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Carnivore Diet and Liver Toxicity

Mentions of the carnivore diet on the Joe Rogan podcast have brought the carnivore diet into notoriety recently.   The carnivore diet is a diet which relies only on the meat and fat of animals to provide essential nutrients and fuel for the body.  This diet contradicts many of the common health and wellness beliefs our society holds dear, and one of the biggest arguments against going carnivore is that too much protein can lead to liver toxicity. However, throughout most of history eating meat and fat from animals was mainstay for many cultures during winter months.  In subsistence living huge amounts of time are dedicated for the harvesting, processing, distributing, and preserving of food.  Some of the harsher environments on earth have such a little or no growing period throughout the year which would enable inhabitants to grow and preserve carbohydrate rich foods to sustain them through the winter months.  These cultures have been thriving for thousands of years, and liver toxicity is a non-issue.  How is toxifying one’s liver avoided?  The answer lies on consuming large quantities of fat. 

If you are contemplating the carnivore diet, you will want to do your research and to be sure to incorporate a majority of fat in your daily intake of food.  Sticking with lean muscle tissue and limiting your fat intake in the absence of carbohydrate is not a healthy diet and will likely lead to a toxic liver.  In Alaska the native peoples use seal oil rendered from the fat of a seal on almost every meal to ensure they are getting a high enough fat percentage to keep healthy. If you do not have seal oil available, fatty animal products such as butter, beef tallow, and ghee are great additions to a carnivore’s diet.  Some schools of thought have pointed out that a high fat diet with no carbohydrate can reverse fatty liver disease that was caused by either abuse of alcoholic beverages or just the standard American diet.

Fatty meats which are often avoided on most diets are exactly what a carnivore needs to stay healthy and have a balanced diet.  Meats like bacon, brisket, high fat percentage ground beef are perfect additions to a carnivore diet.  Eggs, fatty fish like salmon, and even moderate amounts of cheese and heavy cream will protect the liver from toxicity and provide ample energy to a person eating carnivore. 

One Pan Bison Bacon Cheeseburger Recipe

Ingredients:

1 Lb. Bison or Ground Beef at least 80/20 meat to fat ratio

4-6 strips Thick Cut No Sugar Pork Bacon

4 Slices Colby Jack Cheese

4 Pasture Raised Eggs

1 tsp Sea Salt

Instructions:

Form four bison burger patties, sprinkle them with sea salt, and set aside.

Place the bacon strips on a cold cast iron skillet.

Turn up to medium high heat until the bacon gets shocked, and the fat starts to render out.

Turn the heat doe to medium low and turn the bacon regularly until cooked and is at your desired crispiness.

Remove cooked bacon from the pan and pour the majority of the rendered bacon fat out into a heat safe dish.

Turn heat up to medium high and place the burger patties into the pan.

Cook the burger patties for 5-10 minutes flipping occasionally.

3 minutes before patties are medium rare or well done per preference, place cheese slices on top of each patty.

Cover the pan and cook the burger patties until cheese is melted.

Remove the burger patties and clean the pan quickly to remove debris.

Heat cast iron pan to medium high temp, add bacon grease and wait grease it hot.

Crack each egg into the hot greased pan being careful not to break the yolks.

Fry the egg until the whites are congealed and the eggs can be easily flipped with a spatula.

Flip the eggs being careful not to break the yolk.

Once flipped, cook for ~30 seconds more until eggs are perfectly over easy.

Top the cheeseburgers with the cooked bacon and then place an egg on top of each.

Serve immediately.

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