Deciding between a carnivore diet vs keto diet can be a real quandary. It seems as if everyone has an opinion on which one is better and why, but it ultimately comes down to your individual needs, preferences, and goals. (Or, whether you’re trying to heal from chronic illness or not!)
But don’t worry: I’m here to help you sort through all of the pros and cons of each way of eating so you can decide which will work best for your lifestyle.
Based on my personal experience, I’m here to share the basics of both diets, plus their similarities and differences, so you’ll know exactly what’s right for you!
What is a carnivore diet?
The principles of the carnivore diet are based on the idea that humans evolved to be primarily carnivorous and that plant-based foods are not essential for optimal health.
Followers of the Animal-Based Carnivore Diet swear by its benefits, claiming increased energy, weight loss, and improved digestion & cognition.
But beware, plant-based friends, this carnivorous lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. It’s all meat, all the time.
So, if you’re up for chowing down on a T-bone steak for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the Carnivore Diet might just be for you.
What is a keto diet?
The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that puts your body in a state of ketosis.
What’s ketosis, you ask?
To put it simply, it’s when your body switches from burning carbohydrates for energy to burning fat instead.
And let’s be real, who doesn’t want to burn some fat?
But let me tell you, while keto is not as strict as carnivore, this is still not your average diet. It takes dedication, discipline, and a whole lot of avocados. But hey, if you’re willing to give it a shot, the results can be pretty amazing.
The benefits of the keto diet include weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and increased energy levels.
And… it has been shown to improve markers of heart health, such as cholesterol and blood pressure levels. It may even have a positive impact on neurological conditions such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.
Examples of foods that are allowed on the keto diet include high-fat foods such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil. (And removes carbohydrate-rich foods such as grains, fruits, sugar, and starchy vegetables.)
Carnivore Diet vs. Keto
During my chronic illness journey, I felt like I tried EVERYTHING. I landed on Ketovore (a combination of the carnivore and keto diet)… but let’s take a look at both separately for a minute.
Obviously, both cut out carbohydrates, but the carnivore diet takes it a step further and only allows animal products (a.k.a. = zero carbs!) and eliminates all plants. Yes, that can seem quite extreme at first… but the benefits are HUGE!
Carnivore benefits include:
- Weight loss
- Improved digestion
- Boost in energy
- Decreased inflammation
- Improved chronic disease & autoimmune symptoms
- Reduces blood sugar
- Lack of fiber and nutrients
- Possibly sluggish (especially as you transition)
- Potentially short on essential vitamins (by avoiding all fruits and veggies – especially vitamin C)
- Restrictive (difficult to follow when eating out or on social occasions)
On the keto side, you can still enjoy some carbs, which may be good news for you carb addicts. Although, if you swoon over carbs, I highly recommend you read this article about abstainers vs. moderators!
Plus, keto has a lot more flexibility on the menu allowing for more variety and ease to the diet (As long as you stay under 20-50 net carbs ensuring you stay in ketosis!)
Keto benefits include:
- Weight loss
- Improved insulin sensitivity,
- May reduce the risk of chronic diseases
- Enhanced brain function
Keto cons include:
- Difficult to maintain a state of ketosis,
- Most experience “keto breath”
- Keto flu – transition symptoms
Ultimately, the decision is up to you and your taste buds. But is there a better option you should consider? Let’s take a look…
Carnivore vs. Keto | How do you decide which is best for you?
When it comes to choosing between the carnivore and keto diets, there are some important considerations to take into account.
For those with chronic diseases such as autoimmune disorders, the carnivore diet may offer more benefits due to its elimination of all plant-based foods and potential reduction in inflammation.
However, for those dealing with sugar addiction or insulin resistance, the keto diet may be a better option due to its focus on a low-carb, high-fat intake and ability to regulate blood sugar levels.
In some cases, it may also come down to personal preference and sustainability, as the restrictive nature of the carnivore diet can make it more challenging to maintain in the long term. (Although, it does get easier!)
Many folks start with the keto diet, and move to a more restrictive carnivore diet to continue to see benefits. Try experimenting and see what works best with your body!
How to get started with either diet, including meal plans and recipes
If you want to embark on a keto or carnivore diet journey, here are some tips to help you get started. (pro tip: going cold turkey on either diet can cause relapse!)
For the keto diet, begin by reducing your carb intake and increasing healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, and coconut oil. Create meal plans that include plenty of non-starchy vegetables, high-quality proteins like eggs, fish, and meat, and healthy fats.
Some delicious keto recipes to try include cauliflower rice stir-fry, grilled salmon with lemon butter, and avocado and bacon stuffed eggs.
On the other hand, if you’re interested in the carnivore diet, focus on consuming animal-based foods like meat, fish, eggs, and some animal products – add these to your diet before taking anything away.
Plan meals around different cuts of meat like ribeye, liver and seafood like salmon and shrimp. Remember to prioritize the quality and sourcing of your meat products, opting for grass-fed, organic, and wild-caught options whenever possible.
Consider incorporating some organ meats like liver for added nutrient density. Experiment with different cooking methods like grilling, baking, and air frying with butter or tallow to add variety to your carnivore meal plan.
As with any diet change, it’s important to listen to your body, stay hydrated, and get plenty of rest as your body adapts!
Happy cooking and bon appétit!
Carnivore vs. keto debate – who wins the dietary battle?
Navigating the world of fad diets can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to the carnivore vs keto debate. It’s best to view both as ‘ways of eating’ vs starting a new diet. This is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix!
So, who really wins this dietary battle? Well, it’s like comparing apples to oranges (or in this case, steak to avocados). Both diets have their pros and cons, and ultimately it’s about finding what works best for your body and lifestyle.
But hey, if you love sinking your teeth into a juicy ribeye, then the carnivore diet might be your jam.
Or, if you can’t imagine life without your morning avocado toast, keto might be a better fit. Either way, just always prioritize a balanced diet and listen to what your body needs.
My favorite Keto Diet influencers to check out:
My favorite Carnivore Diet influencers:
Lil Bit of Fit (I relate most to her!)
Steak and Butter Gal (She was vegan before, like me!)
Dr. Elizabeth Bright (Hormone expert using Carnivore-Based Diets)
Of course, there are a million different pros you could follow for an animal-based diet, but these are my favorites based on ease of use and relatability. Let me know what you think?
5 ways to stay motivated on your journey toward a healthier animal-based lifestyle
When starting on a health journey with either the keto or carnivore diet, it’s important to have a plan in place to make the most out of your chosen approach and stay compliant. Here are some strategies I’ve found that can help you be successful!
1. Set clear goals
Define your health goals and what you hope to achieve with your chosen diet. Whether it’s weight loss, improved blood sugar control, or increased energy levels, having clear objectives will keep you motivated and focused. What’s your why?
2. Educate yourself
Research and understand the principles of your chosen diet. Familiarize yourself with the allowed and restricted foods, macronutrient ratios, and potential benefits and drawbacks of the diet. This knowledge will empower you to make informed decisions and stay on track. And joining different community group will help you learn and stay accountable!
3. Listen to your body
Pay attention to how your body responds to the chosen diet. Everyone’s physiology is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Be mindful of your body’s signals and adjust your diet accordingly to optimize your results. Try using a mood journal or diet tracking app when you start out.
4. Seek support
Surround yourself with a supportive community or seek guidance from a healthcare professional or registered dietitian. Having a support system in place can provide encouragement, accountability, and valuable insights throughout your journey.
5. Plan your meals
Create meal plans and prep your food in advance to ensure you have compliant and nutritious options readily available. Experiment with new recipes that fit within your chosen diet to keep your meals enjoyable and varied. Always have meaty-fatty snacks on hand.
6. Stay consistent
Stick to your chosen diet consistently and give it time to work. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and sustainable results often require patience and perseverance. I actually gained 10lbs when I first started because my body needed to heal…
With the right strategies in place, you can make the most out of your chosen diet and achieve success on your health journey.
The Wrap – Carnivore Diet vs Keto
After considering the pros and cons of both carnivore and keto diets, it’s clear that each diet has its own strengths and drawbacks. Ultimately, if you are looking to start a new way of eating, the best one for you depends on your unique goals and lifestyle.
If you’re averse to drastically changing your eating habits but still want to reap the benefits of weight loss and overall health improvements, then perhaps the keto diet is for you.
However, if you are looking for more drastic results or healing from autoimmune disease, then perhaps a full carnivore diet may be up your alley.
Either way, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional and consider your individual health needs and goals when deciding which diet is best for you. I’m not a doctor, medical expert or able to give any medical advice – I’m only sharing my personal experiences!