Can the Carnivore Diet give you the healthiest gut? With Dr Anthony Chaffee, the Plant Free MD.

Can the Carnivore Diet give you the healthiest gut? With Dr Anthony Chaffee, the Plant Free MD.

Updated: Apr 09, 2024Veronika Larisova

About Anthony Chaffee

Dr. Anthony Chaffee is an American medical doctor and Neurosurgical resident who, over a span of 20+ years, has researched the optimal nutrition for human performance and health. It is his assertion that most of the so-called chronic diseases are caused by the food we eat, or don't eat, and can be reversed with dietary changes to a species-specific diet. 

He began University at the age of 16, studying Molecular & Cellular Biology with a Minor in Chemistry, which culminated in an MD from the Royal College of Surgeons. 

Dr Chaffee is an All-American rugby player, former professional player in England and America. He claims to have been on a complete carnivore diet for 5 years of his rugby career and performing much better than on a balanced diet of plant and animal foods.

If you are not sure what exactly it means to live a carnivore lifestyle, here’s Dr Chaffee’s definition:

  • Eating animal foods only, meaning any meat, fish, or eggs cooked in tallow, ghee, or butter with salt. No herbs, spices, condiments, or anything that contains plants.
  • Dairy is questionable, but Dr Chaffee says that very small amounts of true kefir with no additives, milk, cream, and good quality cheese are OK, as long as they are consumed occasionally as a condiment, not as a main meal. Dr Chaffee mainly eats red meat.
  • Water is the only liquid. No coffee or tea, as those are made from herbs.


I met Dr Chaffee at a wellness seminar in February, and his presentation made me wonder whether we can be healthy without eating plants and whether eating just meat and nothing else can be better for our gut health.

I asked Dr Chaffee many questions:

  • Do we need fibre in our diet?
  • Can we have a adequate microbiome diversity eating just meat?
  • What about anti-cancerous and anti-inflammatory properties of some plant compounds such as sulforaphane found in cruciferous vegetables?
  • Does herbal medicine work?
  • What's the science behind the carnivore diet?
  • Is the carnivore diet suitable for women of  reproductive age?

There are also many questions I did not get to ask and I saved those for our podcast. 

You can find Dr Chaffee at his clinic Hobart Street medical Centre (Mt Hawthorne, Perth) or on his YouTube channel The Plant Free MD.

What do I think?

I’m not a proponent of extreme and restrictive diets, as I’m a big believer in balanced, healthy nutrition composed of good quality whole foods. I also consider the social and emotional aspects of eating and the extra benefits we get from certain foods, such as coffee. However, speaking to a few highly regarded medical professionals, such as Dr. Anthony Chaffee, made me curious about the carnivore diet for therapeutic purposes.

The reasoning behind the carnivore diet is that it simplifies eating by focusing on whole, unprocessed foods, thereby naturally eliminating most processed foods, often linked to various health issues. It also eliminates triggers found in certain plant foods (like lectins, gluten, and other anti-nutrients, as well as herbicides and pesticides) that can cause inflammation or gut irritation. Furthermore, it has ketogenic benefits that are well-studied and backed by science.

Watch me do a Carnivore Challenge

While the subject is being researched, I have decided to conduct my own experiment and try a strict carnivore diet of meat, fish, eggs, salt, and small amounts of fermented dairy for four weeks. I will be guided by Dr Chaffee and get my gut microbiome, blood and body composition tested before and after. I also plan to run a 50km trail race in the last week of the challenge. 

Follow us @chief.nutrition to see what happens!


Veronika Larisova
Co-Founder, Registered Nutritionist, Exercise Physiologist
Book a free nutrition consultation 

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