Jordan Peterson is a Canadian academic, psychologist, author, podcaster, and social media content creator who has achieved global fame for his outspoken views on today’s most contentious political issues. He is also well known for something else – eating nothing but meat. We take a look at Jordan Peterson’s carnivore diet and whether or not it might work for you.
The Jordan Peterson All Meat Diet
Jordan Peterson is a media personality who has recognized widespread fame as of late for going against the grain. The author and social commentator has also quite literally done so by adopting the carnivore diet.
Jordan Peterson was first introduced to the carnivore diet around 2016 by his adult daughter, Mikhaila. Having suffered for a lifetime with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory-related autoimmune issues, Mikhaila began eliminating foods from her diet in an effort to free herself from pain.
Noting that she felt better having eliminated gluten, she tried removing dairy. She then removed processed foods and all carbohydrates from her plate. Her strict meal plan worked so well that she could stop taking her medication. According to her account, intermittent fasting further improved her health.
Having witnessed his daughter’s profound transformation, Jordan Peterson followed suit that same year, eliminating all but meat and a few vegetables from his meals. By 2018 he had fully adopted what his daughter refers to as ‘The Lion Diet.’ This carnivore-style diet plan consists of nothing more than beef, salt, and water.
The Carnivore Diet and Controversy
In a 2018 appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast, Peterson credited his carnivore meal plan with curing his lifelong depression, anxiety, and auto-immune-related issues such as fatigue, psoriasis, gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), and gum disease.
As with much of what Jordan Peterson has to say, the statement sparked great controversy. Nutritionists decried the diet as irresponsible, journalists ran with it, and the media made much ado about the highly restrictive meal plan. But in 2023, would such claims get the same reaction? Perhaps.
Dr. Shawn Baker’s book, The Carnivore Diet, was released in 2019. Dr. Paul Saladino’s The Carnivore Code came out in 2020. Since then, the public has had some education on the potential benefits of abstaining from plant-based foods.
While we’re still waiting for research on the effects of long-term carnivore-style eating, those on meat-only diets report the following:1
- Weight loss (without muscle loss)
- Reduced systemic inflammation
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved insulin response
- Less hunger
- Fewer energy and mood fluctuations
- Improved inflammatory-related issues (including less depression, anxiety, and IBS)
Claims that the diet doesn’t provide enough nutrients, minerals, or fiber or that it raises cholesterol to dangerous levels have been proven false. After five years on The Lion Diet, you can see Jordan Peterson’s blood test results here.
What Does Jordan Peterson Eat?
The Jordan Peterson carnivore diet is more strict than some. An animal-based diet includes healthy fats like avocados and olives. Dr. Shawn Baker’s carnivore diet includes chicken and fish and limited dairy products like cheese. The Jordan Peterson diet, however, includes just ruminant meat (beef, bison, lamb, and goat), salt, and water. Nothing else.
It’s difficult to say with certainty what any one person eats if we don’t personally spend time with them 24/7. Jordan’s daughter Mikhaila has been criticized for consuming alcohol during her alleged water-only diet. Both Jordan Peterson and his daughter have talked publicly about putting vegetables and fruits back into the diet every so often. Jordan, for example, reintroduced vegetables for two years before returning to meat, water, and salt again.
Exactly how strict the meal plan is, however, may not matter. Many people not only lose weight but find great relief from chronic health issues by restricting their intake of carbohydrates. If the science says carbs are unnecessary,2 why not go all the way and eliminate them altogether? Thousands of others have stories to tell about how beneficial it is.
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