cancer, while polyphenols protect against health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

The foods that are prominent in carnivore diets also contain high amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol, Willett adds.

Additionally, Dr Georgia Ede, a Harvard-trained and board-certified psychiatrist who specialises in nutritional psychiatry, said that “industrialised food production” is harmful for the planet.

Animal-based food production emits twice as many greenhouse gases as plant-based food, such as methane.

“You can think [that] if you’re eating that kind of meal, you’re helping bring down another tree on the other side,” Willett said. “Sounds like basically a terrible idea.”


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