If you want to live longer and healthier, the radical carnivore diet could be your answer. This post covers why the carnivore diet could be the best anti-aging diet around.
Table of Contents
- The carnivore diet eliminates carbohydrates that speed up the aging process
- The protein-rich carnivore diet supports muscle synthesis for a toned and youthful look
- Carnosine in meat is a powerful antioxidant with anti-aging potential
- The carnivore diet supports the production of collagen that boosts skin and joint health
- The carnivore diet relieves your body from the burden of plant toxins
- Extended intermittent fasting on the carnivore diet can slow down the aging process
The carnivore diet eliminates carbohydrates that speed up the aging process
The carnivore diet eliminates carbohydrates which age you prematurely.
When you consume carbohydrates whether they are in simple forms (e.g. table sugar, soft drinks, syrups, candies, breakfast cereals, fruits, and milk) or complex forms (e.g. whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and vegetables), they are all turned into sugar in your body.
Sugar will react with proteins or lipids leading to the formation of substances called advanced glycation end-products (“AGEs”). AGEs have been implicated in advanced aging, diabetes, kidney diseases, eye diseases, arterial stiffness, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
Sugar indeed does “sag” you. Those advanced glycation end-products or AGEs are what cause your skin to wrinkle when they are attached to the collagen matrix in your body, resulting in the loss of skin elasticity. [10, 11 12, 13]
AGEs not only cause aging externally but also internally when they accumulate in other tissues causing damage to cells and organs and leading to many serious health problems. [14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20]
While your body can eliminate AGEs, it’s not a good idea to overconsume carbohydrates which can lead to a build-up in your body.
On the carnivore diet, with the elimination of all plant-based foods, the main source of carbohydrates and sugar is eliminated and you can significantly slow down the process of aging.
It should be noted that a significant portion of AGEs come directly from the food you consume.
Foods themselves can contain AGEs (which is something we can’t do much about) but more AGEs can be formed during the cooking process, especially when high temperature is used. For example, frying, grilling, broiling, or roasting will create more AGEs than steaming, poaching, stewing, or boiling. 
Therefore, the best way to cook your meat on the carnivore diet is to cook it lightly at a low temperature to minimize the formation of AGEs.
Although you still can enjoy roasted, grilled, or fried meat, it’s best to not overdo it.
Some people even go raw on the carnivore diet claiming that they feel better on raw meat, but it is not recommended if you can’t be certain that your meat has come from a reliable and safely prepared source.
The protein-rich carnivore diet supports muscle synthesis for a toned and youthful look
The high protein content of the carnivore diet supports muscle synthesis and helps sculpt the toned and youthful look that many people are after.
After the age of 30, people begin to lose their muscle mass at the rate of 3-8% per decade and the rate of muscle mass loss is even higher after the age of 60. 
When they lose muscles, their skin doesn’t have much to hold onto, making it look saggy and making them look older.
Flabby triceps commonly referred to as bat wings tend to emerge as people get older. Excess fat or sudden weight loss could be a factor but bat wings are mainly due to the lack of muscle mass underneath to lift the skinfold up.
However, this is not an unavoidable process.
By feeding your body with sufficient quality proteins and regularly engaging in resistance exercises as you get older, you can slow down or mitigate this process significantly. 
And, in my opinion, there is no better diet to support this than the carnivore diet.
On the carnivore diet, you will get an abundance of complete proteins from animal sources that provide you with all the essential amino acids for your body’s needs, whereas plant proteins are normally incomplete proteins because they generally lack one or two essential amino acids. 
Proteins from animal-based foods are also of the highest quality possible because they are free from plant toxins and are highly bioavailable with better digestibility ratings, utilization rates, and biological values than plant proteins. [28, 29]
As you get older, to fight aging, it is even more important to get sufficient good quality protein to combat the gradual loss of muscle mass and the decrease in muscle synthesis efficiency, and that means eating a lot of protein-rich animal-based food on a daily basis.
Muscle mass not only makes you look younger but may help you live longer as well.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, a functional medicine physician based in the US, refers to muscle as “the organ of longevity” and there is some evidence supporting her view.
A study following nearly 4000 older Americans for 10–16 years found that there was an inverse relationship between muscle mass index and all-cause mortality and that muscle mass index can be used as a predictor of longevity in older adults. 
Carnosine in meat is a powerful antioxidant with anti-aging potential
Carnosine, a powerful antioxidant compound that can be found primarily in meat, can undo the damages caused by carbohydrate-rich food mentioned above and fight the aging process. 
Carnosine is a compound made up of two amino acids, alanine and histidine, and is highly concentrated in the muscles and the brain. 
Carnosine can help prevent premature aging caused by excessive sugar consumption.
As mentioned above, carbohydrates in plant-based food can accelerate the aging process through glycation or the binding of sugar with proteins, causing damage to proteins and stimulating inflammation. The binding of sugar with proteins also causes inappropriate cross-linking of proteins and prevents them from functioning normally. 
However, carnosine has an anti-glycation ability that can help undo those inappropriate binding and cross-linking. When carnosine is present, it binds to sugar and reduces blood sugar levels in the process. It also reduces the formation of AGEs and prevents cross-linking of proteins that cause sagging skin, hardening of arteries, and other diseases. [36, 37]
In addition, carnosine is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation and damage from free radicals. It also has other potentials including neuroprotection, senile cataract treatment, protection against damage to telomeres, and chelation (binding and diverting toxic metals out of the body). [38, 39]
Your body can make carnosine when it is supplied with the necessary amino acids, however, its ability to make carnosine declines with age.
Fortunately, animal-based food, especially red meat can be a great source of carnosine.
As mentioned above, in the human body, carnosine is highly concentrated in the muscles and so, unsurprisingly, muscle meat (beef, pork, turkey, and chicken) is also the best dietary source of carnosine.
For example, one pound of beef delivers about 1500 mg of carnosine, far exceeding a recommended supplement of 1000 mg of carnosine a day. 
The carnivore diet supports the production of collagen that boosts skin and joint health
The carnivore diet can help you improve skin and joint health and fight the aging process because it not only provides the necessary nutrients for collagen production but is also very rich in collagen if you practice eating nose-to-tail.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and acts like a glue that holds everything together. It is the major component of bones, teeth, ligaments, tendons, skin, nails, and hair. [43, 44]
Glowing skin, voluminous hair, shiny nails, and healthy joints need plenty of collagen, either endogenously produced by the body or obtained from dietary sources or supplements.
Because collagen is made up of amino acids, to boost collagen production, you will need to provide your body with good quality proteins. As discussed above, animal-based food is the best source of quality proteins to help boost collagen production.
In addition, if you practice eating nose to tail on the carnivore diet and include bone broth, beef tendon, oxtail, pig trotters, pork rind, and chicken feet in your diet, these foods can help boost collagen production in your body.
As you get older, your body’s ability to produce collagen is declined rapidly by about 1.0%-1.5% per year and by the time you are in your 80s, your collagen production would have decreased by about 75% compared to when you are in your 20s. [45, 46]
Therefore, a diet rich in collagen, good quality proteins, and essential nutrients becomes even more important.
Given its important role, collagen has become an increasingly popular supplement, but the best source of collagen is still real collagen-rich food.
The carnivore diet relieves your body from the burden of plant toxins
When you cut out plant food, you are not only cutting out the sugar and carbohydrates that ages you, but also plant toxins or natural pesticides that plant produce in abundance to protect themselves. 
As a result, your body doesn’t have to constantly work hard to get rid of these plant toxins which can cause many health problems. 
You will be also cutting out the main source of polyunsaturated fats in your diet which has been linked to many chronic inflammatory diseases such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. [49, 50, 51]
In short, the carnivore diet relieves your body of the burden of having to constantly deal with an influx of carbohydrates, plant toxins, inflammatory seed oils, and chemical additives, all of which can make you age faster.
Extended intermittent fasting on the carnivore diet can slow down the aging process
The carnivore diet can help you practice extended intermittent fasting with ease which can help slow down the aging process.
On the carnivore diet, you generally don’t need to eat more than one to two times a day because animal-based foods are both calorie-dense and nutrient-dense.
Having to eat less often means your intermittent fasting period increases which can bring many health benefits.
Animal studies and clinical trials have shown that intermittent fasting increases life span, slows or reverses aging, and improves many health conditions including obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancers, and neurologic disorders. [56, 57, 58]
Fasting accelerates the autophagy process which is a protective housekeeping mechanism where damaged organelles, misfolded proteins, and invading pathogens are eliminated. 
Fasting also deactivates mTOR, a nutrient-sensing pathway, activates AMP protein kinase which triggers cell repair and inhibits anabolic processes, and enhances the expression of longevity genes. [60, 61, 62, 63]
In summary, the carnivore diet can be the very fountain of youth that many people are looking for. It cuts out carbs, plant toxins, and inflammatory industrial seed oils that cause advanced aging while providing you with beneficial nutrients that delay or fight the aging process.
Below is an image of Charlene Anderson, a long-term carnivore dieter, at the age of 42. She and her family basically just eat fatty meat and drink water. They eat once a day and don’t use salt or seasonings nor take supplements.
It doesn’t look like Charlene was born with good genes. She suffered from many debilitating health problems since childhood but managed to heal herself with the carnivore diet.
The carnivore diet may not be for everyone and the only way to find out what it can do for you and your health is to try it out. Please also check out the experience of thousands of others who have been on this diet for at least six months.
In addition to a good diet, remember a physically active lifestyle and a strong social support network accompanied by a low level of stress and a positive attitude can make a big difference to how you feel and look too.
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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for reference purposes only and is not intended to constitute or replace professional medical advice. Please consult a qualified medical professional before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle. Please check out our disclaimer for more detail.
Photo credit: Valeria Boltneva