Lion Diet:Benefits, Disadvantages And More

Medically reviewed by G. Liakeas, MD FACT CHECKED

You may have heard of several diets that claim to transform your life and lifestyle. The Lion diet is another healthy food routine that claims to help treat several chronic health conditions.

This article will discuss all the essential aspects of the Lion diet that may help you gain a better knowledge of the food routine.

The Lion Diet is a famous diet adopted by several individuals for its disease-curing abilities. It is a restrictive diet that primarily involves meat from ruminant animals like sheep, goats, deer, cows, etc.

It is a modified and strict version of the carnivore diet that restricts the consumption of all other nutrient sources. The Lion diet was introduced by Mikhaila Peterson, later adopted by her father, Jordan Peterson, and the rest of the world.

At the age of 22, Mikhaila Peterson was suffering from several physiological and physical chronic ailments. Initially, she didn’t believe a diet could help her treat her severe conditions.

But, when removing gluten from her diet helped her heal a rash, she started experimenting with the ketogenic diet and introduced the plant-free ketogenic diet or the Lion diet.

She experienced improvements in her conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and chronic fatigue. Other followers also revealed that the Lion Diet has helped them treat several conditions, including skin problems, gut problems, obesity, etc.

How Does The Lion Diet Work?

The lion diet is an elimination diet that eliminates all the problematic foods and makes you habituated to a single nutrient-dense food. The diet’s goal is to monitor the body’s response and wait until the symptoms reduce.

Then start slowly adding healthy whole foods to observe the exact changes in your body. As per Mikhaila, people should follow a restrictive diet for at least six weeks before adding other nutrient sources.

But, no such official or medical guidelines have been mentioned for the duration. Most chronic illnesses in the human body arise due to leaky gut syndrome, a condition that increases intestinal permeability.

Thus, poor intestinal permeability allows harmful substances like gluten, undigested food particles, bad bacteria, etc., into your system resulting in illnesses.

Therefore, following the lion diet prevents the entry of harmful and pro-inflammatory substances like histamine, lectin, processed foods, antinutrients, etc., resulting in a less inflammatory state. Such a condition allows your gut to heal and improve intestinal permeability.

Benefits Of The Lion Diet

  1. Densely Rich In Nutrients

    The lion’s diet comprises meat from ruminant animals; thus, you would get high-quality proteins and several essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

    Lion diet consumption may help people fulfill the nutrient deficiency that leads to several health conditions. Moreover, such healthy nutrients are beneficial to improve several bodily functions.

    For example, meat consumption boosts brain function by supplying nutrients like selenium, zinc, carnitine, and creatine.

    Besides the muscular part, ruminant animal’s organ meat has a higher concentration of vital nutrients. For example, people consuming beef liver would get sufficient Vitamin A, folate, and riboflavin.

  2. Lowers Carbohydrate Intake

    The lion diet is an alternate ketogenic diet widely accepted due to its several health benefits.

    Consuming ruminant meat in a regular diet would help reduce carbohydrate intake, thus, facilitating weight loss. Low carbohydrate consumption is considered essential for avoiding several health conditions.

    Generally, a low carbohydrate diet could improve blood lipid levels and insulin sensitivity; thus, it prevents the development of fatty liver diseases and type-2 diabetes.

    Moreover, it protects the glycocalyx, a cell membrane, which is essential to lower the risk of diseases.

    The lion diet may help individuals reduce carbohydrate cravings; thus, they may get less urge to eat unhealthy processed foods.

  3. Reduces Inflammation

    The lion’s diet is a better option for people struggling with chronic inflammation. The diet may help reduce inflammation markers like C-reactive proteins and IL-6 responsible for causing inflammation.

    Besides reducing the markers, the Lion diet could help manage several factors responsible for inflammatory responses. Ruminant meat, especially red meat, could be a healthy option for suppressing inflammation.

    Generally, the meat improves insulin sensitivity and eliminates the plant toxins causing inflammation.

    It also lowers the omega-6 fatty acid and boosts omega-3 fatty acids and saturated fat intake essential to reduce inflammation.

    Gut or digestive health is another vital factor for inflammatory responses. People consuming Lion’s diet may improve their gut health.

    Moreover, the diet reduces dairy and egg consumption which may trigger allergies in a few individuals.

  4. Prevents Plant Toxin Intake

    Plants produce several chemicals naturally to benefit themselves. But some of these chemicals turn toxic or act against human consumers.

    Hence, avoiding such toxic chemicals would help prevent nutrient deficiency and other health conditions like hormonal imbalances, defective birth, etc.

    Some of the commonly found plant toxins include phytohormones, gluten, phytic acid, etc. Phytohormones like phytoestrogens are widely known for hurting an individual’s fertility, irrespective of gender.

    Similarly, phytic acid may affect essential mineral absorption like zinc, copper, iron, and magnesium. Thus, switching to the lion diet may help avoid exposure to harmful toxins and anti-nutrients.

Disadvantages Of The Lion Diet

The lion diet might be a good choice for many health conditions. But the diet comes with a few drawbacks that you should consider.

  1. May Increase Risk Of Heart Disease

    The Lion’s diet primarily comprises animal products, especially red meat. Animal products could be good sources of healthy saturated fat. But, consuming the lion diet may lead to overconsumption of saturated fat.

    In a few cases, high saturated fat consumption may increase the LDL or Bad cholesterol levels, thus, increasing the risk of heart disease.

    Hence, it would be better to consider consuming 10% of the daily recommended value of saturated fat to avoid such conditions.

  2. Lacks Some Essential Nutrients

    The Lion diet is undoubtedly a significant protein and other essential mineral sources. But, completely switching to a meat-only diet may restrict the consumption of several plant-based minerals.

    The lion’s diet makes you avoid some healthy food like fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc., which contains essential nutrients for the body’s well-being.

    Such a condition leads to nutrient deficiency resulting in several health conditions like anemia, bone loss, neurological problems, etc.

    Moreover, you won’t get sufficient fiber which is essential to keep the digestive system, heart, and blood sugar levels healthy.

  3. Unsustainable

    Unsustainability is another factor that makes the Lion diet a challenge for consumers. The diet allows little to no flexibility; hence, it would be hard to follow for an extended period.

    Moreover, with low flexibility, you may not dine out in restaurants and other social gatherings.

    The Lion’s diet asks you to avoid specific food options, especially carbohydrates, that may increase the cravings to eat your desired food. Additionally, it may promote unhealthy eating habits resulting in disordered eating.

  4. May Cause Protein Poisoning

    People should consider 35% of their daily calories as protein. But, consuming beyond the recommended amount regularly may result in protein poisoning.

    The Lion’s diet primarily includes meat; thus, it may increase an individual’s daily protein intake.

    Such an increase may make your liver lose the ability to upregulate the urea synthesis required to process higher protein concentrations.

    But, you may consider consuming fatty portions of meat like short ribs, ribeye, etc., to avoid such a condition while following the Lion diet.

Foods To Eat In A Lion Diet

The Lion diet allows the intake of meat from ruminant animals, salt, water, and electrolytes. You may consider the following food options in your diet.

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Deer
  • Cow
  • Goat
  • Bison
  • Electrolytes (Potassium, Magnesium, etc.)
  • Water
  • Salt

Foods To Avoid In A Lion Diet

You would have to avoid several food options that may include a few regular foods. Here is a list of food groups you must avoid during the Lion diet.

  • Fruits: Apples, Oranges, Grapes, bananas, etc.
  • Nuts: Almonds, Ground Nuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts
  • Vegetables: Potatoes, Kale, Carrots, Pepper, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Mushroom
  • Legumes: Chickpeas, Lentils, Kidney Beans
  • Non-Ruminant Animal Meat: Pork, Bacon, Rabbits, Ham.
  • Dairy Products And Alternatives: Milk, Yogurt, Soy Milk, Cream, Cheese, Butter.
  • Poultry: Chicken, Duck, Goose, Turkey
  • Seafood: Sardines, Salmon, Trout, Shrimp, Oysters, Lobsters
  • Beverages: Coffee, Soda, Tea, Wine, Beer, Juice
  • Fats: Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Olive Oil, Ghee, Margarine
  • All Other Processed Foods

Is The Lion Diet Safe?

You may experience specific symptoms similar to the ketogenic diet. Initially, you may experience flu-like symptoms, which would reduce with time.

But you may consider adding electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc., to lower such symptoms. You may also buy these electrolytes separately and mix them in your water.

But, you should carefully monitor the sodium intake to keep the daily intake value within 2300 milligrams.

You may consume nutritional subsatnces, multivitamins, etc. But be careful with the ingredients, as the outer coating or inner fillers may have cellulose that could cause allergic reactions.


The Lion diet is an unusual eating routine with numerous health benefits. It may restrict you from several food options, but sustaining the diet may help you treat several chronic conditions.

The above health benefits and claims have been made orally by practitioners. But, it lacks scientific and medical evidence; thus, it would be better to consult a healthcare specialist before following Lion’s diet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *