All About Ancestral Eating
If you’re reading this article, it’s no surprise we are huge believers and advocates for the ancestral eating as creators of The Carnivore Bar.
The ancestral way of eating has transformed many lives as it’s been brought back to light and acknowledged across mainstream platforms, giving hope to those suffering from chronic illness or those simply looking to better their health. Eating like your ancestors means getting back in touch with an intentional way of life. Eating like your ancestors also means eating the way nature intended us to, and is the diet our bodies have thrived on over millions of years – prior to the rapid industrialization and introduction of highly palatable, ultra-processed foods we have come to known on the Standard American Diet (SAD).
In this article, we are going to explore everything about the ancestral way of eating and why exactly it works, so those who are ready to start their carnivore journey can confidently do so!
What is the Ancestral Way of Eating?
The ancestral way of eating is an approach to consuming foods that are only or primarily animal-based. While quite obvious, this means saying yes to all cuts of animal meat, whether it be from farmed-raised animals, wild game, or seafood, all sources of meat are on the table.
A true ancestral diet includes only meat and minerals (primarily salt), with an emphasis on organ meats and fatty cuts of meat as these are the best source of all of the vitamins and minerals the human body needs to survive and thrive. This also means that a carnivores do not consume any food sources outside of meat (think any forms of fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, dairy, and so on). Amber O’Hearn, Dana Spencer, and Kelly Hogan are all advocates to look to when it comes to ancestral eating and sticking to fatty cuts of red meat.
While this is the truest form of the diet, there are also modified versions people opt for, which includes consuming dairy and/or the least toxic food plants, so the emphasis is more on an animal-based diet with small modifications to incorporate plant foods.
This way of eating and way of life is becoming increasingly popular as there are more advocates speaking out on behalf of this lifestyle, and a shift from a keto-based diet to a carnivorous diet for health is on the rise. Prominent figures such as Jordan Peterson, Mikhaila Peterson, MD Shawn Baker, and Joe Rogan have all popularized the ancestral eating and carnivore diets. There are also advocates of an animal-based diet such as MD Paul Saladino that promote carnivore-adjacent nutrition.
Two of the prominent figures above, Mikhaila and Jordan Peterson, have even both tested out and incorporated The Carnivore Bar into their diets and lifestyles at certain points! You can check out their reviews here.
The Inner Workings of an Ancestral Diet
Why Ancestral Eating Works
Even though the carnivore diet is the way of our ancestors, it’s a relatively new phenomenon in the last decade after processed food, seed oils, and the standard American diet swept the nation, with other countries following suit.
The scientific world has only just begun to study the effects of the ancestral eating and the carnivore diet – which we have no doubt will aid in proving the safety and superiority of this ancestral way of eating – and this begins with the first carnivore diet study recently published by Oxford University. The epidemiological study included a survey response from just over 2000 self-identified carnivores who had been on the diet six months or longer. The self-reported results from the survey population were astounding, with over 95% reporting improvements in overall health, and a large percentage reporting a great reduction or overall remission in their chronic illness.
Go further: Read the full study here.
It’s not surprising that these are the findings in the first carnivore diet study. As mentioned above, this is an ancestral way of eating, and only in modern times have we completely forgotten about this diet, the optimal diet our body has adapted to over the course of human history. We’ve written articles on Native American tribes that thrived on pemmican and a high-meat diet prior to the pioneering of North America, and there are populations such as the Hadza tribes in Africa that still live in hunter-gatherer ways which have been shown to prioritize, covet, and thrive on organ meats and animal-based foods. To boot, a study that originally covers the way we were meant to eat from a psychological health perspective which can be read here.
While this is not a direct comparison, the metabolic health of Americans on a SAD diet is alarmingly low, while the metabolic markers of isolated, non-westernized populations indicate better health with a greater adherence to ancestral ways of eating. In fact, there is a plethora of further anecdotal evidence from the thousands of stories submitted by carnivores on MeatRx (now Revero) that indicate the significant improvements in overall health, which can be browsed by specific categories here.
Health Benefits of Ancestral Eating
Diving deeper into why ancestral eating works and the benefits you will likely experience, here are the top three improvements you would likely experience:
- Ancestral eating can also be looked at as an elimination diet, meaning that any foods that specifically trigger negative health consequences for you as an individual are removed from the equation. You can take the guesswork out of which foods impact your health the most, and you can focus on healing your health concerns and reducing chronic illnesses you may experience.
- Moving away from a SAD diet and eliminating processed foods, grains, seeds, and most plant foods greatly reduces inflammation, a primary culprit in exacerbating chronic illness and disease.
- Increasing your intake of fatty meat and organ-focused allows you to greatly increase the vital micronutrients your body needs to survive, along with animal protein being the most bioavailable source of essential fatty acids and micronutrients (bioavailability meaning the proportion of nutrients that are digested, absorbed, and metabolized by your body).
While there are modern concerns about red meat and the perceived cardiovascular risks associated with an increase in consumption of saturated fats, we referred to a meta-analysis in a previous article that debunked these claims upon further review of the studies.
Resources for Starting an Ancestral Diet
While there are many people previously mentioned in this article you can follow to learn more about the ancestral eating, we’ve created a list of resources below to help you get started on your carnivore journey:
- Prominent figures to follow: Mikhaila Peterson, MD Shawn Baker, MD Paul Saladino, MD Ken Berry
- Communities to join: MeatRx (now Revero)
- Guides to get started: The Carnivore Diet by Shawn Baker, Starting the Carnivore Diet by MD Paul Saladino, CarnivoreRx Diet Plan
- Carnivore bars to purchase to stay on track while travelling or for on the go: The Carnivore Bar 12-bar box, The Carnivore Bar sample pack
If you’re interested in our full line up of carnivore products, check out our shop to order below!