The carnivore diet draws on the works, ideas, experiences, observations, and studies of many people.
1552 BC - “Diabetes and the Ebers Papyrus” by D. Lynn Loriaux, M.D., PhD
“Of great interest to endocrinologists is the opinion that in the Ebers Papyrus is the first known medical reference to diabetes mellitus. The reference is to a single phrase: “…to eliminate urine which is too plentiful.”
“Unfortunately, the crucial word, asha, can mean both ‘plentiful’ and ‘often,’ and it is unclear whether the condition described was polyuria(increased volume of urine) or increased frequency of micturition, very often due to cystitis. The latter condition is much more common and therefore the more likely interpretation.”
1674 - Diabetes Mellitus by Sir Thomas Willis - Oxford
“In 1674, Thomas Willis treated diabetes by recommending a diet high in sugar, in order to replace the sugar being leaked by the kidneys, thereby inadvertently hastening patients’ deaths.” via David Haslam
“Thomas Willis pensively sipped from his glass. It was sweet, even a little delicious. In 1674 the Oxford University physician was far from the first doctor to taste urine, but he was the first Western doctor we know of to connect the sweetness of urine to the condition of its owner, a person suffering the effects of diabetes. Willis was baffled by his findings and recorded his experience in Pharmaceutice rationalis: “But why that it is wonderfully sweet like sugar or honey, this difficulty is worthy of explanation.” via
1776 - Experiments and Observations on the Urine in Diabetes. by Matthew Dobson
“Nevertheless, it was the simple observation of Willis that gave the disease its new name “diabetes mellitus,” but it was more than a century later that his argument was substantiated by the demonstration of sugar in the blood and urine of diabetics by Robert Wyatt in 1774 and subsequently by the more thorough studies of Matthew Dobson (1732–1784), who had a fairly good of knowledge of chemistry. In 1776, Dobson showed that the sweetness of urine is caused by sugar, which he quantified and showed to be subject to alcohol and acetate fermentation, and that its appearance in the urine is preceded and accompanied by a similar sweetness and sugar in the blood, albeit not as much as that detected in the urine. Diabetes now came to be viewed as a disorder of nutrition in which sugar accumulates in the blood and is excreted in the urine. This was to launch a whole new approach for the dietary treatment of diabetics and with it a shift to the digestive organs as the site of the disease and more specifically to the absorption of “saccharine matter” in the stomach.”
1797 - An account of two cases of the diabetes mellitus by Dr. John Rollo of Woolrich
“It was agreed to try the effects of animal food. He is directed to abstain from vegetable food in every shape. To have two eggs for breakfast. Boiled meat and steaks alternately for dinner. Eggs, or cheese for supper. For drink eight pounds of weak beef tea, and two pounds of weak peppermint water. Solid ingested about two pounds. “
1798 - “A case of the Diabetes Mellitus, which terminated in a complete, and, as far as can be judged by apparent Circumstances, a permanent Cure, by Medicines, abstracting Oxygen from the System, and a Diet consisting totally of Animal Matter.” by R. Redfearn M.D. of Lynn Regis, Norfolk
“I therefore immediately suggested to him the propriety, and the absolute necessity, of abstaining ridigly from all fermented liquors and vegetables, with everything else that could impart oxygen to the system by the primae viae; and at the same time ordered that his diet should consist principally of fat beef, pork, and such ailments as were of a gross or unctuous quality, and most likely to produce hydrogen in the greatest abundance. After this patient had persevered in the above medicines and regiment during a fortnight only, he found his thirst by no means so excessive. The quantity of his urine was considerably diminished, and became also of a quality more urinous, and less sweet. His amendment continued to be progressive, without feeling any interruption, either from natural or adventitious causes; and he was completely free from every symtom of the disease in less than three months after the medicines were first administered. He never once deviated from the regimen prescribed. My patient has now continued perfectly well for more than eight months, and to my enquires, very lately, he declared, that he never enjoyed a better state of health, than he does at the moment.”
A diet corresponding to Parry’s recommendations was actually followed for a long period by a resident of Birkenhead called Bernard Moncriff, who left a complete record of his experiment in a book entitled The Philosophy of the Stomach, or An Exclusively Animal Diet (Without any Vegetable or Condiment Whatever) is the Most Wholesome and Fit for Man (1856). Taking his lead from Cornaro (see pages 36-7) he decided to limit his meals to cold roast beef, and originally also two quarts of milk (‘good country milk’), the yolk of one egg, and some sweet almonds, as his daily ration of food and drink. In six months, he tells us, he had become much healthier and had lost 20lb from his original 154lb (which, according to a modern table of heights and weights, is about 12lb overweight for his declared height of 5ft 5in). Having maintained the diet for the full six months, Moncriff decided it was too rich, and eliminated the egg, almonds, and half the milk.
Some of his conclusions are extremely interesting: on this restricted diet he perspired very little despite regular exercise, and found that he needed little more fluid than the pint of milk provided. On the other hand, if he ventured to eat bread or potatoes, he became thirsty, and his intake of fluids increased greatly. After about a year on this monotonous diet, he found that he had lost the taste for almost all highly-flavoured food and drink—wines, beer, coffee, tea, and ‘salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar, apples, pears, and some of the most fashionable “fish-sauces” which happened to be in my possession. Even honey and sugar had lost much of their attraction for my palate’.
— Terence McLaughlin, If You Like It, Don’t Eat It
1857 - An Argument on Behalf of the Primitive Diet of Man by Dr. Frederic R. Lees (Pro-Vegetarian)
1863 - Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public by William Banting
Banting accounted all of his unsuccessful fasts, diets, spa and exercise regimens in his past. His previously unsuccessful attempts had been on the advice of various medical experts. He then described the dietary change which finally had worked for him, following the advice of another medical expert. “My kind and valued medical adviser is not a doctor for obesity, but stands on the pinnacle of fame in the treatment of another malady, which, as he well knows, is frequently induced by [corpulence].” (p24) His own diet was four meals per day, consisting of meat, greens, fruits, and dry wine. The emphasis was on avoiding sugar, saccharine matter, starch, beer, milk and butter. (Wikipedia)
1865 - Introduction à l’étude de la médecine expérimentale. by Claude Bernard - Paris
“In August of 1862 Banting consulted a noted Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons: an ear, nose and throat specialist. Dr. William Harvey. It was an historic meeting. Dr. Harvey had recently returned from a symposium in Paris where he had heard Dr. Claude Bernard, a renowned physiologist, talk of a new theory about the part the liver played in the disease of diabetes. Bernard believed that the liver, as well as secreting bile, also secreted a sugar-like substance that it made from elements of the blood passing through it. This started Harvey’s thinking about the roles of the various food elements in diabetes and he began a major course of research into the whole question of the way in which fats, sugars and starches affected the body.” via Barry Groves
1870 - On The Relations which Dental Caries May Be Supposed to Hold to Their Food and Social Condition. by John R. Mummery, F.L.S., L.D.S. - Vice President of the Odontological Society of Great Britain
1874 - “Lectures on the Pathology and Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus” by T. Lauder Brunton, M.D., D.Sc.Edin., M.R.C.P.Lond
“The patient must be supplied with a diet consisting of nitrogenous food, such as butcher-meat, fish, eggs, and soups. Fat (which does not contribute in the least to the formation of sugar) may be given in all its forms, such as cream, butter, cheese, and oil. Spinach, lettuce, and cresses may be freely used, but celery and radishes only sparingly; while potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, peas, French beans, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, brocoli, asparagus, seakale, and fruit of all kinds, both fresh and preserved, should be avoided, with the exception of nuts and almonds.”
1887 - An Introduction to the Study of the Influence of Diet in the Production and Treatment of Skin Diseases by James C. White, M.D. - Professor of Dermatology, Harvard University
1888 - The Relation of Alimentation and Disease by J. H. Salisbury, A.M., M.D., LL. D.
“It may safely be affirmed that all chronic diseases which afflict the human organism, aside from those arising from injuries, poisons, and infections, have their genesis and development in something we are doing every day; or at least, in something to which we expose ourselves at regulary and frequently repeated intervals. These various occurrences include drinks and food; the kind, condition and proportions of each used ; the state and rapidity with which they are taken in ; the intervals at which they are drunk and eaten, and the quantities of each consumed.”
1898 - What Must I Do to Get Well? And How Can I Keep So? by Elma Stuart
1901 - The Principles and Practice of Medicine by William Osler, M.D. - Professor of Medicine in the Johns Hopkins University and Physician-in-chief of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
“We are often consulted by persons in whose family obesity prevails to give rules for the prevention of the condition in children or in women approaching the climacteric. In the case of children very much may be done by regulating the diet, reducing the starches and fats in the food, not allowing the children to eat sweets, and encouraging systematic exercises. In the case of women who tend to grow stout after child-bearing or at the climeratic, in addition to systematic exercises, they should be told to avoid taking too much food, and particularly reduce the starches and sugars. There are a number of methods or systems in vogue at present. In the celebrated one of Banting, the carbohydrates and fats were excluded and the amount of fat was greatly reduced.”
1916 - “The Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus” by Elliott P. Joslin, M.D. Boston, Massachusetts
“Alternate feeding and fasting are adopted when it is found that the glycosuria persists after a preliminary four days’ fast. The method which I have found most successful has been to allow, following the first fasting period, 20 to 40 grams carbohydrate not far from half a gram per kilogram body weight-and about one gram of protein per kilogram for two days.This can be avoided by still further restricting the carbohydrate, either temporarily or permanently. It is always necessary to bear in mind that one food which the diabetic patient cannot do without is protein, and to it everything else must be subservient. While testing the protein tolerance, a small quantity of fat is included in the eggs and meat given.”
1921 - “The Use of a High Fat Diet in the Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus - Second Paper: Blood Sugar” by L.H. Newburgh, M.D., and Phil L. Marsh, M.D. - Ann Arbor, Michigan
“We reported briefly the results of an investigation of the effect of a diet whose energy came largely from fat, to which was added sufficient protein to maintain nitrogen balance and the minimal carbohydrate necessitated in making up a diet that a human being can eat over a long period of time. It was shown that with such a diet, glycosuria was avoided in severe diabetics, and that acidosis was not produced. The twenty-eight cases contained in Table 1 show that a high fat diet such as we have used is capable of bringing the blood sugar down to normal and keeping it at that level during the period of observation.”
1928 - “The Arrest of Dental Caries in Childhood” by Julian D. Boyd, M.D., C.L. DRAIN, D.D.S.
“The principle of diabetic management in this clinic represents an attempt to approximate normal metabolism. Insulin is prescribed in amounts sufficient to keep the blood sugar as nearly within normal limits as possible. The diet is designed to meet the requirements of a normal child for growth, activity, and health. It differs from the usual concept of an ideal diet for a normal child in that fat, rather than carbohydrate, is used as the chief source of energy, the fatty acid: dextrose ratio being 1.5:1. All these children were on the same ratio of protein: carbohydrate: fat, namely, 7:9:21. The total amounts prescribed varied according to each child’s degree of development.
In general, the same foodstuffs were used for all. To a large extent these consisted of milk, cream, butter, eggs, meat, cod liver oil, bulky vegetables and fruits. The menu was designed to include approximately a quart of milk and cream daily. The fat was furnished principally as cream, butter, and egg-yolk. Each child received calories sufficient for full activity; the energy value was higher than is frequently employed in diabetic diets. Adequacy of insulin dosage was verified by frequent blood sugar estimations. These values closely approximated normal concentrations. Glycosuria was different.”
1929 - “Prolonged Meat Diets with a Study of Kidney Function and Ketosis” by Walter S. McClellan and Eugene F. Du Bois
1929 - “The Effects on Human Beings of a Twelve Months’ Exclusive Meat Diet - Based on Intensive Clinical and Labratory Studies on Two Arctic Explorers living under Average Conditions in a New York Climate” by Clarence W. Lieb. M.D.
1935 - “Adventures in Diet” by Vilhjalmur Stefansson
1939 - Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price, M.S., D.D.S., F.A.G.D.
1946 - Not By Bread Alone by Vilhjalmur Stefansson
Later expanded and revised as The Fat of the Land (1956).
1951 - The Practice of Endocrinology - A Diet for Obesity by Dr. Raymond Greene - Stanford Medical School
Foods to be avoided: 1. Bread, and everything else made with flour… 2. Cereals, including breakfast cereals and milk puddings 3. Potatoes and all other white root vegetables 4. Foods containing much sugar 5. All Sweets… You can eat as much as you like of the following foods: 1. Meat, fish, birds 2. All green vegetables 3. Eggs, dried or fresh 4. Cheese 5. Fruit…except bananas and grapes
1953 - “Treatment of OBESITY with Calorically UNRESTRICTED DIETS” by Alfred W. Pennington, M.D.
“Restriction of carbohydrate, alone, appears to make possible the treatment of obesity on a calorically unrestricted diet composed chiefly of protein and fat. The limiting factor on appetite, necessary to any treatment of obesity, appears to be provided by increased mobilization and utilization of fat, in conjunction with the homeostatic forces which normally regulate the appetite. Ketogensis appears to be a key factor in the increased utilization of fat. Treatment of obesity by this method appears to avoid the decline in the metabolism encountered in treatment by caloric restriction. Details of diet and regimen are given.”
1953 - “Diet in Relation to Dental Caries” by Elmer V. McCollum M.D. Professor of Biochemistry - Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health
“Subsistence throughout life on a strictly carnivorous diet will prevent dental caries. This would be impractical in most parts of the world, and if practicable, would be less satisfying than is a mixed diet. The presence of considerable carbohydrate in the diet is necessary for the development of carious teeth. There seems to be good evidence in support of the view that the regular consumption of a diet in which all the essential nutrients are present in adequate amounts, and in which the ratio of fatty acids to total carbohydrates (including the sugar which may arise from protein and glycerol) is not less than 1.5:1, prevents dental caries. This is equivalent to saying that a diet suitable for the diabetic is so constituted as to afford protection against dental caries, and even makes possible the arrest of the carious process in open cavities. This protective action of excessive fat in the diet may possibly be due to greasing the tooth surface and the cavity surface, thus waterproofing it and preventing access of water-soluble acids (for example, lactic acid) to the enamel surface.”
1956 - The Fat of the Land by Vilhjalmur Stefansson
Expanded and revised edition of Not By Bread Alone (1946).
1957 - The Importance of Overweight by Dr. Hilde Bruch - New York
“The great progress in dietary control of obesity, was the recognition that meat . . . was not fat producing; but that it was the innocent foodstuffs, such as bread and sweets, which lead to obesity.”
1958 - Eat Fat and Grow Slim by Richard Mackarness, M.B., B.S.
1958 - How to Prevent Heart Attacks by Benjamin P. Sandler, M.D.
1959 - “Treating Overweight Patients” by George L. Thorpe, M.D.
The simplest to prepare and most easily obtainable high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, and the one that will produce the most rapid loss of weight without hunger, weakness, lethargy, or constipation, is made up of meat, fat, and water. The total quantity eaten need not be noted, but the ratio of three parts of lean to one part of fat must be maintained. Usually within two or three days, the patient is found to be taking about 170 Gm. of lean meat and 57 Gm. of fat three times a day. Black coffee, clear tea, and water are unrestricted, and the salt intake is not reduced. When the patient complains of monotony, certain fruits and vegetables are added for variety. The overweight patient must be dealt with as an individual. He usually needs help in recognizing the factors at work in his particular case as well as considerable education in the matter of foods.
1962 - Strong Medicine by Dr. Blake Donaldson
Dr. Donaldson in STRONG MEDICINE expresses his personal concept of treatment for six highly important and frequently deadly diseases–arteriosclerosis, osteoarthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and gall bladder disease. His book is interesting, informative, humorous, and highly controversial.
“From what I have observed, a half pound of meat per meal is the minimum quantity needed to maintain the work of repair of body cells.”
“Oh, there were dozens of questions I wanted to discuss with Stefannsson, so Fred Taylor brought him out to my home on Long Island. Some steamed clams and a good steak loosened him up, and we sat around a beach fire and talked for hours. He proved to be a mine of information. As I remember his conversation, it went something like this…”
1963 - The Diet of the Mountain Men by William E. Holston
“The trapper’s diet, in particular, mirrored the Indian way of life. Both the mountain men and Indians had to live off the land. Their diet was largely meat, especially the flesh of the bison. Elk was probably second in consumption for most of the trappers. Less frequently, the mountain men ate deer, bear, antelope, horses, dogs, beaver, and other small game.”
1964 - Cardiovascular Disease in the Masai by G.V. Mann, R.D.
“These studies, like those of SHAPER among the Samburu and of GSELL AND MAYER among the mountain Swiss show no support for the contention that a large intake of dairy fat and meat necessarily causes either hypercholesterolemia or coronary heart disease. Indeed, if such dietary habits are causes of hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerosis and clinical cardiovascular disease, one must invoke overriding protective mechanisms among the Masai. It cannot be a failure to reach the susceptible age. We should have found coronary heart disease among the 233 Masai men examined who were 30 years or over if the prevalence rate is near that of American men.”
“What was his secret? Meat and booze, simply put. Cameron reported his findings to the world in his self-published 1962 book, The Drinking Man’s Diet. It quickly became one of the most popular diets in the country, selling 2.4 million copies in 13 languages. Cameron had initiated a “carbo-craze” by suggesting that weight watchers count carbs not calories. When Atkins released Diet Revolution nine years later, Cameron responded, “Revolution? My foot!” He had been proselytizing against carbs for a decade already.”
1972 - Pure, White, and Deadly by Dr. John Yudkin
“John Yudkin was one of the first to point out the dangers of sugar when he published the original edition of Pure, White, and Deadly in 1972. Now, in this extensively rewritten and expanded edition, he reveals the new evidence about the dangers of sugar and its drastic consquences for our health. In everyday language Professor Yudkin explains how sugar consumption is linked to diabetes, heart and liver disease, dental caries and other conditions. He pays particular attention to its effects on young children and shows how they, like everyone else, can benefit from reduced sugar intake. He also examines the role of the sugar industry, which has made strenous efforts to dismiss the case against sugar.”
1972 - Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution by Dr. Robert Atkins M.D.
1975 - The Stone Age Diet by Dr. Walter L. Voegtlin, M.D., F.A.C.P.
This book is a study of the ecology of Man, as his environment has changed with (relatively) lightning-like rapidity from prehistorical to modern times, and to delineate the effect these changes have had on nutrition. An attempt will be made to answer the question: “Is modern Man actually better or worse off nutritionally than was his Stone Age forbear?”
Writing this book has indeed been fun. While collecting material for the early chapters I was able to add greatly to my knowledge of comparative anatomy and physiology, how all various sorts of animals are constructed, and how their digestive tracts function. Later chapters led me into a fascinating world of the past, of anthropology and archaeology, which I embraced enthusiastically though amateurishly. Finally I ventured into the shadowy sphere of philosophy, explored some aspects of future food production, and have set down the dire predictions of population ecologists for the arrival of the 21st century. It has been thrilling to see how each bit of scientific data from such widely separated disciplines fitted together into a mosaic of such undeniable clarity that the aphorism: “That contrary to Nature cannot be fact”-was again verified, this time in the field of human dietetics and nutrition.
1987 - “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race” by Jared Diamond
“There are many things that we seldom question; the truth seems so evident and the answers obvious. One such sacred cow is the tremendous prosperity brought about by the agricultural revolution. This selection is a thought-provoking introduction to the connection between culture and agriculture. The transition from food foraging to farming (what archaeoloqists call the Neolithic revolution) may have been the worst mistake human history or its most important event. You be the judge. But for better or worse, this cultural evolution has occurred, and the world will never be the same again.”
1996 - Protein Power: The High-Protein/Low Carbohydrate Way to Lose Weight, Feel Fit, and Boost Your Health-in Just Weeks! by Drs. Michael R and Mary Dan Eades
“New York Times Bestseller - An effective, medically sound diet that lets you eat bacon, eggs, steak, even cheese? It’s true! Lose fat. Feel fit. Stop craving. Without counting fat grams and without giving up the foods you love. Includes recipes for healthy meals to lose weight.”
1997 - Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars by Dr. Richard K. Bernstein M.D. - New York
“Originally published in 1997, DR. BERNSTEIN’S DIABETES SOLUTION is a unique resource that covers both adult- and childhood-onset diabetes, explains step-by-step how to normalize blood sugar levels and prevent or reverse complications, and offers detailed guidelines for establishing a treatment plan. Readers will find fifty gourmet recipes, in addition to a comprehensive discussion of diet, obesity, and new drugs to curb carbohydrate craving and overeating.”
“Do you like the idea of bacon and eggs for breakfast? Would you enjoy a lunch of roast salmon and a satisfying dinner accompanied by wine?
The EAT FAT GET THIN diet will allow you to do just that: the emphasis being on what you eat rather than how many calories the food contains. The rules are simple: keep your carbohydrates to a minimum by cutting out bread, potatoes and cereals, leave out the sugar, eat only the good fats and concentrate on protein rich foods.
The beauty of the EAT FAT GET THIN diet is that you will never go hungry. EAT FAT GET THIN proves that the diet on which it is most difficult to lose weight is a low-fat high carbohydrate diet. In fact, a century of studies and medical trials has consistently demonstrated that for safe wight loss a high fat diet is best.”
2005 - Fiber Menace by Dr. Konstantin Monastyrsky
2008 - Diabetes Epidemic & You by Joseph R. Kraft
2008 - The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It by Malcolm Kendrick by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick
2009 - Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You by Dr. Uffe Ravnskov
2009 - The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith
2011 - Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond Paleo for Total Health and a Longer Life by Nora T. Gedgaudas, CNS, CNT
2014 - The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz
2016 - Court of Last Appeal - The Early History of the High-fat Diet for Diabetes by George Henderson - Human Potential Centre, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
2016 - Primal Fat Burner: Primal Fat Burner: Live Longer, Slow Aging, Super-Power Your Brain, and Save Your Life with a High-Fat, Low-Carb Paleo Diet by Nora T. Gedgaudas, CNS, CNT