Can anyone explain this to me (from Dr. Ken Berry) - The Proper Human Diet Spectrum


Since the tribe have wandered off topic, I’ll jump in at the campfire and reply to Bob.

Ketovore is eating meat and dairy foods with dietary fats and dietary carbohydrates to a ketogenic level.

Dairy hops in and out of the carnovore diet depending in which spectral band you choose. Dairy is animal-based diet. Dairy, itself, needs dissecting as it holds yumminess and misinterpretation. Some people’s butter, is another person’s milk. We need a lactose gauge when we talk about “dairy”, I reckon. Plus consideration toward fermentation as a food preparation for yogurt and cheese.

Get your carbs from the market stall with the loud vendor calling out, “Gluconeogenisis”.

The Lion diet :lion: is obviously where you eat lions. :innocent:

On a side note, this is where you first heard of the Time Machine Diet :copyright: - In 28 days you will be 10 years younger. (below)

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #42

Actually, not. The difference between carnivore and ketovore is that a small amount of plant foods (generally < 10 g/day) are permitted. The presence or absence of dairy is irrelevant. Dairy foods are considered animal foods, and many carnivores who are able to consume such foods without ill effect do so. However, many people have various types of sensitivity to dairy, so they avoid dairy whether they are eating carnivore, ketovore, keto, or the standard diet.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #43

Actually not. “Carnivore,” as defined by the people who developed and named that way of eating, is the complete absence of plant foods in the diet (except possibly tea or coffee). For strict carnivores, the only seasoning they permit themselves would be salt. Other carnivores are a bit more relaxed and will allow pepper, and a very small amount of herbs.

But fibre is by no stretch of the imagination zero-carb. Fibre is by definition 0 net carbs, that is true, but it is not 0 total carbs, which is what the “zero-carb” part of zero-carb/carnivore means (it’s also part of what the “carnivore” part means, as well, lol!). But the point of a zero-carb/carnivore/plant-free diet (it has gone by all three names over time) is the avoidance of all plant foods. Bear in mind that this way of eating was largely developed by people whose health is strongly affected by the presence of any plant food in their diet, and even fibre is deleterious to a lot of people.

Sorry, but that’s the way it is. And truthfully, when you are eating a carnivore diet that contains enough fat, you have no need for fibre, since the fat “greases the skids” quite effectively.

But if you want fibre to be a part of your mostly-meat diet, all you have to do is describe it as “carnivore plus fibre.” No need to muddy the terminology.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #44

You can certainly challenge her on it, and she will be happy, I’m sure, to explain her reasoning.

The only issue here is that if you use the term “carnivore” to mean one way of eating, and I use the term to mean a different way of eating, and neither of us matches what Kelly Hogan means or Charles Washington means, or Amber means, then rational discussion of a particular way of eating becomes impossible.

For example, what is an “egg fast”? How is it fasting to eat all the eggs and bacon you want? Would you like to learn about my “all-you-can-eat fast”? At that point, the term “fasting” becomes meaningless. That’s all I believe Amber to be saying. “Carnivore” means a particular way of eating developed by a particular community, and to try to define it in any other way is to make discourse unfeasible.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #45

Research into ketogenic diets goes back far, far earlier than 2022. In fact, it was used as a treatment for obesity since the mid-1800’s, and was a standard treatment for Type I diabetes before the discovery of insulin in 1922. A very high-fat, very low-protein version of the ketogenic diet has been used as a therapy for drug-resistant epileptic seizures for well over a century, now.

If Ben Bikman says to limit carbs to less than 50 total g/day, then good for him. That probably works for a lot of people. But Eric Westman has been defining keto as less than 20 total g/day since back in the days of Dr. Atkins, largely because that’s what his patients need to strive for. And Stephen Phinney has been saying the same thing for even longer than Dr. Westman.

The point is, as I keep saying, that a “ketogenic diet” is one that lowers insulin sufficiently to permit the liver to make ketone bodies. In some people (not very many these days) eating less than 100 g/day of total carbohydrate is sufficient to put them into nutritional ketosis. Many other people need to limit themselves to 50 g/day. And many, many people need to limit themselves to 20 g/day. Some people are so metabolically dysfunctional that they need to restrict their carb intake even further.

Your degree of insulin-resistance determines your carb limit. This is simple fact. And your carb limit may be lower or higher than someone else’s. So please don’t get hung up on definitions, just go with what works for you. Whether you can be in ketosis on 100 g/day, or 50 g/day, or 20 g/day, it’s being in ketosis that counts, not how much or how little carbohydrate you eat. Dr. Phinney or Dr. Westman or Prof. Bikman can make all the recommendations they want, but what counts for you is how much you have to restrict your personal carb intake for your body to get into ketosis.

Hope this helps.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #46

There is no wholly satisfactory term available. The community that started eating this way thirty or forty years ago started by calling it “zero-carb” (but what about the glycogen in the meat?), rejected “meat-only” (but what about dairy?), and finally settled on “carnivore” as a term of art. It’s still not accurately descriptive of what the diet actually represents, but people feel they have to call it something.

In any case, anyone who expects perfect logical consistency out of any human language is delusional. If we can use the term “egg fast” as though it means something real, then we can use the term “carnivore” as a meaningful term, too.

Or we could say, “I eat only meat, except that I also eat cheese and eggs, and I drink coffee, and sometimes my meat comes in tomato sauce . . .” Or alternatively, “IEOMETIAECAEAIDCASMMCITS+”. How’s that sound?


Egg fast is a very bad term…

And sometimes it’s hard to describe our diet. I understand labels have a great use, I use and kinda like them too, I just know that people won’t understand what I am talking about. Oh well, I am always ready to write a wall of text about my actual diet but I can do it in a long sentence good enough if there is a need. Some people still won’t get it. People don’t even agree what “meat” or “dairy” means, after all… Good thing my health and well-being doesn’t depend on strangers understanding my woe.

But we do need definitions, terms, labels. We do what we can and it will be good enough or not…

That is a pretty good description to me :smiley: I still don’t know the ratio, the attitude towards the plant matter (is it quite deliberate or a tiny bit of tomato stuck to the meat, it’s tiny and can’t be helped as it’s either that or being starved…) etc. but I don’t need to know everything. The above is extremely close to my carnivore-ish. It would be more accurate if it had things like “less than 3g net carbs per day from non-animal sources” but we may not have the same limit all the time. Maybe there is one day per month when it’s 5 and it’s <1 otherwise… And we may not even track our carbs at all…
And it’s just me. I like a different description when labels just can’t work compared to some other people…

(KM) #48

Personally, I tend to say, “I focus on whole foods, and avoid most plants”. I make exceptions as they work for me, but I don’t want an interrogation about my choices and I don’t feel like I need a name for my diet. (I don’t have a name for my spiritual beliefs either.). It’s hard to find validation without the sanctified Definition, but that frees me to use my own perceptions and discoveries, not judging myself (or being judged) by how well I follow someone else.

(Geoffrey) #49

I’ll just stick with carnivore as it fits into “my” definition.
I eat animal fats, animal protein, salt and water.
Now let’s light the fire, burn the beast and be happy.


Considering all the advice about what to say, you are a brave one! I can relate, I just don’t ever talk about whole foods. I probably don’t even know what they exactly are… And I don’t see the problem with other kinds if they are otherwise good… So I just would say (if I met people) I avoid most plants, most of the time (coffee not being among them, despite my wishes). And now I focus on meat pretty much, gone the carnivore days with most of my calories and more than half of my protein from eggs and dairy :smiley: This is better but I needed time. Yep, big emphasis on meat and limited plants and fungi in tiny amounts, it describes my chosen woe well enough. I am always happy to add details though (like 90% of my meat is pork. it’s just a guess but must be close).

Same and I couldn’t even explain it. It’s vague. I don’t just believe in things I see no evidence whatsoever and I get very little evidence. But I don’t need a scientific one, at least.
I can’t even attach a label to mine but I can describe it in a way that is probably close to the truth…
But I digress a bit too much here.

Right, you do it clean and clear and all the time :smiley: We others need more words :slight_smile:

(KM) #51

Maybe we shouldn’t head down this path😁 … To me, “whole foods” are single ingredients more or less as they came from nature. They might be shelled, blanched or chopped up and they might require some more prep to eat, or be eaten in combination, but usually they come into my hands one at a time and typically with no cooking done to them yet. Honestly that might not be how other people see it, but for discussion purposes people on the street seem comfortable to leave that one alone - it sounds virtuous??

(Mark Rhodes) #52

@ctviggen Ketovore was an invention of Ken Berry but it was because he didn’t want to credit Amber O’Hearn with KetoAF (Keto on animal foods only). The idea is you eat carnivore or only animal products but ARE concerned with making sure your fat intake is high enough and that your BHB is .5mmol or better.
I think Amber also created the term Carnivore Diet. SHe was the first one I ever heard mention it and had been doing it since 2012-or 2013 I wqould have to ask her. She and Kelly Hogan started about the same time…long before Baker, Berry, and other “influencers”. Carnivore really was what was once called Zero Carb which meant minimal carbs and only those eaten incidentaly like in milk, cream, cheese, liver (4 carbs per ounce) scallops etc. ZC was practiced by Bear of the Grateful Dead. Amber finally put to rest some of these terms and her sole work that others have plagerized at COSCI in March of 2024. I hugged her and cried I was so happy she did that. She is one of my greatest friends and it really angered me so many MEN thought they could just rip her work off as their own. AMber does give a great deal of credit to those whose ideas she built her own thinking upon. I help admin a FB called Zero Carb DOc started by Paul Mabry and I built a protein calculator for weight loss for him and the group.

Finally, the Lion DIet originally started as land animals and water only. Coffee, often seen as friendly in Carnivore is still a plant derived beverage. SO the Lion folk think of themselves as purists.

In a van in 2019 LC Denver traveling to a party that included Richard Morris, Karen Ogilvie, Eric Westman and many others we joked how the next stage would be raw flesh carnivore and eventually zombieism. The van ride was a blast.

It has been noted in this post that Keto is 50g<. This was Phinney and Volek’s ( might include Westman) original position but they changed it to 20g< because they found many who could not get their insulin to move until it became 20. Rather than have a sliding scale, much like the RDA they used the number that worked for all rather than some. I cannot tell you if this is written anywhere, I can tell you Dr. Phinney told me this during one of our many conversations.

I still maintain The 2KD definition of keto: any diet which will put you into a ketogenic state. I know some distance runners who eat 250g of carbs and maintain a 0.6mmol of BHB. Eating high fat however is a must for mental health best as I can tell.

Hope this helped


Hi all,

Very interesting conversation. I read through all the posts hoping to find a name which describes my particular way of eating. Alas, Im starting to think I might be the only person in the universe who eats the way I do!

If any of you can help me come up with a name Id be very grateful!

My goal is to try as far as possible to base my diet around an ancestral / evolutionary appropriate diet i.e. pre-agriculture. Diary is included as with my northern European genetics I believe it to be evolutionarily appropriate (and I like it). Now the crazy bit is that I also add in things, in moderation, from the modern world that make life enjoyable eg wine, coffee and chocolate.

Here’s what I eat:

Mostly food from animals:
Meat and seafood.
Diary including milk.

Very little plant food:
Some herbs and spices eg pepper, oregano, rosemary, chili powder etc
Strictly no vegetables of any kind.
Strictly no grains or cereals.
Strictly no seeds or nuts.
Maybe the very occasional piece of fruit or some berries (ideally seasonal and local). In reality only a handful of times a year.

Other stuff:
Honey (ancestrally appropriate)
Tea & coffee
Wine and spirits (low sugar ones)

Now I’m not worried myself about having a name for it or fitting into a particular sect. However, I would really like a name that accurately and easily explains to normal people (ie SADs) why I am eating what I am eating or why I cant eat what they are eating. I’d really like something that does the job of saying “I’m vegetarian, I’m vegan, Im gluten free” etc - ie you can just say it, people understand and the conversation moves on. I ideally don’t want to have a conversation about my WOE every time I eat with other people - sometimes it’s ok, but sometimes I just want to eat with other people socially and not have a discussion about it!

The best I’ve come up with so far is Flexivore, but that doesn’t really do the job. Hopefully one of you clever people can come up with something better - Id be very grateful.

(Sorry to the OP for hijacking the thread a bit but it does seem related to where the discussion has progressed to!)


Oh I wish people could understood that a vegetarian doesn’t eat meat :smiley: Many people fail this to understand.
People don’t even know what macros are in which food. So if someone says they don’t eat carbs, at all, I have no idea if they do high-carb. They easily can, they just don’t consider fruits, vegs and even some grains(!) “carbs”. I saw an article saying eggs have no fat. And so on. Many people are totally clueless.

Your diet is understandable for me now that I know what it is but I really doubt there is a term for it. And people wouldn’t understand it anyway. You need to tell the specifics. Or not, just eat your own food. At least you can explain it moderately quickly as you did above. My diet is way more complex and I have multiple ones for multiple days and situations. Even my own family can’t follow my things and I understand it.

“Flexivore” tells nothing to me.

(Geoffrey) #55

Ketovore is what it sounds like to me.

(Megan) #56

You might be better off not having a name for it, if this thread is anything to go by! :grin::rofl::joy::wink::innocent::laughing::stuck_out_tongue::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::crazy_face::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::face_with_hand_over_mouth:

(Robin) #57

I would call that the Doing What Works For You Diet.
Feeling good, healthy and strong is your goal. No label required.


Hi Geoffrey,
Ketovore would fit with regard to most of the definition except for the all important “Keto” bit! I dont track my macros but I would guess Im never under 20g carbs. Im probably most in the low carb ish range of 50-100g - a bit of wine, whisky, chocolate and honey soon puts me over the keto line!


Thanks for replies everyone, a shame no one came up with a good name but at least i wasnt missing something obvious. Maybe in 10 years time everyone will be discussing the new fad Trukar Diet!


Thanks dick! You realize I’m going to call Carnivore Meat-Munch until the end of time now right? :rofl::rofl::rofl: