The Leader at ZIOH calls his version of Zero Carb, a “Pure Zero Carb” diet. It’s not really clear what this is anymore as the diet advice on ZIOH is constantly changing. Previously, the recommendations followed what the Leader presently was eating but the last couple of days, mere members have gotten more of a voice.
This may be a result of the recent meet-up they had, or more likely, a result of the huge exodus of long time members from that forum. Perhaps The Leader decided that he didn’t want to be as strict and exclusive as earlier in order not to end up without any members at all.
The “ground beef only” diet being the key for “successful” zero carbers is no longer pushed. Neither is the “ideal food” pemmican. Other types of meat and even eggs are discussed. They don’t even openly frown on people taking supplements or exercising any more. Big changes, indeed!
But the core of “pure zero carb” is still there. The Leader has not changed his opinion that muscle meat from beef will provide all nutrition you need, indefinitely.
Here is a quote by The Leader:
Most people don’t know about pemmican and that’s primarily the reason why people don’t understand ZC. It is entirely based on pemmican and the way beef, fat and water sustained thousands of people for thousands of years without vegetable matter. To be ZC, one would be very wise to understand all aspects of pemmican. NBBA is a must-read to understand why we feel we get all the nutrients necessary for excellent health from muscle meat alone.
“NBBA” stands for Not By Bread Alone by The Leader’s idol Stefansson. How you can draw the conclusion that “muscle meat alone” is sufficient from that book is a mystery to me.
The Leader insists that there is one group of Inuits that eat nothing else than caribou; the Mackenzie Inuits. But that’s not what Stefansson says. From the book (page 22):
I might tell you, correctly, that the chief food of a certain group of Eskimos with whom I lived was caribou meat, with perhaps 30 per cent fish, 10 per cent seal meat, and 5 or 10 per cent made up of polar bear, rabbits, birds, and eggs.
It is true that, according to Stefansson, these Inuits ate exclusively caribou for months at a time. I think this was common for other peoples as well; the food source depending on season and supply with very little variety for long periods of time. Perhaps that is why the human body has the ability to store essential vitamins. However, the storage will not last indefinitely and would need to be replenished at some point in time.
But even during the period they ate only caribou, they didn’t limit themselves to “muscle” meat. The head was a favored part, especially the fat behind the eyes and the tongue. Kidneys were also eaten.
Further according to Stefansson, this particular group on Inuits even ate vegetable and berries. About berries, he said:
Some vegetable foods were eaten because the Mackenzie River people liked them. These were chiefly berries; and among berries chiefly the salmon berry or cloudberry
The other source The Leader uses for his argument is Stefansson’s Bellevue experiment where he claims that the two subjects ate “2 pounds sirloin per day.”
This is just plain false. They ate:
The experiment started smoothly with Andersen, who was permitted to eat in such quantity as he liked such things as he liked, provided only that they came under our definition of meat—steaks, chops, brains fried in bacon fat, boiled short-ribs, chicken, fish, liver and bacon.
Which is equivalent to 2 pounds of sirloin with regards to the proportion of fat versus lean.
We averaged about a pound and a third of lean per day and half a pound of fat (this is about like eating a two pound broiled sirloin with the fat such a steak usually has on it).
I fail to understand how this can be compared to eating “muscle meat” only. In addition, the experiment lasted for one year. Even though they were found to be in perfect health at the end on the one year, there is nothing to say that any deficiencies would not have showed up later if they had continued the same diet.
Finally, the Leader holds himself up as proof that “muscle meat only” is perfectly healthy as he has allegedly eaten muscle meat only for two years. If you want to base YOUR heath and YOUR life on this unverified “proof,” go ahead. Personally, I think some skepticism, questioning and looking at other opinions is a good thing.
A good resource is the website Satya put up: Dirty Carnivore. Satya is one of the many very knowledgeable former members of ZIOH that didn’t fully agree with the Leader. If you are considering a Zero Carb or Very Low Carb diet, check it out!