The Difference Between Keto and Carnivore Diets
Keto or Carnivore Diet?
Not long ago, everywhere you’d turn, you were told that eating fat would make you fat. No one would have considered the Keto or Carnivore diets as possible methods for weight loss.
Companies sprang into action, creating fat-free foods ranging from dairy products to cookies to potato chips.
But it turned out that when fat was removed from their products, in many cases, the companies added more sugar and chemicals to offset the lack of fat. The removal was worse than keeping the fat there to begin with!
Now that the fat-free-food craze is behind us (thank goodness!) people have begun to re-establish a relationship with healthy fats.
The Keto Diet
I recommend a ketogenetic diet for that reason and more. The Keto diet cuts out most carbohydrates including sugar, soda, desserts, and bread while introducing lots of protein, veggies, and good fats.
Once your body is no longer storing carbohydrates, it can start breaking down protein and fat which assists with weight loss. Being in that state is called ketosis.
Some health benefits of the Keto diet include raising your “good” cholesterol and lowering the “bad” cholesterol, a reduction in acne breakouts, and helping to control seizures in epilepsy patients.
The Keto diet also helps stabilize blood sugar (which is great for people with insulin resistance) and can improve your brain focus and clarity.
Keto Diet is Anti-inflammatory
A major win is that it is a naturally anti-inflammatory diet. What makes it anti-inflammatory is that it eliminates foods which notoriously cause inflammation. Diseases often associated and even exacerbated by inflammation include autoimmune disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.
On the Keto diet, you cut out sugars, processed grains, oils (including corn, soybean, and safflower), high fructose fruits like bananas and oranges, as well as processed foods.
Foods to Eat on the Keto Diet
But there are still plenty of delicious foods to enjoy on the Keto diet, including:
- Low-carb vegetables (spinach, broccoli, asparagus, eggplant, bell peppers and more)
- Meats (chicken, turkey, beef, and pork)
- Fish (salmon, tuna, and shrimp)
- Eggs and some natural cheeses and yogurt
- Healthy Fats (olive oil, avocado oil, nuts, and some nut-butters)
People who aren’t entirely fond of eating the amount of healthy fat required by the recommendations of the Keto diet may prefer an entirely high-protein diet called the carnivore diet.
The Carnivore diet is intended to serve as an inflammation reset. Changing your diet changes your gut microbiome, and many people with chronic gut issues can see a benefit in helping bring about this change.
What To Eat on The Carnivore Diet
This diet is pretty much what it sounds like: you eat mostly red meat and animal products, and not much else. While red meat is the preferred fuel, you should eat poultry and fish for some variety.
You can also eat eggs and low-lactose dairy products. But foods including fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes, alcohol, and drinks other than water are not permitted.
This diet is higher in protein than most ketogenic diets and it maintains a focus on fatty cuts of meat to ensure you're getting a high fat intake as well. While ketogenic diets are often moderate on protein intake, the "counting" is not really necessary on the Carnivore diet.
All About Protein
The idea is that by eating such a high density of protein, you’ll eat less and feel fuller longer. This no-carbohydrate lifestyle can also help with weight loss and help relieve joint pain.
Another great feature is that it serves as a "reset" if you're trying to figure out what foods you're having reactions to. You can begin to add plant-based foods back into your diet after you cycle through the Carnivore diet in order to determine how your system responds.
We so often think of plants as 'healthy' that we forget there are some people who react negatively to certain food groups. It all comes down to gut bacteria balance and overall inflammatory balance in the body.
Doing the Carnivore Diet the Right Way
You might experience some negative effects while maintaining a strictly carnivorous diet. That's why food quality matters a lot. You should aim to purchase high-quality meat, eggs, poultry, and fish (free-range/grass-fed/wild-caught) whenever possible.
Eating a lot of processed meats that are high in sodium may increase your risk of high blood pressure and kidney disease. Plus, the lack of fiber may cause an imbalance in gut health. Many people who start the Carnivore diet also find that they have diarrhea at the beginning as their body adjusts to the new lifestyle.
I don't necessarily recommend the Carnivore diet for everyone (or long-term). However, for some people, it can be a beneficial part of the bigger picture of diet variation.
I'd love to know whether the Keto Diet or the Carnivore Diet sounds good (and delicious!) to you. Remember, when choosing a new diet, it's always best to work with a health practitioner who will help you decide if a particular way of eating will be right for you.
To your health,
The content on heartroothealth.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.