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What is the Joe Rogan Carnivore Diet?

By Liam McAuliffe Updated on

Podcaster, comedian, and mixed martial arts aficionado Joe Rogan has been one of the most influential adopters of the carnivore diet

As the host of the most popular podcast in the world, Joe Rogan has provided a platform to other influential carnivore dieters, including Dr. Shawn Baker, Dr. Paul Saladino, and psychologist Jordan Peterson

Inspired by his meat-loving guests, Joe Rogan has experimented with variations of the carnivore diet and shared his experiences with his millions of social media followers. 

In this article, we’ll detail why Joe Rogan went carnivore, what he ate, and the outcomes, including benefits and side effects. 

Table of Contents

What is the Carnivore Diet?

Before diving straight into Joe Rogan’s experience with carnivore, let’s define what a carnivore diet is. 

The carnivore diet means eating only animal products and eliminating everything else. 

This means no processed foods, no vegetable oils, no veggies, and no fruit. However, how strictly people adhere to these guidelines can change from person to person. It’s also common for individual carnivore dieters to tweak their meal plans over time. 

For instance, someone can begin by doing a strict steak, salt, water “lion” elimination diet for a month, then add in dairy, and seafood, and even cheat/treat occasionally with low-carb ice cream or homemade tallow-fried french fries. 

With that said, most carnivore dieters center their meals around nutrient-dense ruminant meats, including beef, bison, lamb, and in Joe Rogan’s case, elk and moose. 

Since animal products are mostly zero-carb foods, the carnivore diet is, by default, a high-fat low-carb, or keto-carnivore way of eating

People go carnivore for numerous reasons. A few of the most common include: 

  • Losing weight
  • Resolving autoimmune disorders
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Healing the gut
  • Steady energy
  • Mental clarity
  • Resolving psychological issues like depression and anxiety
  • Resolving diabetes

Carnivore Diet Benefits

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When and Why Did Joe Rogan Go Carnivore? 

Joe Rogan first announced going carnivore for 30 days in January of 2020. 

Since 2020 Rogan has touted a diet centered on red meat and routinely cycled on and off a pure carnivore diet.

Rogan often shares pictures of carnivore meals on his Instagram account. His images include ribeye steaks for breakfast, and many posts feature seared slices of elk that he has hunted himself. 

In January 2021, Rogan posted, “January is ‘world carnivore diet month. I did it last year, lost 12 pounds, and really felt great (other than having ruthlessly explosive diarrhea for the first couple weeks), so I’m gonna give it a go again this year.”

In January 2022, he posted, “January is world carnivore month. This time I’m adding fruit to this diet. Just meat and fruit for the whole month.”

sliced elk meat joe rogan carnivore diet post

Why Did Joe Go Carnivore? 

Rogan said that he was especially interested in seeing how the carnivore diet could help with an autoimmune condition that he’s struggled with for years called vitiligo

Vitiligo looks like milky white patches on the skin. It is caused when the cells that make pigment are attacked and destroyed by the body’s immune cells.5

Rogan also expressed wanting to shed excess weight and improve his energy and mental clarity. 

Is there evidence supporting Joe Rogan’s use of the carnivore diet for autoimmune disorders? 

A 2021 study out of Harvard University looking at data from over 2,000 carnivore dieters found that after at least six months 89% of participants reported improving or resolving their autoimmune disorders.

Did the diet work for Joe? 

On his Instagram account, Rogan shared that after 30 days on carnivore “lots of aches and pains went away” and that he’d seen “improvements in my vitiligo.” 

He also describes how carnivore supported stable energy, weight loss, and improved mental health.

At the end of his first 30 days, Joe dropped from 205 to 193 pounds. Commenting on the weight loss, Rogan said, “Having been fat-shamed several times, I’m proud to say that I lost all my fat around my face, belly, and waist area.” 

To be fair, these benefits came with the temporary side effect of explosive diarrhea for the first two weeks. After it was resolved, the final two weeks were smooth (but not too smooth) sailing. 

Joe rogan no shirt after carnivore diet

What Does Joe Rogan Eat on the Carnivore Diet? 

Rogan shared that he ate only two meals a day on carnivore. 

His carnivore diet meal plan began with eggs and bacon for breakfast, then grass-fed elk, bison, and steak for dinner.

He also shares that he enjoys ribeye for breakfast

plat of ribeye steak joe rogan instagram

Rogan highlighted the fact when you eliminate carbs you need to get plenty of fat because “your body does not want a low-fat diet with low carbohydrates.” 

In fact, your body can only survive on between 35-50% of your calories from protein. The rest must come from fat or you’ll get protein poisoning, a potentially deadly disorder. But it’s easy to eat enough fat simply by choosing fatty cuts of meat and drenching them in butter, yum! 

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Joe Rogan’s Carnivore Diet Food List

Part of the beauty of the carnivore diet is how simple it is. Though there are certainly many animal meats and products to choose from, most carnivore diet food lists, Rogan’s included, are short and center around red meat. 

1. Ruminant Meats

Rogan is well known for posting “food porn” pics of elk that he and his brother hunt together. 

Rogan prepares elk with a reverse-sear technique, and often adds bacon and butter to boost the fat content. Elk by itself is pretty lean. 

In addition to elk, Rogan has shared that his freezer is stocked with steak, and other game meats including moose, bear, dear, and pig. 

Rogan believes that eating grass-fed and wild animals that have to flee and battle for survival are healthier than animals raised in constrictive feed lots where they’re fed hormones, antibiotics, and grains. 

2. Salmon

Rogan has posted about catching wild King salmon in Alaska and including salmon on his carnivore diet. 

Salmon is loaded with nutrients, and it’s one of the best animal sources of magnesium. This is an essential nutrient that can be hard to get enough of when eating only meat. 

1 pound of king salmon provides 549 mg of magnesium–around 137% of your RDA.

3. Water

On a podcast episode, Rogan shared that he often adds pink Himalayan salt, and occasionally lemon to his water. 

When cutting carbs, the body flushes sodium and other electrolytes, so increasing salt intake is important. 

Adding lemon provides some extra vitamin C, but it is possible to meet your vitamin C needs by consuming fresh meat.

Shawn Baker on Joe Rogan

Dr. Shawn Baker was the first carnivore enthusiast on the Joe Rogan podcast. 

From the early days of his journey to Dr. Baker shared his experiences on social media. People began writing in with similarly powerful success stories, and as his following grew, Joe had him on. 

The podcast went viral with over 10 million downloads. 

You can watch it below:

Joran Peterson on Joe Rogan

One of the most influential proponents of the carnivore diet is popular psychologist Jordan Peterson

On the podcast Peterson shared that the carnivore elimination diet (red meat, salt, water) resolved psoriasis, digestive issues, and chronic depression. 

Peterson told Rogan, “I lost 50 pounds. My appetite has probably fallen by 70%. I don’t get blood sugar dysregulation problems. I need way less sleep…my gum disease is gone. Like, what the hell?”

Peterson’s approach calls for going meat-only for at least two months. Then, after the second month, he recommends adding some low-carb cooked greens. 

Peterson was turned onto carnivore by his daughter Mikhaila, who used it to resolve her own list of chronic disorders, including juvenile arthritis and medicated depression. 

Bringing it full circle, Mikhaela went carnivore after listening to the Joe Rogan episode with Dr. Shawn Baker. 

Paul Saladino on Joe Rogan

Paul Saladin is another highly influential doctor who promotes variations on ancestral and carnivore diets.

You can view his episode with Joe below

The Joe Rogan Carnivore Diet: The Takeaway

Joe Rogan has cycled on an off-a-carnivore elimination diet since 2020. 

His interest in, and successes with the carnivore diet have led to interviews with notable carnivore proponents, including Jordan Peterson, Dr. Shawn Baker, and Dr. Paul Saladino. 

On his social media channels, Rogan has shared that the carnivore diet has helped him to lose weight, improve his energy and mental health, and help manage an autoimmune disorder. 

Even when not on a pure carnivore diet, Joe centers his meals on red meat, which he regularly proclaims his love for, especially elk that he has hunted himself.

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