Could an all-meat diet cure some diseases?

Fillet steak beef meat

Is reversing several diseases possible by solely changing your diet? Mikhaila Peterson had suffered from autoimmune diseases since she was only two years old and it didn’t get better with age. Everything changed when she quite radically changed her diets. In this article in The Atlantic, Mikhaila is being interviewed about her interesting story.

Peterson described an adolescence that involved multiple debilitating medical diagnoses, beginning with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Some unknown process had triggered her body’s immune system to attack her joints. The joint problems culminated in hip and ankle replacements in her teens, coupled with “extreme fatigue, depression and anxiety, brain fog, and sleep problems.” In fifth grade, she was diagnosed with depression, and then later something called idiopathic hypersomnia

She did everything the doctors told her, but nothing helped. Then she made a big change. She started to cut out different foods from her diet. Starting with gluten, moving on to dairy, soy, lectins and so on. At last, she had eliminated everything but beef and salt from her diet, and all of her symptoms went into remission.

Today Mikhaila is 26 years old and a mother. As long as she sticks to her all-meat diet she is a healthy young woman. She hopes to help and inspire others through her blog and her one-on-one counseling.

Read her full story here:

The Atlantic: The Jordan Peterson all-meat diet

Comment by Dr. Eenfeldt

Stories like these are powerful examples of the potential power of a lifestyle change, and they give ideas for important future research. However, it’s important to note that stories like these can’t by themselves prove cause and effect – this requires controlled studies of a larger number of people.

The article also raises some fairly obvious questions, for example about the environmental sustainability of a diet like this, were it to be selected by a larger percentage of humanity.

The questions about whether a diet like this could be compared to an eating disorder requires us to be very open minded, I believe. That would depend on the reason for choosing it, and how the diet makes a person feel. If there is no urgent health reason for it, and the diet makes someone feel anxious and restricted and obsessed, this may very well be cause for a lot of concern. But that’s not necessarily the case. And as Mikaela Peterson rightly puts it: “it’s extremely disrespectful to people with health issues caused by food to be lumped into the same category as people with eating disorders.”

We’ll post a big guide to the carnivore diet on Diet Doctor later this year, where we look closely at the pros and cons, and the experience and science that support the diet (or not).


Is it a good idea to eat only meat?

Carnivory: Meet the people who eat pounds of steak per day



  1. BobM
    Actually, ruminants (like cows) might save the earth. See:

    Some argue they are much more beneficial to the earth than is agriculture. Once you've taken off the grasses and planted something, you've killed the soil.

  2. Don
    Better to have ruminants that help the soil than planting soy, corn and others that rob the soil.
  3. Lori Nolen
    It has to do with prolonged fasting her body is in ketosis which is like it's fasting
  4. BobM
    Lori, that's most likely not true. Ketosis and fasting aren't the same. I'm in ketosis basically all the time, rarely out, and fasting is much different. She most likely has an issue with something in plants or on plants or both. If you do some research into these so-called carnivores, they were on low carb and got increased benefit from no plants.

    I even learned by doing a very clean Whole 30 how much plants affect me. For instance, zoodles made with zucchini, I can't eat these. They cause me gastric distress. It wasn't until I ate mainly meat with limited vegetables and then had zoodles I could tell what happened. The same for hot sauces or hot peppers -- I thought the reaction I was getting was just due to the heat. Now, I realize I have an allergic reaction to hot peppers. I still eat them, but try to do so rarely.

  5. Linda
    Talk about taking a subject matter way out of focus. This young lady figured out a way to survive against the odds. I really hope, there is more additional research done on this. With the growing number of autoimmune disorders and the number of people inflicted. Thank you for sharing her store.
    Reply: #23
  6. Anne Marie
    Bob, in what you describe as a possible allergy to hot peppers and some other veggies, I too thought the way you do
    until I found my answer and it is the fiber that my body cannot tolerate.
  7. Ruth
    Will you include the work of Paleomedicina in your guide? The team of doctors and researchers in Hungary that use the paleolithic ketogenic diet in their practice.
  8. Pepper Conchobhar
    Annie Marie: It may be different or a combination for each of us. For instance, juicing made me sicker than I've ever been. The fiber was removed from my diet then. But a high-fiber diet post-surgery was horrible, too.

    I've just started carnivore and within the last two weeks, the improvements are insane. So, in my case, it may be the poisons in the plants and the fiber.

    Honestly, I'm so tired of navel-gazing over my diet. Meat and eggs are working so I'm sticking with them.

  9. Francoise
    I agree with BobM and Don. Rain forests and and wild animals are being decimated for high yield agriculture. Asian elephants in Southeast Asia are mercilessly killed because they are labeled pests.
    On the subject of adopting a carnivore diet, listening to Mikhaela Peterson’s youtube video, I decided to try eating only animal foods for one week. Two years ago I suffered from a severe arthritis attack in both my knees, and I wanted to find out if there would be any improvement in the pain level. There was! After one week, there was only some very slight discomfort. Walking was pleasurable again. Also interesting to note that my blood ketone levels increased during that week from a usual average of 0.8 to 1.7. But after one week, I was bored eating nothing but animal foods. I have resumed adding vegetables. My knee discomfort has returned, albeit not as severe as before, and my ketone levels dropped to around 0.5. I will increase protein intake and limit but not remove vegetables. It was an interesting experiment.
  10. ModMom
    It is interesting that “experts “ are insisting on fruits and veges. My son was sick from the time I gave him formula (after he stopped breast feeding from a cancker sore virus in he is mouth). He got hives, and was allergic it seemed to EVERYTHING. He ate lamb, rice and pears for a year. No nuts, eggs, poultry or grains because he would throw up and be covered in rashes. Drs were almost no help. He thrived on the lamb diet, if it were today I would not give him rice either. He is an adult now and became obese on a college boys diet of beer and pizz and Red Bull. He found a Joe Rogan interview and went on a KETO food plan. Lost 75 lbs in 9 months. He feels amazing and his
    life long depression and self esteem problems are greatly diminished. Eating is so individual..obviously
    I feel way better on fatty meat and greens..nuts and berries.
  11. Edel
    I am not looking to lose weight. But I'm still looking for a diet that will (at least) stall cancer progression. W/a house full of Dr's, & being Swedish at that, I would think you have made some headway?? - w/out drugs.
  12. Kathy from Maine
    The Atlantic article likens carnivory to an eating disorder:

    "This verges into the realm of an eating disorder. The National Eating Disorder Association lists among common symptoms 'refusal to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against whole categories of food.' ”

    Can't this also be said regarding people who are vegetarians and vegans? But no, a plant-based diet is the only diet on the planet that will lead you to health and wealth and fortune and fame. Or so says my vegan doctor. I told him I do eat a plant-based diet, I just pass the plants through a cow first.

    Replies: #13, #17
  13. ileana
    I love your comment. Thank you for a dose of reality. Told my husband about the last part where you eat a plant based diet passed thru a cow before and he started laughing so hard and it is so true that doctor's are mostly recommending wheat and very low fat and when they hear about keto or carnivore it's like you speak foreign or they seen the dark side.
  14. Susie
    I have been following the dd Keto way of life, but today, I heard a podcast with Terry Wahls and Dr Paul Jaminet, which left me mightily confused. Here’s an extract.
    “ Who Would You Warn Against a Ketogenic Diet?”
    “Everyone else.”
    He believes a ketogenic diet is more likely to cause autoimmune disease than cure it, due to the depletion of the mucus layer of the intestine, which puts bacteria directly into contact with immune cells. (Carbohydrates are necessary to maintain this protective mucus layer.) For example, there's a theory that connects a bacterial infection with a low carb-diet and high mammalian meat consumption, leading to Hashimoto's.
    When Paul first went paleo, he experimented with a standard ketogenic diet, with no attention to nutrition. After 18 months, he actually developed scurvy, along with other health problems.
    She doesn't recommend a ketogenic diet to be the first troubleshooting step for people with autoimmune disease (nor an elimination diet like the AIP for that matter). If people don't see results on regular Wahls Paleo, she recommends functional medicine assessment. Her bias is to preserve as much diversity of food as possible, since nutrient deficiencies lead to disease.
    However, she recommends everyone eat a low-glycemic diet.
    Replies: #18, #19, #21
  15. 2 comments removed
  16. Cindy Bruce
    I raised my children as pescatarian. Last year I told my oldest, 25, that I thought I schools start eating meat and I hoped I had not done a disservice to them with their diet. Last Dec, my 19 yr oldcwas diagnosed with RA. She took her first bite of chicken yesterday and I had a little bone broth this week. We are trying to get there. For me it’s been 38 yrs of fish and veggies. I’m Finding meat is what she needs.
  17. Brandon Shaffer
    My BF has hashimotos and this has practically cured him, eating only beef. Just like how the govt says to eat dairy, yet most people are allergic/intolerant to it. Propaganda. Wheat is the same deal. It's their way to feed a large population but it isn't healthy.
  18. Frank

    (Carbohydrates are necessary to maintain this protective mucus layer.) For example...

    Often quoted when discussing fibre in the diet.

  19. Dawn
    I have polymyalgia and although I am on steroids and methotrexate I was continuing to have flairs which were so painful I could hardly walk, I have been zero card for just over a week and there is marked pain reduction, and reduction in swelling. I don’t think I can get into keto because of the steroids, they raise blood sugars but my morning blood sugars are way down, my blood pressure is just over 120/80 so nearly normal and I’ve lost 12 pounds. I hope this will enable me to taper off my medication. It’s early days but very hopeful and I have lots more energy
    Reply: #22
  20. Paul Randall
    I read that scurvy can be avoided by eating liver which contains more than enough vitamin c needed. A proper carnivore diet includes organ meats.

    When Paul first went paleo, he experimented with a standard ketogenic diet, with no attention to nutrition. After 18 months, he actually developed scurvy, along with other health problems..

  21. Penelope
    Hi Dawn, How are you doing nowadays? I have Polymyalgia, too. I had initial success with a meat-based diet and got the pred down but then experienced a major flare which set me back. So disappointing but I press on. Please feel free to share any insights you have gleaned along the way. I hope the diet has worked out for you and that it will for me as well.
  22. Vikram
    The industry has not pursued this. Maybe it doesn't fit the narrative.

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