Experts slam controversial new viral ‘cure-all’ TikTok trend, The Lion Diet

Home Health Experts slam controversial new viral ‘cure-all’ TikTok trend, The Lion Diet
Experts slam controversial new viral ‘cure-all’ TikTok trend, The Lion Diet

A new health trend is taking off on TikTok dubbed “The Lion Diet” – but experts are warning against the “extreme” plan.

The Lion Diet bills itself as “a healing elimination diet” and consists of eating nothing but meat, salt and water for 30 days.

While people have been raving about its “benefits” online, claiming it helps with allergies, headaches, bad skin and balancing moods, experts have urged caution stating there’s “no scientific evidence” behind claims a meat-only diet is healthy.

The Australian Heart Foundation advises Australians should limit red meat consumption to 350 grams of unprocessed beef, pork, lamb or veal each week – which totals around one to three meals.

It also states this should be eaten together with vegetables and wholegrains.

More specific advice on “The Lion Diet” itself has recently emerged overseas, with experts labelling it “unsustainable, unhealthy, ineffective, overly restrictive and extreme”, the New York Post reports.

“The Lion Diet eliminates all foods except salt, water, and meat from ruminant animals,” researchers at Healthline said.

“In addition to being high in saturated fat, it’s unsustainable and likely to lead to nutritional deficiencies.”

It added that as well as “being potentially very unhealthy, the Lion Diet is difficult to follow and unsustainable in the long term”.

But the warnings haven’t stopped Aussies from giving the controversial diet a crack – including Brisbane man Rory who has been documenting his experience testing the questionable diet to see if it helped with his long list of allergies.

The social media user, who goes by the handle @roryskitchen, said he was trying the diet for 30 days to find out three things: If he can heal his health issues; what would happen to his body; and what his poop would be like.

Rory – who has 220,900 TikTok followers and 2.8 million likes – is currently on day 23 of the strict meal plan which involves him eating grass-fed mince cooked in broth seasoned with nothing but salt on a daily basis.

When he first started the carnivorous diet, he claimed to have had the “best night of sleep” – but started feeling unwell shortly after.

As the diet progressed, he said his skin started to look better, his sinuses started clearing up and he had more “regular” bowel movements.

He decided to embark on the challenge after seeing other TikTok users claiming the “The Lion Diet” – which podcaster Mikhaila Peterson boasts she created – had helped them in a variety of ways.

Peterson describes it as a “cure-all” after stating switching to the “ultimate elimination diet” helped her overcome an array of health issues she’d had since childhood.

The diet is very similar to the Carnivore Diet, which permits you to consume only animal products like meat, fish, and poultry.

However, the Lion Diet is “even more restrictive, allowing only foods from certain types of animals along with water and salt”, according to Heathline.

Peterson, 28, claims it “sustains your body’s nutritional needs” by “eliminating all other dietary variables, allowing you to thrive” in a post on her website.

Prior to cutting out virtually everything from her diet, Peterson was chronically ill until she was 23.

Her health battle began at the age of just two when she developed juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. This wasn’t diagnosed until five years later which resulted in her being placed on immune suppressants after being officially diagnosed.

Age 12, Peterson was diagnosed with severe depression and medicated with SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) – a medication she later suffered withdrawal from.

Two years later, she started itching all over her body which was eventually diagnosed as chronic fatigue.

When she was 15, Peterson had hip and ankle joint replacements due to her arthritis. She was in chronic pain for 10 years from the ankle replacement and spent a year on OxyContin post-surgery and had an “unpleasant” withdrawal.

When she was 21, she was diagnosed with Idiopathic Hypersomnia (chronic fatigue).

It was only when she developed a rash associated with Coeliac disease she decided to turn to a change in diet to help her problems.

She started with what nowadays would be similar to a restrictive paleo diet and eventually made her way to an all-meat diet.

“My brain and gut were so damaged that an all-beef or ruminant meat (like lamb and bison) diet, what I call the Lion Diet, was all I could tolerate,” she wrote on her website.

Peterson has been on the diet for five years, is now “healthy” and hopes to show people that “they can improve their life themselves”.

She later gave a Ted Talk on the topic but the global media platform refused to post the footage online.

Peterson performed the speech at an independently organised TEDx event in California during which she acknowledged her proof is purely anecdotal.

“I’ve been talking about this diet to spread awareness in hopes that the medical community can take something like this seriously,” she explained.

“[It] would be really cool … if the medical community could take this seriously and do some case studies. That’s it.”

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