Adding back fruit ('targeted keto') + honey


for the last year I’ve been cycling on/off keto while at the same time working on adding muscle mass, with decent success as shown by DEXA. I am coming to the conclusion that adding fruit around the workout time has benefits beyond a pure keto approach.

  • recovery + strength do seem be much larger
  • the pumps are better, the muscles are just fuller due to the water retention
  • my body burns through the carbs extremely fast, i can feel my body heat going up significantly, while also dropping very quick
  • my fasting glucose is much lower, around 80 vs 100
  • I still have detectable ketones via blood test. between 0.4-0.8, even AFTER eating 2 bananas+1 ounce of maple syrup/honey
  • total carb count is around 100-150g /day
  • my digestive system works great, and is better then on pure carnivore.
  • I totally understand the idea of being pure/zero carb and that the body will eventually adjust, but the gains outweight the drawbacks IMO. those short insulin spikes have also muscle building benefits.
  • my TSH is lower with this approach and my T3/T4 higher
    overall I don’t see a reason to be on a pure keto diet anylonger. my food is virtually all meat + fruit, with no vegetables of any kind (Saladino type diet)

(Bob M) #2

Interesting. I’ve been trying 50g of rice noodles after my body weight workouts. I have been able to keep producing ketones. Might get “puffier” muscles, but don’t seem to recover any faster. Or if I do, I can’t tell. Can’t really tell any other benefit. Fasting glucose is up by a lot, 10-20 points (though that might also be a switch in a drug). Less than 100 grams a day when I do this, which is only on the days I do body weight workouts.

I’ve never eaten carnivore.

Haven’t taken TSH in a while.

I do eat vegetables, such as natto, seaweed, others.

I think Saladino is an idiot. Sorry if that upsets anyone. I realized this during Covid, when he said things I knew not to be true, and I knew he had no freaking clue what he was talking about, but acted if he did. I gave up listening to him then.


there is definitely some BS coming from saladino, especially around the supplements he sells ,but overall the meat/organs/fruit/honey/dairy approach is effective with people having success on it.

(Chuck) #4

This sound close to what I have found for my lifestyle. At 76 I am still active for my age, I have what I call a moderately low carb diet. If it is real food I am okay with it. I just don’t eat highly processed carbs/food, nor do I eat fast food. I fast an average of 19 hours each day. I believe in whole fat dairy, and fatty meat. I also gave up on the low salt diet that my doctors have recommended. After 40 years I am prescription drug free, I was not n blood pressure medication for those 40 years and acid reflux medication on an off over those years. My blood pressure is now lower without medication than they were when I was on it. Over the last 14 months I have lost 54 pounds, I started with strict keto, but I learned to follow the needs of my body and migrated to my present lifestyle. I do hike the forest trails in the area, and do resistance band exercises, when the weather is bad or too cold I ride my exercise bike. I actually feel younger than I did at half my age, my waist is actually smaller than it was my Navy years as a 20 something that spend my off time swimming at the beaches and working out in the gym. But back then I wasn’t eating what I understood now as a healthy diet.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #5

Sally Norton says this is because he accumulated a lot of oxalates during his vegan years, and the fruit helps to slow the oxalate dumping to a tolerable rate.

She says she would never recommend that anyone eat honey. Given the high fructose and sucrose content of honey, and given that fructose is a mitochondrial toxin, I agree with her. I refuse to touch the stuff. I need as much brain and muscle function as I can get!


Sugar, sugar, sugar.

Only good if you are a bear about to go into hibernation; otherwise it will fk you metabolically.


there is a misconception they all sugar is equal. take this study for ex.

clearly its not. I still plan to do a self experiment with a CGM monitor, but based on blood tests, it does the opposite. yes the initial spike is larger, but the low is also smaller. I do understand that an a1c might not be a good way to measure this, since the life of red blood cells seems to be longer on pure keto.
however a fasting insulin level will undeniably show metabolic health. I haven’t done one yet, but for some, it actually lowered it, which would indicate metabolic health improvement.
the main benefit of a pure keto diet for me was some mental clarity and appetite suppression, however what I found is that on a pure meatr+fruit diet, it is very hard to overeat, and my mind works as well if not better.
time will tell, as I plan to do this for an extended time, and do all the blood work as I go, and reduce my BF as well, but so far it appears that this approach is superior. as always I will keep an open mind and divert if needed


Fair you well brother, on your chosen path.

I reserve the right to call BS,

(Edith) #9

Honey contains 23-41% fructose. According to Dr. Robert Lustig, it is the fructose that goes straight to our livers which why it doesn’t raise blood sugar as much as glucose. But, that is also why fructose contributes to fatty liver and metabolic disfunction.

Whole fruit while it contains fructose, it has the added benefit of fiber whereas honey does not. Does that make any difference in the pathway of the fructose? :woman_shrugging:

I’m curious, what is the purpose of eating the honey? What is the purported benefit of it?


in the linked study people receiving artificial fructose clearly did worse then those given honey. I do not know why that would happen. there were clearly other differences. for me personally it is mainly about the added carbs and as a natural sweetener around weight lifting and to replenish glycogen stores.

Honey consumed for 15 days decreased cholesterol (7%), LDL-C (1%), TG (2%), CRP (7%), homocysteine (6%), and PGL (6%), and increased HDL-C (2%). In patients with hypertriglyceridemia, artificial honey increased TG, while honey decreased TG. In patients with hyperlipidemia, artificial honey increased LDL-C, while honey decreased LDL-C. Honey decreased cholesterol (8%), LDL-C (11%), and CRP (75%) after 15 days. In diabetic patients, honey compared with dextrose caused a significantly lower rise of PGL.

(Betsy) #11

My brother has been low carb for quite some time, had leg cramps in the beginning that he used magnesium to deal with.

This summer he started to get them in his thigh and not his calves, and first was using a lot of salt but then tried honey, and it is helping with the cramping.

My brother is thin and a lean mass hyper-responder.

(Betsy) #12

@lamehack, can you expand on what type of fruit you eat and do you eat it once a day or throughout the day.


a lot of bananas, some pears, dried dates, oranges
a bit of orange juice/apple juice
honey/maple syrup.
TBH i eat it randomly throughout the day whenever I feel it. making sure my protein intake is adequate, mainly through red meat/some chicken, and hydrolyzed protein whey shakes, with milk or coconut water as the base
what I noticed that is very hard to ‘overeat’ on fruit, in comparison to junk food/candy, so the intake is naturally limited. my appetite would be slightly larger then on pure carnivore, but not by much
a typical day would be 3 bananas, 2 pears, 5 dried dates, 2 oranges, 2 ounces maple syrup, 2 ounces honey
my digestive system feels great too and I never have this bloated/tired feeling after a meal
what is interesting as mentioned in the first post, I still do have blood ketones, at roughly the same level as on pure keto, so one could argue I am technically in ketosis.

(Betsy) #14

Thank you, and good for you! The added variety of fruit makes the diet so much better.

I can’t handle starches but I can handle orange juice, still have a hard time with cellulose. But I’ll keep trying.




a lot of bananas, some pears, dried dates, oranges



I noticed the opposite when eating a few kinds (oh I remember the day when I bought 500g dried dates and really tried not to eat it all… I ate it all. but 1kg apple in one sitting, 5 bananas in one sitting or 3kg watermelon in a few hours was trivial too) so it must be highly individual. Fruit makes me hungry and it’s lovely so it was very easy to eat a ton.
I changed since, I couldn’t handle that insane amount of sugar and I trained myself as well so I don’t do that anymore. But I tested watermelon (a fruit I don’t like so much, it was just fun occasionally but I pretty much banned it when I went low-carb) last year and I still was unable to stop before 1000g in one sitting. (I got better this year but I have plenty of carnivore-ish days since years and it changed me).

My SO is thriving on high-carb and needs fruit all the time but I really would worry about his fructose intake if he ate a lot of it. But he doesn’t :slight_smile:

Each to their own, I always say but excessive sugar especially fructose is bad for everyone as far as I know. I don’t know what that amount is I admit. But it would mess up the plans of many of us if we add a ton of calories from fruit only! I did hear about people who get satiated by fruit. And better than when I quenched my hunger eating 5 bananas. It lasted for an hour, it was useful as I went home during that time but it surely made me overeating on that day.

Interesting, I handle starches loads better than sugar. Even a little fruit alone can feel bad. I always eat some sausage after fruit :slight_smile: Except after really tiny amounts.
I liked eating 6 different fruits a day on keto too (one was typically banana, one of my favs. it comforted me as a newbie ketoer who had to painfully drop the amount of vegs) but they contained a few carbs in total :wink: I needed my carbs elsewhere and I needed my carbs low too.

I can’t really imagine you being in ketosis with a huge amount of sugar but I won’t argue, it doesn’t really affect me. Do what work for you, I never had against people eating high-carb if it worked for them.
I don’t really care about ketosis myself, I just want to feel good and get benefits. It happens to be extremely low non-animal net carbs (most of the time, at least) so I must be in ketosis most of the time but that’s not the point.


Great to hear you found what works for you. I would be interested to know your age or at least age range and why you initially decided to do Keto and Carnivore? Being fat adapted means you can do both IMHO. My total carb count varies depending on level of activity. On workout days it is easily 150+ grams of carbs with no adverse effects on weight gain and definitely gains in performance. As I get older I have found my need for protein has increased. I probably eat a more balance healthy lower carb diet most of the time with some veggies and fruit and IF thrown in occasionally as well as some feasting. I never went to Carnivore as I did not saw the need for it in my case.


male 44. been hitting gym consistently for 1.5-2y now and have been seeing really good muscle gains. I have to admit that I am on TRT which I believe was the culprit to improving my health overall in addition to diet.
my journey started with paleo. later on I jumped on the keto train but never really felt good on it. i tried various forms on keto ‘dirty’, with lots of ‘keto’ friendly snacks etc, which are a recipe for disaster ofc.
the only diet which really worked for me keto wise, was pure carnivore, since it killed all my cravings.
but it was not sustainable long term, as much as I like meat, i felt like puking looking at yet another rib-eye. I never had cramps or anything that sorts, but always felt something is missing, but adding any starches, like rice and potatoes ramped by cravings big time, and I still need to loose BF, went down from 30% to 25% already, with significant lean mass gains.
initially when heard saladinos approach I was like this guy is insane…well all that sugar.
but after doing some self experimentation and research I am more and more convinced that not all sugar is equal (similar to all fat not being equal, and while for ex. seed oil are ‘keto’, they are poison for the most)
you can clearly overdo it (as you can on fat) and this is something to watch out for.

I just did a blood reading 2h after a carb heavy meal, with 30g of honey, 2 bananas, 20g of maple syrup.
my ketones registered at 0.4 and my glucose at 111
after starches or regular sugar this would be more 0/140. i think this is a good indicator that I am metabolically healthy and still have no issues burning fat.
no doubt heavy weight lifting is a contributor here.
I don’t do any IF since this is counterproductive to building lean mass and I think the benefits are overblown apart from a calorie restriction that this bring
my blood markers have been excellent too, with LDL on the high side, which most here probably know is not a big deal
I am fairly excited what the next 6 months will bring, and I won’t hesitate to admit I was wrong and change course again


Is anyone else bored?


me of your pointless comments for sure. hint you can ‘unwatch’ this thread