With all of the popular diet names coming into the mainstream these days, it can be tough to stay informed about the most cutting-edge weight loss plans. You’ve undoubtedly heard about the ketogenic diet, but what about the carnivore diet? In this article we will discuss not only what the carnivore diet is, but also how it stacks up next to the ketogenic diet.
What is the Carnivore Diet?
As you might have gathered from the name, the carnivore diet is centered around the consumption of meat. Essentially, it is the exact opposite of veganism, which restricts the consumption of all animal products and byproducts. On the carnivore diet, one consumes only animal products. This means that grains are forbidden, as are fruits and vegetables.
Proponents of this diet have praised its usefulness in promoting improved energy, mental clarity and improved athletic performance. “But wait a second,” you might object, “Isn’t a diet composed almost entirely of meat unhealthy? What about clogged arteries, high cholesterol and the other health issues associated with the consumption of meat products?”
Well, if one were to look at the history of humankind, they will see that there were many carnivorous societies before we were able to cultivate crops to the degree that we have done. These early humans were believed to have exceptional health markers while eating a predominantly animal-based diet. This is the modern case for the carnivore diet, and more people are getting on board with the program.
Differences and Similarities Between the Carnivore Diet and Ketogenic Diet
First, let’s discuss the ways that the carnivore and ketogenic diets are similar. The most pronounced similarity is the banishment of carbohydrates. While the ketogenic diet imposes a specific ratio that allows for up to no more than 10% of the day’s calories to be based in carbs, the carnivore diet does not. The rule of thumb is to avoid anything that isn’t animal-based. This means that carbohydrates have got to go.
Protein is an important part of the ketogenic diet, though the amount of protein required is significantly less than one would ingest on the carnivore diet. On keto, protein is essential for the purpose of muscle growth and repair, but it is not the primary focus of the diet. Fat is key on keto, with 60% to 75% of one’s diet being dedicated to high-quality, healthy fats.
Now, let’s dive into the differences between the carnivore and ketogenic diets.
While the ketogenic diet is known for being quite restrictive, the carnivore diet eliminates even more from your plate. Fruits and vegetables, in addition to carbs like pasta and potatoes, are not a part of going carnivorous. On keto, however, it is encouraged to eat substantial amounts of low-carb vegetables. Berries can be enjoyed sparingly, as well, though other fruits are not allowed.
Additionally, the ketogenic diet bans certain types of higher-carb dairy. The carnivore diet, on the other hand, does not banish any types of dairy as long as it is derived from animal sources. The simplistic approach to nutrition boasted by the carnivore diet is a large part of its appeal. One does not have to worry about ratios and balances. All they must concern themselves with is, “Did this come from an animal?”
While the ketogenic diet and the carnivore diet possess many similarities, the allowance of vegetables and some fruit makes keto a more appealing and realistic option.