Not everyone has shied away from meat. From the paleo diet to a carnivore’s plan, many people were still packing animal protein into their eating regimes.
Pass the meats.
Paleo dieters subsist on meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, while shying away from grains, sugar, dairy products, and anything processed. Paleo aficionados argue this diet is what our bodies are built for, and that modern farming has evolved faster than our guts.
Paleo dieters who fuel up on heavy doses of proteins like meat, however, put themselves at risk for vitamin D deficiency, and may not get enough calcium for their bones to stay healthy. There aren’t really any long-term clinical studies on the benefits or risks of the Paleo diet, either.
Besides, most Americans do just fine when it comes to protein intake.
You can calculate your own daily recommended protein dose with this USDA calculator, but for most people under age 65, protein intake isn’t anything to worry too much about.
For example, a serving of Greek yogurt along with 3 ounces of chicken is almost enough for one day. If you’re a vegetarian, a one cup scoopful of black beans is going to get you most of the way there.
UC Davis Health dietitian Alex Nella encourages his patients who are excited about Paleo to make some modifications, adding beans, lentils, whole grains, and dairy to their plate.
Similar to Paleo fans, carnivore dieters suggest there might be something special and immune-boosting about subsisting on meats.
Nutritionists don’t think going fully carnivorous is a solid plan. There’s essentially no dietary fiber in the mix, and the diet is missing a lot of key nutrients we don’t get from animals, like the beneficial plant chemicals in fruits and vegetables that may help reduce cancer risk.
“In the absence of adequate fiber, the bacteria in the colon consume and thin the protective mucus lining, which then leads to impaired immune function and inflammation,” Christopher Gardner, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, told The Guardian.