Is lean meat carnivore an option?

(Mihalis) #1

Hello, I’ve been studying the carnivore diet for a while now and would like to eventually do it for a month to begin with. My main question in regard to fat in red meat, when carnivores say to keep the fat high, do they mean buy and eat a steak with a lot of visible marbling and white fat on the outside or just the fat inside the actual meat itself that is not visible? Personally, I can’t get my head around eating the cooked fat/grissle cos I’ve just never done that. I’ve always cut the cooked fat off a steak first, then eat it. I’ve watched a few Y.T. videos that mentioned if your gonna eat lean-meat carnivore to add some fat like grass fed ghee or kefir. Thanks for reading.


The visible fat is meant. Needs some getting used to. If you have some fat on the side of a steak, try to sear it well, to make it taste better.

(Mihalis) #3

Thanks dr_wtf, yes it would take a bit of getting use to for me.


BTW, Kefir? Where I am located Kefir contains 3,5% fat tops, while ghee is almost 100% fat. 3,5% is not a lot. Maybe you meant heavy/whipping cream which have > 30%? I also never heard a carnivore suggest to drink Kefir.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #5

The problem with restricting fat intake on carnivore is the lack of energy. Eliminating carbohydrate from our diet puts us in a state in which fatty-acid metabolism predominates, not glucose metabolism, so not eating fat, along with restricting glucose (carbohydrate), is counter-productive. It means that the body will have to use some of the protein we eat to make glucose to feed our cells, which is exactly what we don’t want to be happening.

In the end, a diet consisting mainly of protein and too little fat can actually be fatal. The fur trappers ranging North America during the colonial period often tried to subsist on the rabbit meat they caught. But rabbit meat is very lean, and those trappers who didn’t have a source of fat in their diet eventually succumbed to a condition known today as “rabbit starvation.” Nor was it a pleasant way to go, by all accounts.


You need to eat enough fat to get your energy, of course, starvation is bad on any diet, after all. Don’t eat high fat if you don’t need it - but low fat only could work for some who has plenty extra fat to lose and/or a very low energy need. Of course, low is just a word and we all define it differently. To me, 80g fat is low-fat, it’s about the lowest I am able to go but it’s enough to give me a proper day if I do things right. But my goal is losing fat and have plenty of fat reserves, my energy need isn’t high but my protein need is… It still wouldn’t work all the time as I need my higher-cal days too and only higher fat can help with that.

I personally do my best to eat the leanest meat I can on carnivore but I LOVE and tend to overeat fat despite my fat minimalization since I went low-carb (it is tough!).
If someone comes from a low-fat previous woe and/or they really enjoy lean fat galore… And even I when I just jump my leaner pork… It won’t work without adding fattier items as well. If I eat lots of lean meat, I make sure to add some fattier bites but my eggs and dairy help too (but meat is better as it’s more satiating to me). It’s ridiculously easy to eat tons of fat in a few minutes - but maybe it is just for me…

Kefir is mostly water, isn’t it? Not fat… Ghee could help, yes but it depends on the individual. I would hate eating lean meat with a lot of added fat, it feels greasy and nauseating and appetite-robbing but of course we are all different (and even I can imagine snacking on butter :smiley: but I would stick with my cream and sour cream I guess)…
I understand not liking the nice lovely crunchy fat layer on top of some meat (even though I adore it, just not alone, with its meat in the right proportions) but plenty of fatty protein has them mixed enough so you don’t have big fat layers. Marbling is already different but there are meats where the visibly pure meat is fatty too, I don’t know how it does but it’s obvious in pork shoulder… It’s no lean meat even without visible fat.
And there are eggs and dairy, of course. Eggs are quite fatty, they are near ideal for me regarding fattiness of my diet. And dairy brings fat like crazy so I try to minimize them too - but when I eat lean meat, they may help.

Nutrition wise, no idea if the fat in meat is better than the fat in other animal sources.

And some people need a really high fat/protein ratio, that must be trickier without fatty meat on carnivore I suppose… Many people don’t work well with lots of dairy, it’s fine for me but I have other reasons not to depends on them. I mostly eat meat and eggs on carnivore, always did (but dairy is still important for me) - and now I do mostly meat and less eggs as that works better. It would be difficult with lean meat (I probably would bring back my many eggs…) but it’s me, maybe you can pull it off.


Yeah, that was odd to me too. Kefir has little fat and surely too much carbs to eat it galore to get a significant amount of fat… Not everyone cares about carbs on carnivore (I definitely not) but still… It is a poor choice for fat. But there was ghee mentioned so kefir don’t need to majority of the burden of providing fat :slight_smile:

(Karen) #8

The fattier the steak the better in my opinion… so much more taste. I aways buy ribeye, second best a sirloin and thirdly a rump. If it is too lean i would have to add butter or cook it in lard. Fat was the one thing i really missed when i was eating ‘healthily’ :rofl: it was so good to eat it again. Yes it takes a bit of getting your head round but i am not satisfied if i eat lean and lack energy. I am really active so i need all the fat i can get. I get terribly frustrated when i see meat that has been trimmed … in fact, more like scalped of all the fat!

Also have to hunt through all the 20% fat mince to hopefully find a fatty mince :roll_eyes:

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #9

Oh dear, I buy very fatty meat and cook in lard and add butter … I’m a very naughty person :stuck_out_tongue:


Once used to it, you will love it. I used to always cut it off too, but now I cherish it.

(Karen) #11

I often add butter to the fat lol plus every now and again i just like the flavour of a burger or steak cooked in lard. Oooh just stick a fatty short beef rib in front of me or pork crackling … drooling at the thought. :wink::yum:

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #12

Or a pork picnic (shoulder joint), with that lovely cap of fat under the skin. Self-basting and delicious! :pig2:


But very fatty meat releases fat… What can extra fat do?
(Maybe you don’t fry/roast everything like I do :smiley: Anything fattier than a leaner pork chuck gives me fat for cooking.)

Adding butter sounds nice. I never do that to my fatty meat for multiple reasons but I can understand it :wink:

(I was a hero today to avoid my lovely scratchings, only ate 24g and it’s my birthday :smiley: But I got lovely macros this way. And I still have enough to enjoy in the next 1-2 days… I still eat it all, obviously just in moderation, not at once.)

(Geoffrey) #14

From my research, opinion and limited experience, yes, you need the fat that comes on the meat. Eat it all. If you don’t care for the fat that’s on the outside of the meat then trim it off and then fry it crispy and see if that makes it more palatable for you.
I will trim a brisket and then render the fat down and then save it to use for cooking.

(Mihalis) #15

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. I saw a few videos last night on Y.T. One was with Shawn Baker talking to a Greek guy in Crete (I think) who eats carnivore but still has meat with olive oil and the second was Dr. Robert Kiltz who made a Carny ice-cream with eggs and full fat whipping cream in an ice cream maker, high in fat that one.

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #16

If I understand correctly, anyone eating under 100g of carbs (carnivore zero) should eat at least 90g - 150g of fat, failure to do so won’t provide enough energy and in the long term would burn muscle.
If your happy to eat meat then it seems logical to eat meat fat, butter, cream etc.
I’m not Carnivore so do eat avocado and Olive oil, plus fat from nuts etc.
It’s interesting that most of us seem programmed to relish eating fat and personally I’m pretty sure I’m getting healthy on it! Amazing … and to some people shocking!
Note: gristle is unpleasant but slow cooked all that connective tissue etc is a bonus.


It depends on the person. Some people are tiny energy needs naturally, others have huge amount of fat reserves so they can get plenty of energy from there…
I would have zero problem with <90g fat, at least physically and theoretically, I surely would miss my high fat like crazy and what would I eat anyway? Very very nearly everything is high-fat! Even chicken as I prefer thigh and like the skin…
And I don’t even have an extreme low energy need, I can’t even have a big deficit or have enough extra body fat to get plenty of energy from.

If someone dislikes the visible fat, they shouldn’t eat it IMO - as long as they can use other fatty items, enough for them. While I love visible fat, I need it at the right ratio (not a tiny range but no way I could enjoy my 70/30 pork without rendering out very much fat and fry the fatty parts fully crunchy. anything fattier than pork chuck is too fatty, at least for normal meat, I can do almost pure fat if it’s some lovely processed stuff). Too fatty and it’s yuck and nope, I won’t eat that. But yes, making the fat crispy (and eating it with a lot of meat, of course) helps. To me. It’s probably not to everyone’s liking. My SO loves fat but the average pork chuck is too fatty for him and it hardly ever will change. Just like I never will like really lean meats without adding a bunch of fat. And even then, it’s usually not so great just edible and sometimes borderline enjoyable. Much depends on the texture… But I digress.

There are so many options, even on carnivore. For most of us, at least, it’s not so if one has problems with dairy, eggs and certain meats… But if all are options, we usually can make it work. I love so many items, even lower-fat ones though those are quite few so I often have problems when I try to just PLAN a day and I realize I can’t avoid eating a ton of fat as I can’t eat enough protein that way. But it’s a rare problem. The right supplies matter a lot. Probably most of us have favs with various fat percentage. I have very few with less than 65% but I tried new items and trained and now I have options. It should be similar with fatty items. There are so many, most dairy isn’t low-fat, for example, eggs are quite fatty (and one may eat more yolks if someone can eat the whites. people throwing out eggs, even the tasteless not so precious whites should have its special place in hell. okay, nope, more like some educational reincarnation), meats have everything from a few % (IDK if lower exists) to 96% fat in calorie percentage (the latter is my fav processed pork jowl, it has its lovely meat content and it’s amazing. I could eat a lot of it and sometimes I do)… Plenty of those fatty items have no visible fat at all or just a tiny bit so it shouldn’t be a problem even for people hating fat layers…

Yes, that is something serious. Very easy to overeat fat using it if someone loves that ice cream and handles fat and doesn’t get satiated by fat easily I suppose. My ice cream has much more yolks than normal carni ice cream recipes. One can choose the right ratio for their goals and tastes :slight_smile: All are too fatty for me, typically but I lost interest in ice cream on carnivore anyway. I just make some for emergency and for the rare days when I eat a bunch of lean meat and get satiated but I need more fat in order not to get hungry later. And even if I don’t desire it, it’s nice and very easy to eat. But I can just eat some sour cream or whipped cream, that works too if only fat is needed, not some more protein.
Though yolks make everything better if you ask me (except seitan. seitan needs lard). But I am an egg maniac. Who eats few eggs now that much meat is possible and welcomed and more satiating and more nutritious… Mmm. And the fattiness is more varied.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #18

If we do the arithmetic, 90-150 g of fat = 810-1350 (k)cals = 202.5-337.5 g of carbohydrate. So it doesn’t take nearly as much fat as people sometimes assume.

Personally, although I learned to tolerate the taste of olive oil. I’d rather eat bacon grease or butter. But of course, people find it hard to shake the warning that it’s the arterycloggingsaturatedfat that’s going to kill us.

(Karen) #19

Yep, Paul i guess you’re talking if the same joint as me… pork shoulder is soooo much better than leg, just like lamb shoulder is better than lamb leg … so much more fat on it and so juicy! Makes me real frustrated when all the joints in the chilled boxes have been trimmed too much argggghhhb!


Big difference from the fat you’re supposed to eat at part of the steak that’s marbled into it, and the trash/grissle along the edge. Absolutely no reason to eat that, aside from being empty calories, it’s gross. BUT if you’re going to do carnivore don’t forget our body does NEED fat. So as long as you’re getting enough to keep your hormones working correctly, you’re fine.

Plus, as @PaulL said, if you go too lean and not getting in fat otherwise, you’ve killed carbs as a fat source, then if you take out fat, you’ve got nothing to run on, Protein is a terrible fuel source, and when you do run on it, you feel like hell. You basically wind up doing an unintentional PSMF. Great for fat loss, terrible for everything else, also, many get ravenously hungry when doing so. Your body isn’t stupid, you starve it of all it’s fuel sources, it’ll try to force your hand to get some!

Even though I’ve always done a lower fat version of keto (not to be confused with actually low) whenever I’ve done PSMF’s here and there for some quick fat loss, even with all my crazy hunger mitigations in place, my body opens the Ghrelin floodgates by day 2 when I do it!