Keto Versus Carnivore

Important Points:

  • Ketogenic diet
  • Carnivore diet
  • Ketosis
  • Fat burning

Keto Versus Carnivore

In the world of low-carb diets that have amazing results, keto has been a great hit. How does the Carnivore diet compare? Which of these two diets has better outcomes? What are the differences? In this article, we will explore the differences and similarities of these two diets, and discuss why you should try one or both of them….

1. What Is the Keto Diet?

The ketogenic diet, or keto for short, is designed to switch your metabolism from glucose to ketones as a source of fuel. It was initially medically designed and clinically tested to help treat patients with epilepsy.

The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet sharing many similarities with the Atkins and other low-carb diets.  It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake allowing blood sugar and insulin levels to drop. Without carbs, the body has less glucose to use for energy, so it uses fat instead allowing your body to enter a metabolic state called nutritional ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver and can supply energy for the brain.  All of this has numerous health benefits.

2. What Is the Carnivore Diet?

The Carnivore Diet consists entirely of meat and animal products, excluding all other foods, and claims to aid weight loss, mood issues, blood sugar regulation, and other health issues.

3. Differences between the Keto and Carnivore diets

It might seem obvious in the sense that carnivore dieters only eat meat, while there is a little bit more flexibility in keto, but there are a few more details you should know especially if you have some experience with keto and its health benefits.

The carnivore diet is more restrictive

On the ketogenic diet, you are allowed to have some carbs, and for the average person, this will be somewhere less than 50 grams per day. This allows you to satisfy some food cravings especially in the early days. It also gives you just that little bit more flexibility when it comes to your meal recipes to add some vegetables for a bit more diversity. Some fiber is keto friendly because most of it passes through your stomach undigested and isn’t counted as a net positive carb.  Keto purists do count insoluble fiber as part of the less than 50 g total permissible carbohydrates.


You may experience more cravings with the carnivore diet at first. Long term, your cravings will lessen because of sensory specific satiety; the less variety of food being consumed results in less total consumption and a higher satiety with reduced cravings. As you start getting used to having an all meat diet, you will be cutting out all carbs and increasing fat and protein intake.  Similar cravings are noted on keto, but they occur later.

Meal Frequencies

Someone on the keto or carnivore diet is likely to eat 2-3 meals per day, and is unlikely tosnack as long as they are eating food that provides satiety.

Macronutrient Ratio

The macronutrient ratio on a ketogenic diet is 60% fat, 15-30% protein, and less than 10% carbs. This is a radical shift from the 20/25/55 ratio recommended by conventional nutritional science.

When doing the carnivore diet, there isn’t a strict ratio to keep to as it’s all about eating meat. You can eat as much meat as you want, with only a tiny, almost accidental, amount of carbs that may sneak in with some dairy products.


The total elimination of vegetables in the carnivore diet might require higher supplementation of essential vitamins and minerals than the keto diet which allows for some.

4. Similarities between Keto and Carnivore diets

The Keto and carnivore diets have a lot in common, including side effects, metabolic changes, and quite a few health benefits.

The Keto Flu

Though called the keto flu, it can affect people both on the keto diet and the carnivore diet. Its symptoms are flu-like with of brain fog, muscle aches, nausea, headaches, and fatigue that generally last for somewhere between 1 and 14 days.


One of the common questions is, “does keto diet cause constipation?” The answer is sometimes, and the same can happen on the carnivore diet as well. This is most often due to the lack of fiber which may be something you need to supplement.

Fat consumption and fat burning

In both diets, there is a significant emphasis on getting a lot of fat into your diet. As a guide, this would be around 60% of your daily energy needs, which is quite a lot; however, once your body switches to ketosis, all that extra fat will be transformed into fuel. Ketones are a different form of energy that result in improved cognitive functions and a higher level of alertness.

Metabolic Changes

On both keto and carnivore, your body will switch from blood glucose to ketones for fuel. This metabolic process is called ketosis and is a vital function and feature of human evolution.

Weight Loss

As long as you calculate your calorie needs and stay below your daily threshold, you will trigger weight loss. By keeping the amount of dietary fat to below what you need, your body will use up all those fat storage areas. The results can be rather drastic, and as long as you stick to the guidelines of keto and carnivore, you will notice a very steady and sustainable loss of weight.

Increased physical and mental energy

One of the significant benefits of ketosis (whether keto or carnivore induced), is that you will have a lot more readily available energy, and the nature of ketone-derived power is that it doesn’t regularly spike as glucose does.

5. Bottom Line: Which Diet Is the Better Option for You?

In the whole keto versus carnivore debate, it really shouldn’t be a question of which one is better. The choice of which one to do is a personal decision. Keto works better for some people while carnivore works better for others. It might be advisable to try both to find out which suits you best, and switching up allows you to reap the benefits from both.

In the short term, though the carnivore diet seems to have a lot of positive testimonials and works similarly to the ketogenic diet, we choose to accept the fact that the ketogenic diet presently has more clinical evidence than the carnivore diet. Hopefully, we can expect more studies to be done on the carnivore diet as well in the not so far future.