The latest diet rage seems to be the Zero Carb Diet. The rules are:
- Eat only from the animal world (eggs, fish, red meat and fowl and some dairy are all animal sourced foods, i.e.: meat).
- Eat nothing from the vegetable world whatsoever. (Very small amounts of flavorings such as garlic/chillies/spices/herbs which may be added, are not ‘food’).
- Avoid milk and yogurt (heavy carbs – lactose), use only pure (not ‘thickened’- heavy) cream (read the label), cheese and unsalted butter.
- Don’t cook your meat very much – just a little bit on the outside – for flavor – blood – rare.
- Eat liver and brains only very infrequently – they are full of carbs.
- Be sure to have plenty of fat of animal origin at each meal and eat mostly of the fat until you feel you have had enough – you can eat more lean at this point if you like – calories are not important, nor is the number of meals/day. Vegetable oils are not good food.
- You do not need any supplements of any kind. Drink a lot of water and do not add salt to anything.
The hard core Zero carbers go even further. No eggs (they have carbs!). No dairy or cheese (carbs!). Not to mention “bolting” the food – swallow it without chewing it.
This is not supposed to be a crash diet, done for a short period of time. The Zero carbers see it as a way to eat for life. They are fully convinced that you can be fully healthy by eating supermarket meat only.
They base this conviction on the history of carnivorous peoples. The Inuits provide the main example. I do not understand how they fail to see the difference on a diet based on supermarket beef and a native carnivorous diet that included raw offal (brain and liver contain Vit. C, for example). Certain animal parts, raw, were greatly favored by carnivorous peoples. There surely was a reason for it. The same reason that I can crave broccoli. There must be something my body needs from it.
Even more alarming is that many with a history of ED (Eating Disorders) jump on the Zero Carb wagon. From one extreme to the other. While it might be good that they become unafraid of fat and calories, the recommendation to “eat fat until nauseous, then lean” doesn’t seem like it would lead to a healthy relationship to food.
What will the Zero Carbers do when weight loss stops? Cut the protein and risk protein deficiency? Cut the fat and end up with a Kimkins starvation diet? What other option is there?
Now, I don’t think that a couple of weeks with meat only is doing any harm. This is really Atkins’ induction, in the original 1972 diet. But Atkins never intended it to be done for life. He invented the carb ladder for a reason.