The Ketogenic diet has been around now for many years, lasting much longer than other fad diets that have emerged over the years. While the keto diet plan has been shown to be effective for some people who are trying to lose weight, it isn't for everyone. The periods of forced fasting and the limits to the types of foods you can eat on the diet make it difficult for many people to keep going long enough to see results. In the last few years, a new diet trend has emerged – the Carnivore diet. The carnivore diet shares some similarities with the keto diet, but also has some unique differences.
Keto vs Carnivore: Everything You Need to Know
These two diet plans offer some similarities and differences. We will explain everything so you know exactly the truth between keto vs carnivore diets.
What is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is based on the idea that your body uses carbs to build energy. When carbs are not available the body switches to burning fat in a process known as ketosis. Keto diet plans restrict carbs – particularly simple sugars that you find in candy, cake, and other sweet treats –and replaces them with low-carb alternatives like fruits and naturally occurring complex sugars.
What is the Carnivore Diet?
The carnivore diet takes things a step further and drastically eliminates almost all sources of carbohydrates to force the body to burn fats. The diet relies on the consumption of meat as a sole source of nutrition – which makes your body first burn the fat you eat, then continue to burn the fat you are trying to lose. The idea is basically that your body will run on the fats and amino acids in the meat you are consuming rather than on sugars and plant-based foods.
Why the Carnivore Diet Can be Better than the Keto Diet for Some People
One of the most common reasons that people choose to follow the keto diet is to lose weight, but the diet can cause food cravings and doesn't always provide a healthy balance for digestive health. It can be difficult for people to maintain ketosis when they struggle to stick to a low-carb diet, which is essential for it to be effective.
One advantage of the carnivore diet is that you don't need to spend lots of time trying to determine whether the foods you are eating are appropriate for your diet. There is no counting macronutrient loads, analyzing carb content, or struggling to figure out if you can actually eat two strawberries at once. That's because you just eat meat. No carbs to count, no nutrient counts, no limits.
For people who have a hard time sticking to the keto diet, the carnivore diet is easy to follow. You eat meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – and you even snack on meat. The carnivore diet is easy to stick to and because of the no-carb content, you will have a good chance of getting your body into ketosis.
Is Carnivore Better than Keto?
Many people will find that the carnivore diet is better than the keto diet for a lot of reasons. One of the big reasons is that certain foods can cause inflammation, spikes or drops in blood sugar, and can exacerbate flu-like symptoms related to autoimmune disease. Many types of inflammatory foods are common in the keto diet, including various vegetables, nuts, and fruits which have chemical compounds that can cause problems with gut health.
As with any diet, you should get professional medical advice before starting any radical elimination diet, including both the keto diet and carnivore diets. People who experience problems with the keto diet that impact their overall health might have better results on the carnivore diet.
Similarities Between the Keto Diet and the Carnivore Diet
By definition, the carnivore diet is a form of keto diet. Both diets rely on the elimination of certain foods that can have negative health benefits. In the case of keto dieters, they reduce carbs to a minimal level by excluding flour, bread, and added sugars. This restrictive diet can be challenging to maintain due to the complexity of identifying carbohydrates and limiting food intake.
The carnivore diet is simply a more extreme version that eliminates all food groups except meat and products that come from animals like organ meats, animal fat, and bone broth. Some carnivore dieters restrict dairy products from their diet because these foods often have lactose, a type of carbohydrate.
Both keto diets and carnivore diets tout the ability to closely regulate blood sugar levels, an important thing for people who have type 2 diabetes. Counting calories isn't usually necessary for both carnivore diets and ketogenic diets.
In both diets, the goal is to eat a significant amount of animal fat and animal protein while reducing carbs. Protein consumption is essential for entering ketosis.
Both keto and carnivore diets have similar problems associated with them. One of the major problems is that these diets can hasten kidney problems. Anyone who has problems with their kidneys should carefully consult with medical professionals before starting these diets. There is some evidence that certain diseases like gout can be more problematic, however there isn't a direct link between the two diets.
These two diet plans can result in nutrient deficiencies due to the limited foods. Non-animal foods like vegetables and fruit offer certain benefits that you'll need to be aware of when it comes to making sure you are getting all your micronutrients in. Both the ketogenic diet and the carnivore diet can lead to a broad range of health problems when essential nutrients aren't part of your diet.
Main Differences Between Carnivore Diet vs Keto
The main difference between carnivore diets vs keto is that on the carnivore diet, you only eat animal products. The keto diet aims to limit carbs by employing a low-carb diet. The carnivore diet is a zero-carb diet, so it can quickly get your body fat to drop and it can help you keep losing weight. Blood sugar regulation is also easier on the carnivore diet because you only eat a high-protein ketogenic diet. Calorie intake is completely unregulated, so you'll never have to count calories.
Healthy Eating on the Carnivore Diet
One of the main key things with the carnivore diet is the inclusion of dietary fat that contains essential amino acids. An all-meat diet is high in saturated fats and protein intake, so you will want to mix up your meals by including fish, chicken, pork, beef, and wild game. A high-fat diet isn't generally a good idea because it can lead to high blood pressure, so including lean meats in the diet plan will help to offset the possible side effects.
If you are considering starting to eat like a carnivore but you aren't sure it's right for you, consult a professional. A simple blood test can often provide you with a baseline of where you are at medically so that you don't accidentally cause yourself problems.
With that said, an all-meat diet is not only an interesting dietary option, it also lets you eat as much steak, hamburger, pork chops, and smoked turkey as you can handle. While a lot of people will say that the diet is limited due to the reliance on meat, we can assure you there are an infinite number of interesting and delicious recipes out there to take even basic proteins like chicken and make them into masterpieces with ease. You can even combine proteins like bacon-wrapped pork loin to make for a delicious and different take on dinner.
If you are looking for fun and delicious ideas for an all-meat diet, take a look at our YouTube channel and our blog, The Butcher's Block. You'll learn pro tips for picking out the best quality meat, how to trim different cuts, and you'll learn about some of our favorite recipes. It's a great starting point for an all-natural, healthy all-meat diet. The best part is that most of our Bearded Butcher Blend Seasonings are keto-friendly – so they're perfect for both diets!