The carnivore diet and the keto diet have become quite popular as eating plans. While they do share some similarities, there are differences to consider when deciding which diet is right for you.
One major contrast between the carnivore and keto diets is their approach to plant-based foods. The keto diet allows for the consumption of plants and plant-derived products, while the carnivore diet strictly focuses on animal products. Additionally, the keto diet is considered carbohydrate, whereas the carnivore diet takes a zero-carb approach if followed strictly.
Both diets attract people who want to lose weight and improve their well-being. However, understanding the aspects of each can be helpful. Below is a comparison of the carnivore and keto diets to help you make a decision about which one suits your needs better.
Carnivore Diet Vs Keto Diet
What is the Carnivore Diet?
The carnivore diet is a type of elimination plan that centers around consuming meat, fish, eggs, and select dairy products. It essentially eliminates fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, grains, and seeds as it aims for a zero-carb approach.
Some dairy products that contain lactose, a type of sugar, may also need to be limited or removed in order to follow the principle of zero carbohydrates.
Supporters of the carnivore diet believe that many modern health issues stem from consuming plant toxins. They argue that animal-based foods offer nutrients for humans. On this diet, your body relies on fats and proteins for fuel. There are no guidelines regarding portion sizes, calorie intake, macronutrient composition, or meal frequency. Instead, you should listen to your body’s hunger signals. Eat until you feel satisfied. As long as you’re consuming animal products, you have the freedom to eat according to your preferences.
People who have embraced the carnivore diet have reported results such as weight loss, improved health, and enhanced cognitive function.
In summary, the carnivore diet is an eating plan with no carbohydrates that avoids plant toxins by focusing on meat, fish, and animal products. Its goal is to support weight loss and improve well-being.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is an approach that replaces carbohydrates with fat as the source of energy for the body. By limiting the amount of carbohydrates you consume, your body’s metabolism is tricked into a state resembling “starvation.” This prompts the breakdown of fat into ketones, which can be used as a source of energy.
This reduction in carbohydrate intake leads to a metabolic state called ketosis, where your body becomes highly efficient at using fat for fuel. In addition to increased production of ketones, following a diet can offer health and weight-loss benefits. These include reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels.
To follow the ketogenic diet, it is recommended to consume a balance of macronutrients: fat, moderate protein, and low to zero carbs. On this diet plan, 60–75% of your calorie intake should come from fat, 15–30% from protein, and carbs should be limited to 5–10%.
In order to maintain the breakdown of fat for energy production, it is crucial to control your macronutrient intake and prevent your body from exiting ketosis. The ketogenic diet has gained popularity due to its reported advantages, such as weight loss and improved blood sugar regulation. As a result, it has become a choice among the changing landscape of dietary trends.
To summarize, the ketogenic diet is a plan designed to shift the body’s reliance from carbohydrates to fat as the source of energy. This leads to weight loss and better overall health.
Similarities between the Keto and Carnivore Diets
Despite their differences, the keto and carnivore diets share commonalities. Here are some key points that both diets have in common.
Both diets significantly reduce carbohydrate intake.
In a diet, carbohydrates make up around 50–75% of calorie consumption since they serve as fuel for the body. However, both the keto and carnivore diets greatly limit carbohydrate intake. The keto diet restricts carbohydrates to 5–10% of consumption, while the carnivore diet aims for no carbohydrate intake at all.
Both diets rely on fat for energy.
While the keto diet focuses on achieving a metabolic state called ketosis, where fat becomes the fuel source, entering ketosis isn’t a goal of the carnivore diet. Nonetheless, both diets depend on fat as their source of fuel.
The keto diet aims to burn fat for energy by reaching ketosis, whereas the carnivore diet achieves an outcome by excluding all plant-based foods and severely reducing carbohydrate intake. This change in diet naturally leads the body to use fat as its source of fuel.
Both diets can be effective for losing weight.
The increasing popularity of keto and carnivore diets can largely be attributed to their potential for weight loss. While extensive research supports the safety and effectiveness of the keto diet in promoting long-term weight loss, there are no published studies specifically focused on the carnivore diet. However, you can find stories online from people who support and follow the carnivore diet.
Studies have shown that the keto diet leads to reductions in body weight and body mass index among participants. It also effectively lowers triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and blood sugar levels while increasing HDL cholesterol. Importantly, individuals who followed a diet for a period of time did not report any major side effects.
Although there aren’t studies on the carnivore diet, a related study suggests that reducing carbohydrate intake while increasing protein consumption may lead to more sustainable weight loss compared to diets that are high in protein but low in carbs.
In conclusion, both the carnivore and keto diets prioritize the fat and protein intake of carbohydrates as an efficient and effective way to lose weight.
Distinguishing Keto and Carnivore Diets
One of the differences between the carnivore and keto diets lies in how they approach macronutrients.
The keto diet is designed specifically to trigger a metabolic state called ketosis. To achieve this state, there are targets for macronutrient intake that need to be followed. To ensure they stay in ketosis, people following the keto diet often track their macronutrient intake. You may even use tools like keto test strips. These measures help confirm that they are maintaining the desired metabolic state.
On the other hand, the carnivore diet doesn’t place emphasis on specific macronutrient goals. While it is a high-protein diet, achieving ketosis is not its primary focus. The principle behind the carnivore diet is quite simple: consume animal products. Avoid any plant-based foods completely.
Devoted followers of the carnivore diet eliminate all seasonings except for salt since even seasonings derived from plants, like paprika and garlic powder, are not allowed. Additionally, they limit their liquid intake to water and bone broth, avoiding tea and coffee because they come from plants.
In summary, while the carnivore diet encourages consumption of animal products, the keto diet requires a precise breakdown of daily macronutrients.
Which one is considered healthier?
It seems clear that the ketogenic diet is a preferable option for long-term health, considering its apparent benefits.
The carnivore diet has been praised for its potential in aiding weight loss, improving mood, and regulating blood sugar. However, due to its nature, it may not be a healthy choice over extended periods of time. Additionally, the claimed advantages of this diet lack backing.
The carnivore diet appears to be most effective when used as an elimination diet, where foods are gradually reintroduced to identify food sensitivities.
Due to its limited food options and exclusion of food groups, the carnivore diet may lack essential micronutrients and beneficial plant compounds. Notably, it doesn’t include fiber, which is a digestible carbohydrate found exclusively in plant-based foods. Fiber plays a role in promoting gut health and regular bowel movements.
On the other hand, the ketogenic diet allows for a balanced and flexible approach to food choices. It ensures the consumption of a range of nutrients for daily well-being. The freedom within this diet makes it easier to maintain in the long run. Reduces the likelihood of feeling socially isolated.
The ketogenic diet has been linked to weight loss, improved levels of “HDL cholesterol, decreased blood sugar and insulin levels, and various other health advantages. Previous research has also suggested that following a diet for a period of time is safe.
The Bottom Line
In summary, the keto diet stands out due to its fat and low carbohydrate composition. When followed correctly, it can be effective for weight loss and managing blood sugar levels. On the contrary, the carnivore diet emphasizes consumption of animal products while completely excluding plant compounds. It can serve as an elimination diet to identify food sensitivities by reintroducing foods when transitioning back to a diet.
While both diets have health benefits if properly planned, there is research supporting the long-term advantages of the carnivore diet. Compared to the carnivore diet, the keto diet offers flexibility in food choices, making it easier to sustain over a period of time. This makes it a preferable option for individuals.
Ultimately, a suitable dietary approach is one that can be effectively maintained in the long run.