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    The Various Types of Carnivore Diets

    The carnivore diet is as easy as just eating meat, right? This is basically true. But if you follow some famous carnivore proponents on socail media or YouTube you may get confused. Some carnivores might be seen eating cheese or using heavy cream, and others may be caught using some herbs and spices on their food. I've spotted one drinking a diet soda, and then others boast about eating fruit and honey. So, like, what gives?

    What Is the Carnivore Diet?

    A man holding a tray of various carnivore diet friendly foodsA carnivore diet is a lifestyle that consists of eating mainly animal products, such as meat, fish, and eggs. Traditionally, this diet eliminates all plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. The thinking behind a carnivore diet is that humans evolved to eat meat and that our bodies are better adapted to digest and absorb nutrients from animal products, and that plants contain toxic self-defense chemicals that over time can harm your health, possibly being the root cause of many auto-immune disorders and chronic diseases.

    Different Types of Carnivore Diets

    The Lion Diet (Elimination Diet) - This diet consists of unprocessed ruminant flesh, usually beef, but could also include lamb, elk, etc, with salt, and only water. This is usually a zero carb carnivore diet. Many peple eat this way because they get inflammation and other physical symptoms when they eat other food. This is also a perfect way to start an elimination diet, starting with 30-90 days of Lion Diet and then slowly reintroduce foods one at a time to see how you react to them.

    The Standard Carnivore Diet - This is the most dogmatic and strict form of the carnivore diet, which involves consuming only water, salt, and meat, whether ruminants, poultry, pork, or seafood, including eggs and fish roe. No dairy, no seasonings, no supplements, and no plant foods are allowed. This diet is based on the premise that humans are designed to eat only animal foods, and that plant foods are harmful or unnecessary for optimal health

    The Nose-to-Tail Carnivore Diet - This is a more nutrient-dense version of the carnivore diet which includes any animal flesh, as well as organ meats such as liver, kidney, heart, and brain. Organ meats are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and co-factors that are essential for various bodily functions and may prevent deficiencies that may arise from eating only muscle meats. This may often mean zero carb depending on the type of seafood and the amount of eggs. This is also sometimes called ancestral carnivore or restrictive Paleo.

    Any Animal Products Carnivore Diet - This slightly more flexible version of the carnivore diet includes all animal flesh and any animal byproducts that can be produced by the animal kingdom. This would include dairy products such as milk, yogurt, heavy cream, cheese, butter & ghee, as well as things like bacon, sausage, pork rinds, and deli meat. This is also sometimes called Zero Carb Carnivore by those who still avoid milk sugars and certain seafoods.

    Animal-based "Carnivore" Diet - Primarily animal sourced products but also allows participants to partake in some carbs found in nature, including some occasional bee honey and some fruitage that can be eaten based on seasonal availability. It's basically a mix of carnivore and Paleo. Animal-based dieters are still focused on animal consumption and avoiding plants (except their fruitage) and plant toxins with little to no regard for carbohydrate consumption. Dogmatic carnivore purists will argue that this is not "true" carnivore.

    Carnivorish/Ketovore Diet - This Meat-based Keto lifestyle still focuses primarily on animal products but does allow for some plant-based oils like coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil (the good kinds) along with the inclusion of some low carb vegetables, with the aim of limiting carb consumption to 10g (ketovore) or 20g (keto) per day. This version permits the use of some spices and herbs to enhance the flavor and variety of the meals as well. Dogmatic carnivore zealots will argue that this is not "true" carnivore.

    Which Carnivore or "Carnivorish" Diet is Right for Me?

    Rather than be dogmatic, all of the above can fall under the umbrella of what Dr. Ken Berry M.D. refers to as "The Proper Human Diet". A proper human diet is one that is all natural, uninflammatory, minimally processed, and low in carbohydrates (meaning about 100g or less per day). The key to optimizing your health is to find out where on the spectrum you fit in the best. For some this may mean being absolutely strict about being a pure carnivore and avoiding plants and fruitage altogether. For others this may mean low carb, non-starchy vegetables that have a minimal impact on insulin and glucose levels are fine. Still others may choose to eat fermented or pickled vegetables and some may enjoy some fruit, but only seasonally or sporadically.

    The amount and frequency with which one consumes fruit and vegetables on the carnivore or animal-based diet may vary depending on the individual’s goals, preferences, and tolerance. The key is to listen to your body and adjust accordingly. If you notice any negative effects from eating vegetables, such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, or cravings, you may want to reduce or eliminate them from your diet. 

    So where on the spectrum are you? What kind of carnivore dieter do you tend to be?


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    • It sounds like this is the only path then. Before starting my diet, like everyone, I was able to eat what I wanted but all that came with the consequences I wish to reverse. 90 days seems like a long time to endure, and I fear getting bored with not being able to change up the flavors as much as I'd like to. I understand the concept and it makes sense. Apparently, our physiology changes during the 90 days and we have to start over with things we may have been able to eat before with no problem to ensure there isn't a new undiscovered problem waiting to manifest itself. This makes perfect sense. Like I said. I just don't want to become bored with the limited flavors that only salt yields. I love eggs and I used to add a ton of things to them, especially omelets. Bacon is another one of my all-time favorites.  If I can eat some of these processed deli meats during my 90-day journey, that would help relieve some of potential boredom. When I checked at the grocery store, it seemed like over 95% of the meats were cured with some sugar or dextrose. It was a shocker for me. Right now, I don't think I am sensitive at all to it. But that could change after 90 days. All in all, I am jazzed for this diet, and I really want to do it correctly. I will have to keep watching YT for recipes that are allowed during the 90 days of total elimination. Thanks for answering, it really helps out.
    • Your confusion is totally understandable Steven. I felt the same way in the beginning. What I came to understand was there are no set rules to eating this way because it all boils down to individuality. What works for my physiology may not work for yours. Remember, this is an elimination diet. Start with a foundation of clean meats, salt and water. Stay clean for 90 days. Introduce something that you like for few days and see how it affects you. No problems? It can stay. Issues m? It’s gone forever. Build on it from there, slowly. You have to build your own diet/lifestyle plan according to your needs, not anyone else’s. I personally avoid all sugars and sugar alternatives but if a little sneaks in once in awhile I don’t worry about it. In something like sugars used in a cured meat it’s not that much. I make my own bacon and before carnivore my brine/cure required a lot of brown sugar and maple syrup but after the curing process was over most of it was rinsed off. There was still some residual sugar but considering the slight amount on the surface of each slice I don’t believe it’s enough to do much harm unless you are super sensitive to it. With all that being said I still avoid sugar as much as possible. If given a choice I wall always go without. The only items I allow in my diet that are not carnivore is one cup of bulletproof tea in the morning and some spices. Those spices must be sugar and sweetener free. I eat meat of any kind, eggs, cheese , cream and yogurt sparingly and pork rinds fried in lard. The only fats I use are ghee, lard and tallow, which I make myself. I do not allow vegetables, seeds, seed oils and sugar (if at all possible) Now here is a concession that I might make if I went to a restaurant and there were no steaks or any meats that weren’t clean enough to suit me. I would consider jalapeño poppers as long as they’re not breaded and deep fried. Bacon wrapped and stuffed with cream cheese is tolerable for me and doesn’t affect me but I would only eat that I’d there was no other alternative. Find your path, just start from a clean foundation. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    • Okay. I'm a noob at this (well, sort of. Like I said before, I did do Adkins for a couple of years with no problems). The way I understand it, the goal is to reduce your carbs to zero as well as get through the transition eating only animal products. I prefer to jump right in like @Geezy did and get on with it. So far, I haven't had any sugars or carbs and have made up my mind to eliminate everything that is not animal based (Milk is animal based but has lactose, so it is out). In my research and quest for further understanding, I watch a lot of YT videos on tips and tricks to navigate through this new adventure. This is where I am coming into some confusion, and I know there are variations of the carnivore diet. But some of the stuff I've seen others do has me scratching my head. So, I am assuming I am missing something and therefore the confusion. The bottom line is I see others eating stuff that has been processed with sugars or dextrose, etc. To my understanding, that would be a red flag to go that direction. For instance this ham:    When I scan the shelves, I see something like this and it interests me. So I start checking the label. From the ingredient list, it tells me this one is off limits. But then if you go to the nutritional label:  
    • Yeah, and they're only targeting the USA. China and India are some of the worst polluters in the world (way more than us) and somehow, they get a pass. There's just something wrong with that picture.
    • My cows say… I fart in your general direction. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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