Plant or meat based diets for mental health?

(Mario) #1

Hi. I am new to keto. I ended up here because I am listening to Chris Palmer and his postulate that keto can have a tremendously positive impact on serious mental health issues (severe depression, bi-polar, schizo-effective disorder) and sleep. When I do further research, I read from others that I should cut out all meat and go with a fully plant-based (and grain) diet for mental health, and that chicken and even eggs are negative contributors to mental health.

So, I am confused and would appreciate others’ perspectives.

And I realize keto does not have to be all meat and eggs. But those typically do make up part of a ketogenic diet, right?

(Allie) #2

Don’t be swayed by propaganda or anyone who tries to tell you what is right for your body and mind. Try both, see what works for you. Maybe stick with one, or the other - maybe blend the two, maybe do one for a while until it stops working, then change.

No one can tell you what your body needs to tell you.

(Bill) #3

These two are pretty good on the subject.


Considering that mental health of humans how insanely complicated (even the human body is complicated but the mental part…), it would be very odd to get One Right Way to eat to improve it… Even our body don’t accept the same specific diet, there is no one where everyone would feel okay.
(Take away my precious eggs and I probably develop some serious mental problems…)

We simply don’t know enough about things to say things like you mentioned - or if we do, it’s not that meat affects mental healthy badly… Humanity is still in the phase where there are baseless myths everywhere, it’s quite annoying.

I suppose few people skip both, yes… I did vegetarian keto for years, with lots of eggs :slight_smile: Vegan ketoers are very few I imagine, it’s such a hardcore style…

I definitely would ask my own body and mind, not other people who doesn’t know the human psyche enough and especially not my individual one.
If we change our woe, we often see very quick impact, not always but very often. I can imagine mental health changes may take a longer time but not in every cases… Anyway, I just don’t know a better method, one tries different styles of keto and try to figure out what works. Articles can’t be trusted, not even written by experts. If we still trust them to some extent, they may be our starting point but too much belief in they being true in every cases… That sounds very wrong.


meat based.
plants contain so much crap that can rob the body, meat doesn’t do that ever to the level plant based does. meat contains all required in our lives and plants unless combined eating can’t do that either. My vote. Simple. Meat based absolutely :slight_smile:

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #6

I believe that Dr. Palmer takes the position that however you can do it, the important things are to lower insulin levels and to keep the body in ketosis, and it doesn’t matter how you achieve those goals.

That said, however, a vegan keto diet is indeed possible, but it is tricky to implement and will require supplementing with certain vitamins. A vegetarian keto diet is easier, especially if one is willing to eat fish, eggs, and dairy. A keto diet based on meat is the easiest to manage.

The reason is that our protein intake is limited by how well the amino acid profile of our meals matches our needs. There are nine essential amino acids the body cannot make for itself. If you get 120% of the amount you require of eight of those amino acids, but only 80% of the ninth amino acid, then only 80% of the protein you are eating will be available to you; the rest will go to waste, since the human body has a very limited capacity for storing amino acids (this is why we need some protein pretty much every day).

The official U.S. dietary guidelines advise getting a certain amount of “high-quality reference protein,” by which they mean beef, since beef contains all the essential amino acids in all the correct proportions. The quality of other protein sources depends on how well they match the amino acid profile of beef.

That said, there is a certain prejudice against meat in our culture. The modern-day vegan movement is rooted in the teachings of Ellen G. White, the Prophetess of the Seventh-Day Adventist church, who believed that meat-eating stimulates lustful thoughts and leads to masturbation. There are also ethical and environmental claims made to support such a diet, but they fall apart under scrutiny. The medical claims that meat is bad for us are based on faulty science, as you will learn if you watch the lecture by Dr. Georgia Ede linked above.

Given that there is an abundance of evidence to suggest that the human race evolved over two million years of meat-eating, for myself I consider it bonkers to suggest that meat can be harmful to our health. Since the Seventh-Day Adventists started the American Dieticians’ Association and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, however, it is not all that surprising that those organisations’ advice aligns with their founders’ prejudice against meat.

There is a growing movement of people who eat nothing but meat, many of whom have been on a carnivore diet for well over a decade. I mention this not to suggest that you necessarily need to give up plants for the sake of your mental health (though you might well come to find it beneficial), but simply to show that an all-meat diet has no deleterious effects on long-term health.


you summed it up.

so in general all…focus big good animal protein and fat from that animals source and of course many Keto Plan type eaters do just this and then when some go this way…into vegan, :sleepy: vegan is a disaster for those who have 0 clue what the physical body must have which is high quality, fat included, nutrient dense, mineral dense and vitamin given per ounce they eat. A good ol’ bean for protein will never give one that SO then it is up to that person to truly ‘do tons of work’ to balance and rebalance what the physical body needs.

all vegans feel wonderful when off crap food and they go that way, til that day they suffer thru lack of real meat protein and what it provides in a single bite vs. their all plant plate of food…then it gets iffy. very iffy for many which is why alot of vegans jump ship pretty darn quick cause they feel so sicky icky and not vibrant.

many can hold and ‘balance their meals’ to some extent but never, even with supps in pill form’ does that ever means it equals good natural food nutrition right from the source.

moral of my personal story is run from vegan fast as one can :100:


Fish never will be vegetarian. Vegetarians simply don’t eat meat and an animal body is meat even if considered belonging to some special group (but Middle Age monks ate anything in water, not just fishes, they breathed loopholes).
Vegetarian keto isn’t so hard - if one is okay with the amount of carbs they get on it, liking eggs is a huge plus… I needed 40g net carbs for my vegs and other plants, now I could do it with way less (and basically without vegs, it would be a special vegetarian diet, not sure it would be so great…) but I always disliked most green leaves so I simply didn’t eat them.
It’s definitely way easier than vegan keto, I still can’t wrap my head around that…

For certain people. It easily may be horrible for others and indeed, we have negative experiences. Some people try out carnivore and their body can’t handle it so well.
Mental things complicate things. I would have HATED with a passion if anyone tried to feed me meat every week. I got a mild but long term trauma from that, actually (well it was chicken, I doubt it would have been so bad with pork or even salmon), that’s why I went vegetarian for several years and I definitely never regretted it, I had to avoid chicken and I always handled plants well except the carbs part, that wasn’t ideal.

I am very sure my body doesn’t need meat at all. It can get everything from elsewhere - BUT only with too much carbs. So I don’t NEED meat but it’s my best option so I eat a lot of it. But now I am fine with that, my decades when meat was only possible once in a few months are in the distant path. But FORCING it back then wouldn’t have been good for my mental health for sure.
Meat (when one can eat it in proper amounts) surely makes keto and eating in general and cooking WAY easier :wink:

(Allie) #9

Well not if they do it as they’re supposed to, but I’ve known people who claimed to be vegetarian to eat fish (one said as long as the head was removed it didn’t count as an animal!!), and even one who ate chicken regularly… humans are strange creatures.


Yeah it sounds illogical (the same with eggs. Everyone loves eggs except herbivores. Eggs are super popular nutritious balls. and they tried to tell me not to eat many per days. yeah, sure I will listen to them :D). Of course it’s different with modern food industry - but that affects plant
food as well :frowning: And plants usually bring their own problematic things that one may be sensitive to it… We have some power over what kind of animals and plants we consume, that helps in some cases. Even beef is unhealthy for some, they can eat other meats. Hopefully. Surely some can’t get or afford other, okay for them meats…

(Shannon) #11

Do we really need all these labels, people? So complicated. At one time long ago, I was a pescatarian but told people I was a vegetarian. I was aware of the hypocrisy, but my pesca part really only consisted of shrimp, which I felt were evolutionarily lower than fish and likely did not feel the same amount of pain. I’ve read more recently that even insects feel pain, so not a great thing to base a diet off of.


I saw people saying they are vegans and they ate pork sometimes, it just means they hadn’t any idea about their own chosen woe. Or they just ignored it. Powerful doublethink for getting what they want, many people are prone to that.

Vegetarians very clearly don’t eat animal bodies, I always thought it’s so simple that everyone knew it. And then I realized it isn’t the case (and the meat eaters talking about their vegetarianism and veganism surely didn’t help. I pretty much hate that thing, they lie and make proper vegetarians’ life harder. rude). Not eating my own food as a vegetarian was tricky. Everything had meat (vegetarian meals in most restaurants around here some decades ago? nope. or something I hate. sorry I don’t eat ANYTHING vegetarian) and people didn’t understand I don’t eat chicken and actually need calories for a meal. I don’t understand the latter, WHY restaurants thought that a vegetarian is fine with 160g grilled tomatoes and whatnot? There was ONE gnocchi and 1-2 big beans too… It’s good I was fine with meat a few times a year after my 8 vegetarian years, it made travelling easier.
I thought it’s so, so very easy to make vegetarian dishes (still do). Lots of traditional Hungarian ones has no meat… More have meat, though :wink: Meat is usually tasty and more feasty…


Oh my. Never heard about pollotarianism and didn’t know what flexitarianism is, well the latter is omnivore so it doesn’t need a label… Though maybe they were like me in my almost vegetarian years? That by default, they avoid non-vegetarian food but if it’s a must, they allow it sometimes? Still don’t feel the need for a label… But I don’t love labels near as much as people.

It’s super simple. People have ZILLION genders and even more gendered pronouns, that’s way worse :smiley: And I understand a few but I have no patience towards uncommon gendered pronouns. Hey, I dislike the she/he thing too, at least that I need to choose when I do know the gender. I like focusing on the important things and not wondering and getting knowledgeable intimately about other people’s gender. What if I don’t care?
I so love my own language sometimes. No gendered pronouns :smiley: My only problem was that I had to choose a gender for me sometimes, before the “other” became an option. I liked to chose male as it was logical for a biologically female androgyn, it balanced things out a tad… It didn’t matter anyway…
Erm sorry it has nothing to with the topic though almost everything has to do with mental health :wink:

But if one eats, animals WILL die and suffer a lot too. We may try to minimize that, I am all for that… But I dislike when vegans and especially vegetarians think they don’t harm animals with their diets. Of course they do. I as a vegetarian kind of supported mass-killing animals (that’s fine, that’s life and rather them than me, I am selfish as I should) and animal cruelty too (sad but I had to eat. I did what I could, at least my eggs come from places where the hens have better chances for some okay-ish life).

I still want to eat crickets :slight_smile: Less complicated/intelligent animals but more per mouthful… I normally eat big, highly intelligent (well for this planet. I don’t see even humans would be oh so intelligent on average) animals, pigs. At least not many animals die for my yearly staple food…

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #14

It’s a good point that eating any food involves the deaths of animals. Whether the life of one ruminant is more important than the lives of the hundreds or thousands of small mammals who are turned out of their habitats or outright killed when a field is so ploughed for planting is not something I am prepared to say, though it does seem that the loss of one life might be better than the loss of thousands of smaller lives.

We can all agree that CAFO"s are inhumane. That’s clear to everyone except the business owners (because if it were clear to them, they wouldn’t be running such an operation). Not only that, but their environmental impact is horrendous. But the more I learn about regenerative agriculture and holistic grazing, the more I begin to believe it might lead to the rescue of the planet from environmental degradation and possibly even to the reversal of climate change

(Mario) #15

Thanks for the links. Will look at them!

(Mario) #16

Thanks Paul and yes his position is that we need to be in ketosis to majorly impact sever depression etc. He has the example of one of his clients who has/had schizo-effective, couldn’t address it with Rx (not surprised), had tons of side-effects from all those medications (again, not surprised), and then he was able to basically get rid of it by going keto.

He doesn’t say at all that keto = meat. He actually mentions that he himself eats tons of vegetables, and how important fiber is.

So all good there. But then I read a book called “How not to die” and this author mentions in the chapter on depression that Arachidonic Acid (AA) is something to avoid when you suffer from depression, and that AA is mainly in chicken and eggs. And that’s where I then get confused - I can’t connect that with what Dr. Palmer is stating.

(Laurie) #17

Hi Mario. There is so much conflicting information, even among those who seem to be on the same “side.”

I had a vegan friend. Sometimes she’d have vegan YouTubes playing while I was visiting. The vegan claims seemed to be the same as the keto claims: cures diabetes, cures arthritis, etc. :woman_shrugging:

Do continue to inform yourself, but in the end you have to find your own path. Good luck!


I never heard about Arachidonic Acid before but sure, some people has problems with eggs and chicken. If they do better on very low-carb, they should do it without these items, fortunately we usually have lots of options. Many ketoers never touch chicken and eggs.

Even if keto is good for this or that in general, some people will have problems with certain items and need their own variation.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #19

Ah, yes, Dr Michael Greger. He is a well-known advocate of a vegan diet. I stopped paying attention when I read on his site that eating beef causes diabetes, which is manifestly false. Unlike the people I pay attention to, he does not cite his sources or provide any data for his assertions, so I don’t worry about what he says…

Compare this with Dr. Stephen Phinney, a nutrition researcher who advocates a keto diet. In every lecture, his slides contain citations of studies that support his conclusions, so that people can consult those studies and evaluate them for themselves.

(Bill) #20

Here’s another that just popped into my feed.