Keto Vs. Carnivore Diet: Differences and Similarities

It is said that we are what we eat. A healthy diet is essential to keep our body fit and free from illnesses. In the current world, the word ‘diet’ is the most buzzing term where most people understand it as a ‘term’ that describes weight loss.

Although diet indicates consumption of the right proportion of macronutrients and micronutrients that the body needs, most people assume the word ‘diet’ as eating less food than what is essential for the body. Incorporating the right diet into our daily life helps to maintain good health. 

Keto diet, carnivore diet, and intermittent diet are some of the most commonly heard diet regimes for weight loss. The fact is that any diet can work only when you follow a strict diet regime. Keto diet and carnivore diet are high protein diets that keep a person satiated for a fair amount of time, reducing hunger cravings and binge eating. 

Despite many advancements happening globally, there is an alarming increase in the number of people falling into the obese category yearly. Poor dietary habits and unhealthy lifestyles make people gain weight and increase the risk of developing chronic illnesses, such as heart diseases, diabetes, and hypertension. 

Ketogenic diet and carnivore diet are high protein diets that are ideal for weight loss. Both these diets restrict the intake of carbohydrates and plant-based food. 

The Keto and Carnivore Diet: An Overview 

The ketogenic diet is an increase in the consumption of proteins and fats with a significant reduction of carbohydrates up to less than 50 grams per day. Although the keto diet includes high protein and fat foods, fat consumption is higher than protein. This is because an increase in the per day consumption of protein should not exceed the recommended quantity. A research study says that high fat and low carb diet is useful for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 

Types of ketogenic diets: 

The ketogenic diet is classified based on individual needs as follows: 

Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): It is a high-fat diet with moderate protein intake and minimal carbs. This type of keto diet includes 70% fat, 20% protein, and as little as 10% carbohydrates. 

Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This type of keto diet includes consumption of high carbohydrate foods in between ketogenic days. 

Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): In this type of keto diet, high carbohydrate foods can be included during intensive physical workouts. 

High-protein ketogenic diet (HPKD): As the name suggests, it includes high protein intake. HPKD diet has 60% fats, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. 

The carnivore diet comprises meat and animal products, excluding all the plant-based foods, such as legumes, grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Eating a diet of animal-based foods existed for ages. But, it gained popularity when Shawn Baker, an elite-athlete, appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast. 

Inclusions in Keto and Carnivore diet  

Keto diet helps to lose weight and offers health benefits. One has to cut back on easily digestible carbs in a ketogenic diet, such as white bread, sugar, and carbonated/aerated drinks. 

The carnivore diet includes animal-based foods, such as chicken, organ meat, beef, fish, sardines, and measured amounts of butter and hard cheeses. One can consume bone broth in a carnivore diet, but none other drinks from plants like tea and coffee.  

Keto and Carnivore diet: Similarities

One of the fundamental similarities between a ketogenic diet and a carnivore diet is that both these diets encourage high protein and fat foods while restricting the intake of carbohydrates. Both diets cut out grains, fruits, vegetables, sugary foods, nuts, and seeds. 

Some common’s in keto vs. carnivore are: 

Controlled blood sugar levels: Both the keto and carnivore diet include fat foods and help stabilize the body’s blood sugar levels. Evidence shows that a low-carb diet induces ketosis, thereby having the potential to reverse type II diabetes.

Consumption of fats: Keto diet and carnivore diet encourage consumption of fat. A study reveals that meat fat plays a significant role in the diet where fats act as the structural elements of cell walls and provide energy to the body. 

Reduced cravings: Fluctuations in blood sugar levels keeps the sugar cravings alive. The human brain releases specific chemicals in response to the blood sugar and insulin levels. Research says that altered macronutrient consumption controls food cravings and plays a significant role in the weight loss journey. 

Aids in weight loss: Researchers concluded that a diet high in fats and low in carbohydrates helps deplete the fatty tissue deposits, thereby making the body burn fat for energy. Both keto and carnivore diets benefit obese people suffering from diseases associated with more body fat, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease. 

Controls inflammation: Chronic inflammation is an immune response that usually accompanies a disease. A study says that a ketogenic diet safeguards the body from inflammation. It produces fewer free radicals and reactive oxygen that are known to contribute to inflammation in the body. 

Keto Vs. Carnivore: This or that!

A calorie deficit is a crucial factor behind any specific diet for weight loss. Both keto and carnivore diets are highly recommended for weight loss. Due to the ignorance and lack of understanding, some people assume that keto is a better diet, while some say carnivore eating is a better one. 

The fact is that both diets include high protein and fat foods with reduced carb intake. Whether it is a keto diet or a carnivore lifestyle, the body changes its metabolism, and both the diets are ideal for weight loss and work well. However, it is said that the carnivore diet is an advanced version of a keto diet. When followed rightly, a carnivore diet helps to achieve fat reduction at a much faster pace when compared to the keto diet.

Keto Vs. Carnivore diet: How do They Differ? 

Although one might not see striking differences between a keto and carnivore diet, people who dive into them while following these diets can observe a little more than we do. 

Let us understand the differences between the keto and carnivore diet in detail. 

The carnivore diet is keto but not vice-versa: It is a strict no for carbs in a carnivore diet. Whereas in a keto diet, some amount (50 grams of lesser/day) low-carbs satisfies the food cravings in the initial days of the diet. 

Nutrients & flexibility: In terms of micronutrients and digestion, keto stands first than a carnivore diet. There is a bit more flexibility in meal options in a keto diet, unlike that in a carnivore meal plan.

Meal frequencies: The carnivore diet is usually three meals a day or sometimes even two meals in a day. As the recipes are more of meat and butter, they taste good when served hot. A keto meal can be spread over five to seven meals a day, depending on the caloric intake. A keto meal limits hunger cravings as the meal can be divided into more than three to four meals a day. 

The ratio of macros: A keto diet includes fat, protein, and carbs divided 60%, 30%, and 10%, respectively. Here the maximum number of calories are from healthy fats. Carnivore diet doesn’t follow a specific macros ratio, but it is more about eating only protein and animal fat with traces of carbs from dairy. 

Bottom line 

The carnivore diet is often regarded as the most restrictive one as it limits the intake of certain foods, unlike in a keto diet. There is no room for desserts and snacks in a carnivore diet, while one can find good options for snacks and even keto ice creams on a keto diet.

The carnivore diet includes meat and some fatty foods making it carbohydrate-free. Thus, we can say that a carnivore diet is a more restrictive diet than a ketogenic diet.