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The Carnivore Diet

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Shawn Baker's Carnivore Diet is a revolutionary, paradigm-breaking nutritional strategy that takes contemporary dietary theory and dumps it on its head. It breaks just about all the "rules" and delivers outstanding results. At its heart is a focus on simplicity rather than complexity, subtraction rather than addition, making this an incredibly effective diet that is also easy to follow.

The Carnivore Diet reviews some of the supporting evolutionary, historical, and nutritional science that gives us clues as to why so many people are having great success with this meat-focused way of eating. It highlights dramatic real-world transformations experienced by people of all types. Common disease conditions that are often thought to be lifelong and progressive are often reversed on this diet, and in this book, Baker discusses some of the theory behind that phenomenon as well. It outlines a comprehensive strategy for incorporating the Carnivore Diet as a tool or a lifelong eating style, and Baker offers a thorough discussion of the most common misconceptions about this diet and the problems people have when transitioning to it.

224 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 19, 2019

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About the author

Shawn Baker

9 books44 followers
Shawn is a doctor, an athlete, a father and proponent of a carnivorous lifestyle.

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5 stars
583 (57%)
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304 (30%)
3 stars
93 (9%)
2 stars
22 (2%)
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10 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 102 reviews
Profile Image for Flybyreader.
646 reviews154 followers
August 11, 2020
Well, this book, along with the author’s podcast with Jo Rogan plus Mikhaila Peterson’s inspirational talk I watched on Youtube was a disturbing slap-in-the-face and I can easily say that I am on board with this.
I always had a feeling that food was the worst enemy of humankind and most diseases and ailments were the direct cause of our food intake and dietary choices. I am convinced by the arguments presented here, our evolutionary background, biological requirements, how in 50-60 years our consumption choices have drastically changed, how we have difficulty processing most of the food presented to us as healthy. Hell, sugar was publicly supported as the best nutritional source about 30 years ago, so it’s a safe bet to invest in this. The multi-billion food and medicine industry would never allow this kind of dietary choice to be fully researched and proved right, so I do not think that we will see the day his theories are proven in a controlled environment with example groups but I will try this for my own health and record the results.
1 review
September 1, 2019
The author has excellent credentials:

* a world champion/elite athlete while on the carnivore diet (Not just a bookish theorist)

* a medical doctor who is also a medical specialist, with a lot of experience - in peacetime and in war zones

* well versed in the scientific literature

* well-trained and well-practised in critically assessing evidence

* author does not say this is 'the only good diet', but does say it can and does do a lot of good for many people

* author capably debunks various counter-arguments: eg dietary, environmental, 'ethical' etc

A good read if only to challenge your biases (an antidote to confirmation bias?)

2 reviews
December 4, 2019
Just eat a steak!

It is so ironic yet infuriating that eating meat will probably cure most of our health problems yet our government and media outlets do not see it that way.....yet.
Profile Image for R. Moores.
Author 3 books7 followers
August 15, 2021
An honest review from a vegetarian.

This is a good book that raises plenty of interesting points and gives you a lot to think about. Of particular interest were the counter points against common vegan/vegetarian arguments. These points actually make a lot of sense.

My key takeaways are that anything is better than the standard American (read Western) diet, meatless meat is just another layer of processed food in our diet and probably not great for our health in the long run, and that agricultural reform with particular focus on organic animal/plant growth and soil and water health is a far more beneficial to the planet than everyone going vegan and the abandonment of any animal farming in favour of monocrops of grains and vegetables.

Everything is not black and white, and the diet space is just another place where this combative style the right/wrong dichotomy dominates. We need to look at the big picture when considering anything, which if we are honest, we don't: not in politics, not in climate change solutions, not in health, not in energy, not in science, not in religion etc etc etc.

I hope everyone can eat the diet that works for them but also be fully aware of the implications of their diet. I hope we can all work towards eating locally sourced food and growing/raising our own food. I hope we can move beyond the government guidelines for diet which are woeful and just move away from government "solutions" in general.

Thank you for to Shawn Baker and all those carnivore's out there for making me think and for moving us outside the paradigm.

Profile Image for Natalie Park.
627 reviews
February 26, 2022
I had heard about this book on a podcast and was interested in learning about this strange diet as it’s so far removed from how I eat. There were several interesting points about how we eat veggies that have toxins and can be disrupters of good health for many, vegan and vegetarian diets lead to deficiencies, and the great results many people have received with this sort of diet. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle but I’m certainly not convinced that this diet is best in the long term. This book scratches the surface and I plan to read Dr. Paul Saladino’s book which I hope will have more scientific information.
Profile Image for Shona.
16 reviews1 follower
December 31, 2019
This is the first time I have read a diet/nutrition book where the author does not seem to have some desperate desire to convert as many people as possible. Infact there are places in the book where Dr Baker states that, depending on your motives there may be better regimes for people. He also says he has no intention for commiting to this way of eating for life in a dogmatic way, but rather intends to stick with it as long as it brings him the health benefits he's currently experiencing. The writing is exceptional. It raised many points I'd not considered before. I'm considering participating in World Carnivore Month in January 2020 based off what I have just read.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Guilherme Zeitounlian.
239 reviews5 followers
April 8, 2020
This is a short book about the growing carnivore movement.

It starts with a rather long intro about Shawn Baker and many of his life accomplishments.

Then, it proceeds to remind us of the chaos that is the current public health situation, the obesity epidemic...

And tells us that a possible answer relies on eating (nothing but) steaks.

The author does not go deep into the main topics, doubts and objections that people may raise - he talks in passing about cholesterol, insulin, mineral and vitamin deficiencies, climate change... and asserts to us that everything will be alright.

And that is an approach that does not leave much space for nuance.

However, Baker is not dogmatic, as he accepts that people may have different views on the necessity of eating organ meats, the benefits of grass-finished beef, or the choice of going strict carnivore.

He encourages everyone to experiment with the diet, and assess the results.

The testimonials and anecdotes are interesting, and the overall tone of the book is "since everything you've tried before was complicated and didn't work, why not try eating some steaks?".

In all honesty, this is not wrong. And could be beneficial for many people.

All things considered, I prefer Dieta Carnívora: Como Consertar Sua Saúde, Aumentar Sua Energia E Viver Mais Feliz Comendo Carne Todo Dia(in Portuguese). (Also, I know I'm biased.)

But this book is a good intro, as he incentives the reader to try things out.

The fact that it motivates people to actually do something (instead of just reading books and doing nothing - which is what most people seem to do) gives it an extra start. So, for me, that's a 4/5.

Profile Image for Sherri.
1,169 reviews
January 12, 2021
This book makes the thought of a diet, what your eating and why stand on it's head! Wow! Baker starts off with his backstory, leads you through the science of a meat diet, how-to, and anecdotes from people in the lifestyle.

This is from an evolutionary standpoint and when megafauna were dying off and man became a gatherer in addition to a hunter and how it has changed our bodies over time. I would be curious on a creationist conversation as vegetables such as garlic, leeks, cucumbers, etc. were mentioned in the Bible.

It's an assertive, badass type of writing that comes through. Pulls no punches to sugar coat the carb/sugar industry, how industry manufacturers and growers make strange bedfellows, and his evidence against veganism.

All the while reminding readers on how to take it slow, variances for each person, and what to look out for transitioning and why. This is an ultimate ketogenic diet as it's meat, salt, water, with some eggs or other non-vegetable protein.

Time to get me a steak on the grill!
2 reviews
March 3, 2020
Must read

It’s time to rethink what you think you know about nutrition. This is a great introduction to a completely different paradigm on health and nutrition that will definitely make you open your mind to new possibilities. Great read!
20 reviews1 follower
January 16, 2020
Life-changing book.
I have started a 30-day trial period of carnivore diet and so far so good.
Profile Image for Horace Derwent.
2,232 reviews171 followers
Want to read
April 20, 2022

“The biggest problem is that the vast majority of studies
are not experimental, randomized designs. Simply by
observing what people eat—or even worse, what they
recall they ate—and trying to link this to disease
outcomes is moreover a waste of effort. These studies
need to be largely abandoned. We’ve wasted enough
resources and caused enough confusion.”

—Professor John Ioannidis, MD, 2018


so what should i eat then? rock? mud? wood? steel?
Profile Image for Johnathon Vogel.
10 reviews
September 30, 2020
Helpful and well-researched book. My only real issue, and it’s a major one, is the evolutionary perspective the author takes.
Profile Image for Audrey.
66 reviews
December 20, 2022
Not a bad intro to carnivore. I’ve become continuously more compelled by species appropriate food consumption over the last few months. When faced with inappropriate nutrition, both plants and animals will become sick in a myriad of different ways. As a biology hobbyist I’d learned this but never really applied it to people. By the time that I read this book I’d already done a ton of research on the significant healing benefits of a meat-based lifestyle (or all meat) for human beings, so a lot of the content was already familiar to me. That being said, it seems worth reading if you’re generally curious.

[As an aside, no nutritional supplements are needed on carnivore because beef, salt, and water are both nutritionally complete and is estimated to be over 80% bioavailable for the human body (unlike other non-meat items). I now get to save another $100+/month on all the vitamins I was pounding to no avail before.]

Importantly, Dr. Baker doesn’t say that everyone must adopt carnivore and he is also explicit that it won’t stop you from dying.

The author is a little intense but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong. I appreciate that he’s a doctor and has actually engaged in his own medical research on meat-only human health. The epilogue might be true but felt a little silly.

Some of my favorite takeaways: that fasting for one week (no food at all) actually raises your cholesterol by 36%. Or the numerous studies that have debunked the claim that high cholesterol causes heart-disease (a little harder to find because so many sources are parroting the the opposite without any scientific backing). You can also find interesting research in psychology and psychiatry that shows a direct correlation between low cholesterol and increased mental diseases (anxiety, depression, eating disorders, suicidal ideation/completion, schizophrenia, etc.). Obviously heavily processed foods and other toxins are a major contributor too so it’s not like high cholesterol simply equals happiness. But if you remove the junk and up your cholesterol we see improved mental health and general remission. It now makes sense why strict fasts make people feel happier (the ancient paradigm for religious fasting seems to have been not eating at all). Our brains use more cholesterol than any other organ in the body. We need it.

The author cites everything at the end of the book.

My healing on carnivore has been a Godsend and I hope it continues to improve. I look forward to continuing my research.
Profile Image for Nate.
308 reviews7 followers
March 6, 2022
There’s not a lot of information on how to follow the diet in this book. There’s no counting calories, weighing food or timing meals. Basically eat steak, eggs, bacon, butter ect until you’re full. Don’t eat anything else; no vegetables, grains,processed food or any sugar-just meat.
I’ve been trying this out for almost two weeks and I’ll say I’ve noticed that a few of the claims that seem a bit outrageous in the book happened pretty quickly.
My energy level is much more stable and my overall mood is much improved. I also lost a few pounds. I plan on giving it 30 days to decide for myself.

He spends a lot of pages refuting the claims of vegan activists and reading his own hate mail. There’s even a “the vegans are coming for your steak” warning at the end that I thought was a bit over the top.
As for his own not fully substantiated claims about the carnivore diet, I guess I’ll find out for myself. I will say the carb withdrawals were no joke and took over a week to mostly subside, that’s gotta say something.

I’ve been following this diet for 30 days and it’s been a success for the most part. After a solid week of brutal sugar/carb cravings I lost almost 15lbs had a steady energy flow with no crashes or hangry episodes.
My overall mood was also improved and I didn’t feel hungry or crave snacks very often. It didn’t cure my eczema, cure my nearsightedness or any of the other more outlandish claims made by the author. Also, happily, I wasn’t attacked by militant vegan gangs in the street.

In light of the positive results I’m going to go another month.
Profile Image for Guillermo.
69 reviews
December 24, 2019
I usually think that extremes are bad, and recently I've been sick of listening, watching and seeing all the vegan nonsense that has been pushed to us through different propagandist means. Don't get me wrong, I eat and enjoy vegetables and fruits and both are to some extent part of the nutrition path that I've chosen for myself after many different trials and errors. Although there's nothing I enjoy eating more than a medium rare rib eye, I don't plan to become a 100% carnivore anytime soon; but what I'm fully willing to do is to recommend you reading this book. It definitely provides good information and helps to balance things out, by allowing people to be better inform, more conscious and self responsible of their nutrition; which ultimately is something with high repercussions in terms of our quality of life. P.S.- Eat more meat!
12 reviews
December 18, 2019

Best introduction and explanation of the carnivore diet, It’s a quick read, and an easy regimen to begin. I enjoyed this book immensely!
Profile Image for Meredith.
536 reviews1 follower
November 27, 2020
Basically: a medical doctor says to just eat meat and drink water. Nothing else.

Try it. It is not as crazy as it might sound.
Profile Image for Joe Warren.
30 reviews1 follower
January 16, 2023
This was an intriguing read that I was gifted by a friend and it makes a compelling argument. Whether it's societal conditioning, potentiality of a fad or how controversial this diet is; the notion of calling 'bollocks' on the whole thing continued to rise within me. The setup and cadence of this reads much like those lengthy cure-all 30 minute YouTube ads that claim to be the next godsend. I still rate this three stars as the aim it set out for seems to be accomplished. Will see if this pans out or is just snake oil, if I choose to embark on this nutritional journey myself.
Profile Image for Claudio.
Author 5 books20 followers
September 17, 2022
I used to be vegetarian, then vegan, now mostly paleo and keto. This book makes sense to me and I am about to embark on this journey.

I loved the author style, history, and the all book makes sense to me. While we all want to believe in science, when it comes to diet it often becomes almost a religious conversation, and we all take sides instead of being curious and experiments or keep an open mind. In my experience with food, conventional wisdom failed me many times and this is why I have no problem with the concept expressed in this book

February 21, 2020
Empowering Information

Very well laid out perspective about why an animal based diet is truly the proper human diet. You cannot argue with the benefits people are experiencing from pain control to remission of depression and anxiety, healed metabolism, weight reduction, increased mental clarity, increased energy, better sleep and increased libido! I have experienced the benefits myself and have decided that it is time for me to step out as a health care professional and help others find their way to a healthier life. This book is backed up with a LOT of scientific knowledge. Thank you Dr. Baker for being a voice of common sense. I'm so happy to see the medical profession rethinking and challenging the standard of care that is clearly not correct.
Profile Image for Andrew Bruce.
1 review1 follower
June 7, 2020
This book might save your life

I would recommend this book to anyone curious about the carnivore diet. I came to this book highly skeptical, I mean, it’s a crazy idea! I’ve been eating Keto on and off for 5 years. More off than on to be honest because it’s a pain to keep track of the nutrients of each mean... I also read that too much protein kicks you out of ketosis.
This book is an approachable, easy to read explanation of the carnivore diet. I guess the highest praise I can give it is that I’ve tried it for a week and love it. Even restaurants, “just meat please” become manageable. The challenge will be when I can travel again... but anyway. Get this book to understand the pros and cons. It might save your life.
2 reviews
September 27, 2020
Great Read and Very Informative

I didn't expect this book to be a very entertaining read; however, the author's writing style made it easy. I have been on the diet for about one month and, although I've had a few rough days along the way, I feel great. I've never been a heavy person and I've remained pretty active for the 50 years I've been alive, this book has helped me gain a better understanding of my nutritional needs, all while losing about 12 pounds. I'm at the point I have to push myself to eat more because I don't want to lose any additional weight. I don't really believe this is a sustainable diet, but I think it is definitely worth trying out and experimenting with. I plan to cycle between carnivore and Paleo and see what happens.
Profile Image for Alexis.
160 reviews
August 27, 2020
I have been recently looking into ways for me to heal my psoriasis with diet which lead me to this way of eating and this book on the subject. I have been struggling for 4 plus years with psoriasis that just will not go away no matter what I have tried. I also struggle from Sciatic Nerve Pain which is another hinderance to me while working out or wanting to start a work out regimen that makes it flare up.

This book is very interesting and helps you to start asking questions about what you have always been told and grew up to believe about health and nutrition. I loved the different perspective and I am excited to give it a try to see if I have big health outcomes.
83 reviews1 follower
December 12, 2020
An eye opening book

As much as I have spent years researching, this has been a difficult truth to accept. But having tested many ways of eating, this and some forms of paleo /primal are the closest eating styles I believe are best suited for humans.

I don't believe in one size fits all in nutrition, but it would be wise to state with a reset that is full carnivore and then add back some other foods and see if you can tolerate them.

If your body reacts badly on any way, then that food item is not for your body. Don't hold on to anything dogmatically. Overall, let not the vegans deceive you with the move sounding ideas that have no real basis in reality and science.
10 reviews
June 1, 2020
Wow this has really challenged a lot of my life long beliefs. I have been vegan, vegetarian and more recently along the paleo/keto lines of nutrition but fruits and vegetables for me were not a "belief" to be healthy, they were my absolute truth. Opening my mind was difficult, but I did it and I am so glad I did. I have seen positive results from this diet and since reading this book, Shawn Baker has helped me accept a new way of living. This book gave me the history, science and evidence I needed to bust open my incorrect "truths" and replace them with my new truth.
Profile Image for Emilia Romero.
5 reviews
June 14, 2020
Amazing book!

I just finished reading this book after being 90% carnivore for the last 3 months. I learned so much, specially the facts regarding health of every organ related to the way you eat, and how a carnivore diet can help. Of course the part that explains and refute all the excuses used by the vegana was great (I was vegan for a year during 2016) and now I ser ot more clearly. The New World Order Diet is veganism, we need to stop them or we’ll be screwed!!!
1 review
June 26, 2020
Finally some sense!

Been researching this since listening on Joe Rogan. I’ve finally took the plunge, finished the book and am fully carnivore. I’m an ex international rugby player, lots of old injuries and ailments, mentally and physically. I feel the best I’ve felt in years. I can’t wait to see the results of being on this way of eating for a sustained period! Great work Shaun.
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