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What would happen if a person just ate meat and nothing else?

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Fans of a ‘carnivore diet’ might be a little disappointed.

Asked by: Rebecca Sedgwick, Dorking


Not much – at least in the short term. In a 1928 study, two ‘normal’ men ate only meat for one year, under the supervision of medical researchers in New York. At the end of the year the men showed “no specific physical changes in any system of the body”.

Today, fans of a ‘carnivore diet’ claim it brings weight loss and improves digestive health. But with so much evidence of plant foods’ anti-cancer effects, the jury is out on whether a meat-only diet is actually healthy in the long term.

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Dr Emma Davies is a science writer and editor with a PhD in food chemistry from the University of Leeds. She writes about all aspects of chemistry, from food and the environment to toxicology and regulatory science.


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