How the carnivore diet can balance hormones and help with peri menopause

Carnivore Diet

Contrary to popular belief the carnivore diet can have many health benefits specifically for hormone imbalances including peri to post menopause.

There are multiple reasons for why this diet is effective for hormone regulation.

Increased natural fat consumption.

Eating a diet that is high in meat-based protein also means that you eat a lot of fat AKA cholesterol.

Cholesterol gets a bad rap. It is essential for us to eat enough cholesterol because cholesterol is how we make our sex hormones oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. All the low-fat diets that were touted for decades were in fact, terrible for our hormone production. So, rewiring our fear of fat is important and, in the carnivore diet we are exposed to natural saturated fats that our ancestors used to prize and eat as often as they could.

Removing common food intolerances.

The standard western diet is filled with foods we are commonly intolerant to such as grains, legumes, nightshades, and alliums.

By removing these foods, we remove the stress hormone response that occurs when the body has to deal with foods it is intolerant to. However, there is also another factor at play here. When we reduce our exposure to phyto-oestrogens in foods like soy we are also able to balance our hormones more effectively because phyto-oestrogens are plant compounds that mimic oestrogen in the body. Whilst the use of phyto-oestrogens can be useful in the post menopause phase, they can play havoc when we have hormones that are dysregulated due to peri-menopause and other conditions.

Reducing carb consumption

Eating a carnivore diet reduces insulin levels which in turn helps with inflammation, weight issues, sugar cravings, excess hunger and even anxiety! This is helpful in peri menopause when we naturally become ‘insulin resistant’ and it is also helpful with conditions such as  polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) as eating low carb lowers both insulin and testosterone levels.

Eating low-carb and nutrient-rich foods can help keep you feeling full and satiated by affecting your leptin levels. Leptin is a hormone released by our fat cells that regulates our hunger cues as well as metabolism.

study  by a group of Harvard researchers found lowered blood sugar levels with diabetic participants after following a carnivore diet for over six months.

All participants in the study with diabetes came off injectable medications, 92% of type 2 diabetic participants came off insulin supplements, and 84% came off oral medications. A total of 98% of participants resolved or improved their insulin resistance.

That same study by Harvard found 92% of participants reported improved or resolved skin conditions after adhering to a carnivore diet for six or more months. 

There are common questions with the carnivore diet:

Do I have to only eat meat?

The answer to this is that there are two schools of thought.

The first is that strict carnivore is the way forward, however, other ‘animal-based advocates’ suggest that eating seasonal fruit (savoury and sweet) plus raw dairy (if tolerated) and some root veg is better for your thyroid.

Ultimately, we believe that a blend of both approaches can work. As such we have created a food strategy that we call “The Systemic Reset”. To find out more and to get a copy of the food plan, check out our e-book for more information

Are There Any Health Risks of a Carnivore Diet?

Any elimination diet is not without controversy and some nutrition experts caution to keep a few factors in mind if embarking on extremely low-carb diets and animal-only protein sources:

Aren’t processed meats unhealthy?

If you are sticking with a meat-based diet, it’s important to avoid too much processed meat such as commercial hams, sausages, hot dogs and other tinned or cured foods as they are high in sodium and preservatives. Sticking to fresh meat wherever possible is important.

Will I be getting enough nutrients?

Vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C and potassium, may be lacking on an all-meat diet. The way to avoid this issue is to eat offal, but if you don’t like offal you can buy desiccated organs such as heart, liver and kidneys. The soluble vitamins are present in these foods.

Is it suitable for pregnant women?

Any restrictive diet is going to ring alarm bells for pregnant women. However, the truth is that our primal ancestors survived and our being alive is testament to this, but we would recommend where possible eating the ‘animal based approach’ with the additional fruits and vegetables being a better option during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

As with all diets, please do work with a qualified coach if you are concerned or do a lot of your own research before diving in.

Check out our 1:1 coaching options and our Carnivore diet food plan e-book and Systemic Reset 23 .