What Is The Difference Between Keto And Carnivore Diet

What Is The Difference Between Keto And Carnivore Diet

The world of diets is vast and ever-evolving, with new trends and fads constantly emerging. Two popular diets that have gained significant attention in recent years are the ketogenic diet (keto) and the carnivore diet. While both diets focus on low-carbohydrate intake, they differ in their approach and the types of foods allowed. In this article, we will explore the key differences between the keto and carnivore diets, their potential benefits, and considerations for choosing the right diet for you.

The Ketogenic Diet (Keto)

The ketogenic diet, commonly known as keto, is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that has been used for decades to treat epilepsy and more recently gained popularity for weight loss and overall health improvement. The primary goal of the keto diet is to shift the body’s metabolism from using carbohydrates as the main source of energy to using fats, specifically ketones, which are produced in the liver.

Macronutrient Composition

The macronutrient composition of the keto diet typically consists of:

  • 70-75% of calories from fat
  • 20-25% of calories from protein
  • 5-10% of calories from carbohydrates

This composition aims to induce a state of ketosis, where the body starts burning stored fat for fuel instead of glucose derived from carbohydrates. By severely limiting carbohydrate intake, the body depletes its glycogen stores and begins breaking down fats into ketones, which are then used as an alternative energy source.

Food Choices

The keto diet emphasizes consuming healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish, while limiting carbohydrates to non-starchy vegetables and small amounts of low-sugar fruits. Foods high in carbohydrates, including grains, legumes, most fruits, and sugary treats, are restricted on the keto diet.

The Carnivore Diet

The carnivore diet, as the name suggests, is a diet that primarily consists of animal products. It is an extreme version of a low-carbohydrate diet, as it eliminates all plant-based foods and focuses solely on animal-based foods.

Macronutrient Composition

The macronutrient composition of the carnivore diet is:

  • 70-80% of calories from fat
  • 20-30% of calories from protein
  • Negligible carbohydrates

Similar to the keto diet, the carnivore diet aims to shift the body into a state of ketosis. However, unlike the keto diet, which allows for a moderate protein intake, the carnivore diet encourages a higher protein intake.

Food Choices

On the carnivore diet, individuals consume animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. This diet excludes all plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and even plant oils. The carnivore diet is often referred to as an all-meat diet.

Differences Between Keto and Carnivore Diet

While both the keto and carnivore diets share the goal of achieving ketosis and reducing carbohydrate intake, there are several key differences between the two:

Food Variety

The keto diet allows for a wider variety of food choices compared to the carnivore diet. On keto, individuals can consume non-starchy vegetables, low-sugar fruits, and plant-based fats, providing a more balanced and diverse nutrient profile. The carnivore diet, on the other hand, restricts all plant-based foods, resulting in a more limited range of food options.

Protein Intake

The carnivore diet encourages a higher protein intake compared to the keto diet. While the keto diet includes a moderate amount of protein, the carnivore diet emphasizes a higher protein intake, which can be beneficial for muscle growth and maintenance.

Nutrient Profile

The keto diet, with its inclusion of non-starchy vegetables and plant-based fats, offers a more comprehensive nutrient profile compared to the carnivore diet. Plant-based foods provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may be lacking in an all-meat diet.


The keto diet is generally considered more sustainable in the long term compared to the carnivore diet. The carnivore diet’s extreme restriction of plant-based foods may make it challenging to meet all nutritional needs and maintain the diet over an extended period.

Potential Benefits of Keto and Carnivore Diets

Both the keto and carnivore diets have been associated with various potential benefits:

Keto Diet Benefits

  • Weight loss: The keto diet has been shown to promote weight loss, primarily due to its ability to suppress appetite and increase fat burning.
  • Improved insulin sensitivity: By reducing carbohydrate intake, the keto diet can improve insulin sensitivity and help manage conditions like type 2 diabetes.
  • Increased energy levels: Many individuals report increased energy levels and mental clarity while following the keto diet.

Carnivore Diet Benefits

  • Simplicity: The carnivore diet offers a simple and straightforward approach to eating, eliminating the need for complex meal planning and food choices.
  • Potential for weight loss: Due to its high protein and fat content, the carnivore diet may promote weight loss and help maintain muscle mass.
  • Elimination of potential allergens: By excluding plant-based foods, the carnivore diet may help individuals identify and eliminate potential allergens from their diet.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Diet

When deciding between the keto and carnivore diets, it is essential to consider individual preferences, health goals, and potential challenges:

  • Personal preferences: Some individuals may prefer the wider food variety and flexibility offered by the keto diet, while others may find the simplicity of the carnivore diet more appealing.
  • Health goals: If weight loss is the primary goal, both diets can be effective. However, if overall health improvement and nutrient diversity are important, the keto diet may be a better choice.
  • Challenges: The carnivore diet’s extreme restriction of plant-based foods may pose challenges in meeting all nutritional needs and maintaining the diet long-term.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can I follow a keto or carnivore diet if I have dietary restrictions?

Yes, both the keto and carnivore diets can be adapted to accommodate dietary restrictions