Should carnivore be the starting point?


I think what is missing in a lot of this discussion is that carnivore, as a sub-genre of keto and low carb, for a lot of people is a therapeutic step in reaching some goal or discovering food tolerances. Doing 100% carni for a month or three or even a year is enough time to lose weight, break a keto stall, discover that dairy or some veggies keep you back (that’s why for most it is not THE starting point to transition out of SAD). The 10 year or lifetime prognosis for any WOE that falls within the keto genre is good only if the WOE results in healthy body composition and good health that can be maintained. Theoretical debates about the demerits of eating any spinach or dairy seem silly to me, unless spinach or dairy etc. make you sick or cause autoimmune issues.

(Elizabeth Stern) #122

Dairy makes many people sick, often is implicated in weight gain and spinach is loaded with oxalates You should check Sally Norton’s research and her information and you probably will never eat spinach again. There are low oxalate greens and vegetables but you have to know what you’re looking for. I’m carnivore almost a year and a half and it may take 10 years to dump all the oxalates I have acquired in 60 years

(Elizabeth Stern) #123

People actually studying carnivore have found that even over 300 g of protein a day does not seem to be exhausted. But we all have to find what works for us.


what do you mean “be exhausted”?

(Elizabeth Stern) #125

Voice texting and did not double check That should be excessive


Yes, this. I’ve only been at this coming up on four months now, but if I had cut my diet down to such a small handful of food options, I would not have learned nearly as much. (I also suspect I would not have felt very well the first month.) I track my foods every day, but I am getting to the point where I know what the counts are going to be simply because I have had to research everything I put on my plate. It’s been extremely valuable knowledge that has set a foundation that will help me keep going.

Also, I just like veggies! Broc dipped in guac, kale salad, cauliflower? Yes please. It is a wonderful texture change from meats and eggs.


As far as starting points go, a counterpoint.

If I would’ve known that MCT/coconut oil is great for ketogenesis and thus taming insulin (and grain brain) in the presence of carbs I would’ve loved to have instituted a coconut-oil centered way of eating the whole grain carbs I was eating at the time, as a pre-induction/induction. Eliminating all grains except those eaten with an abundance of coconut oil (or MCT oil, less abundantly) could be perhaps more conducive to newbies, on top of cutting out sugar.

Then again, it probably would’ve prolonged my grain eating, and I doubt I would’ve made the progress I’ve made?

I’m extremely happy with my LCHF/keto results - it’s just good to know this coconut oil angle as an option for, say, a special holiday meal, etc. I’ve just recently encountered Masterjohn PhD’s biochemistry lesson on it.

He compares beta-hydroxybutyrate from MCT vs. 10% carb vs. classical (epileptic) ketogenic diet.

Presumably one could use good doses of coconut oil as the exclusive fat on all whole foods carbs and mitigate the insulinogenic effect - which would be a helpful starting point for folks who are already situated in whole foods?

(Karim Wassef) #128

Then use MCT oil with carnivore?

Carnivore is simpler, less thinking and counting… go to a restaurant, you can just order the meat parts… family feasts… work lunches… it’s just easier to say no to plants and get into keto much faster.

learning takes time and effort - carnivore is just fast results and then learn slowly as needed.

simple question - is it an animal? no - then move on… and then over time, make exceptions as you learn more.


Not for me - I eat on the low side of protein (40-60gr/day) as I really prefer the foodie delights of spice perfumed fatty veg sautes and dairy.

I like thinking, and spiced plants :laughing: - so, it made my keto induction easy as it was centered on mostly homemade indian and italian/french cuisine.

However, if I were to live the polar regions, or in a disaster survival setting, I’d be very grateful for raw and barbequed wild game - as well as crunchy crickets.

(Karim Wassef) #130

you can be low protein on carnivore :smiley:

I actually worked out a list of high fat, low protein foods to help in the beginning:

I didn’t use it as a go/no-go list, but more as a menu that I could go seek… :slight_smile:

The units are in grams.

top of the list has the least protein % (p%) in grams/total grams and goes from 8% to 65%.

I could have done it by calories since fat is 9cal/g vs. carb or protein at 4cal/g but you can get that by multiplying by 0.5 or 0.6 … so if it’s 12% protein in grams (and low carb), then it’s 6% protein in calories.

That tends of drift a little to 0.7 but it’s roughly correct.

oh and f% is fat% … and (f+f)% is fat+fiber %… this is because I consider fiber to be fat-making in the gut… it’s my weird measure, but I like it.


If you don’t want to ingest too many micro plastics, mined salt is better than sea salt.


It’s a good idea. And as some have commented, with 20:20 hindsight, they may have wished they had started their n=1 nutritional lifestyle like that.

I love that @RobC played the Devil’s avocado and suggested why not go vegan paleo for 30 days to start.

The other starting point to consider is an extended fast for 30 days. It is an elimination diet.

The key point being that the start period is to start. Start something. Change.

So to follow that linear logic why not start the way of eating in a manner how you intend to continue it.

Any of these time-limited start trials have the in-built failing of that time limit with its implied “you can go back to normal after you give it a try” message.

For me, I think the starting point for better nutrition should be waking up to the fact that you are your own health crisis. Once you have clearly determined that your health could be better, or you will die soon, then we have an unassailable starting point for change.


I was just being chatty, I should have been clearer: I love diverse spicy fatty veg :grin: But thank you for that great chart!


this is true

(It's all about the bacon, baby) #135

I was just watching the Q&A from a recent conference, and it now appears that broccoli and cauliflower can depress thyroid function. Blast!


Well that is not good. I already have some thyroid issues. Hmm. Maybe other foods that help thyroid function will balance it out. I’m not giving up my broccoli!

(Bunny) #137

As long as you get enough iodine broccoli is fine!

Balance? Iodine & DIM support (broccoli)?

3 “Healthy” Habits That Could Be Hurting Your Thyroid: Restricting salt, replacing iodized salt with natural unrefined salt, and consuming plant foods that generate isothiocyanate can all have their place in a healthy diet, but raise the risk of iodine deficiency. Here’s how to spot the problem and what to do about it.

See also:

[1] Do You Have Low Iodine? The Link Between Iodine Deficiency & Cancer

[2] The thyroid, iodine and breast cancer

[3] Changes in Dietary Iodine Explains Increasing Incidence of Breast Cancer with Distant Involvement in Young Women


There is current interest in plant chemical defences. Micro doses of botanical biochemicals have been lauded for their hormetic effect.

Unfortunately humans fall prey to the illogical assumption that you can’t get enough a good thing. Which makes us susceptible to poisoning ourselves. First with false logic. Then with biochemistry.

Brassicas, cauliflower and broccoli are low carb vegetables that contain sulforaphanes, a plant biochemical. If a ketonian or lazy carnivore practitioner eats a lot of these plant foods they get the possible benefits along with the toxic side effects.

Dr. Salad speaks about these plant biochemicals.

And recently on Peak Human podcast:

(Bunny) #139

That’s why we need more organic sulfur (MSM) in our diet because you have non-organic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides (bioaccumulates in the body as a fat soluble substance) sprayed on the plants besides the plants natural defense systems. Then you have the ground soil being leached of organic sulfur from growing on it so many times then replaced with chemical fertilizers.

The only way to get a fat soluble bioaccumulate out of the human body is to make it water soluble (sulfated/sulfation/sulfonation), that is what organic sulfur (MSM) really does by additionally keeping glutathione stable (i.e. its three molecular bonds), it permeates and cleans the communication channels of every tissue and cell in the body.

When any cell in your body loses glutathione…IT DIES? And if you do not have another stem cell to replace it…YOU DIE?


[1] “…Administration of MSM reduces the depletion of glutathione caused by exposure to toxins subject to sulfation for elimination [31] …”…More

[2] ”…Glutathione has several additional functions in cells. For example, it is (i) a reserve form of cysteine, (ii) stores and transports nitric oxide, (iii) participates in the metabolism of estrogens, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins, the reduction of ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides, the maturation of iron-sulfur clusters of diverse proteins, (iv) involved in the operation of certain transcription factors (particularly those involved in redox signalling), and (v) the detoxification of many endogenous compounds and xenobiotics [11]. …” …More

[3] “…Fat-soluble molecules, such as steroids, alcohols, and some vitamins, can dissolve in the lipid portion of the membrane, which is how they diffuse into and out of the cell. Water-soluble molecules, however, cannot pass through the hydrophobic middle portion of the phospholipid bilayer. Instead, they must diffuse through membrane channels. Even then, only ions or very small molecules can fit through such channels. …” …More

[4] ”…The importance of glutathione in human disease: “…1. Introduction: Glutathione (GSH) is a water-soluble tripeptide composed of the amino acids glutamine, cysteine, and glycine. The thiol group is a potent reducing agent, rendering GSH the most abundant intracellular small molecule thiol, reaching milli-molar concentrations in some tissues. As an important antioxidant, GSH plays a role in the detoxification of a variety of electrophilic compounds and peroxides via catalysis by glutathione S-transferases (GST) and glutathione peroxidases (GPx). The importance of GSH is evident by the widespread utility in plants, mammals, fungi and some prokaryotic organisms [1]. In addition to detoxification, GSH plays a role in other cellular reactions, including, the glyoxalase system, reduction of ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides, regulation of protein and gene expression via thiol: disulfide exchange reactions [2]. The tripeptide can exist intracellularly in either an oxidized (GSSG) or reduced (GSH) state. Maintaining optimal GSH:GSSG ratios in the cell is critical to survival, hence, tight regulation of the system is imperative. A deficiency of GSH puts the cell at risk for oxidative damage. It is not surprising that an imbalance of GSH is observed in a wide range of pathologies, including, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, cystic fibrosis (CF), HIV and aging. The role of GSH in these disorders will be discussed in this review. …” …More

[5] ”…Nature appears to use sulfation of endogenous and exogenous molecules for primarily two purposes including enhanced elimination to avoid potential toxicity and induction of specific cellular or acellular responses. Sulfated molecules may also serve as reservoirs of bioactive principles, which are released upon sulfatase-mediated hydrolysis. Sulfation of xenobiotics is an important mechanism of removing potentially toxic agents from our body.2 Metabolic sulfation, or more appropriately sulfonation, occurs in the cytosol through the action of one of the sulfotransferases and 3’-phosphoadenosine-5’-phosphosulfate (PAPS), which donates the activated sulfonate group (SO3−) to an acceptor alcohol, phenol or amine group.3 This introduces anionic character in the molecule, thereby enhancing its excretion properties to avoid potential adverse effects. Even more interesting is exploitation of an essentially similar mechanism to induce a specific biological response. This mechanism involves the sulfation of biological molecules, especially carbohydrates, to generate unique sulfated ligands. The enzymes that catalyze these biotransformations are sulfotransferases, i.e., carbohydrate sulfotransferases, which play important roles in cell signaling, adhesion and several other functions.46. …” …More

[6] Glutathione peroxidase (GPx) (EC1.11.1.9) is the general name of an enzyme family with peroxidase activity whose main biological role is to protect the organism from oxidative damage. The biochemical function of glutathione peroxidase is to reduce lipidhydroperoxides to their corresponding alcohols and to reduce free hydrogen peroxide to water. …More

[7] Fat and Diabetes: Bad Press, Good Paper, and the Reemergence of Our Good Friend Glutathione - Chris Masterjohn “…The authors of this study did not measure glutathione levels, but the hypothesis that glutathione is protective is consistent with a study I wrote about in a post back in January, “Eating Fat and Diabetes.” In that study (6), high-fat diets depleted glutathione and impaired insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in rats and mice, but treating the rats with a mitochondrial antioxidant and genetically engineering the mice to make lots of the antioxidant enzyme catalase both reversed these effects. Catalase is an enzyme that converts hydrogen peroxide to water. …” “…If this is correct, does a “high-fat diet” cause diabetes? The obvious question that must follow is “which high-fat diet?” An anti-inflammatory, invigorating, nutrient-dense diet likely protects against diabetes regardless of whether it is low or high in fat . …” …More

(Kirk Wolak) #140

I love this question, but the fact that it comes from a Keto experienced person tells part of the story of the problems with it.

I had to go Carnivore. I tell my full story elsewhere. If you can name something (Lectin, FODMAP, oxalate, phytate) I am reacting to it. I am a mini-mikhalia peterson. Only carnivore and Fasting got me HEALTH and losing weight.

THAT is the problem. We have so many different people with different issues. Even as you described the fridge “Eggs, Dairy” that would kill me. BUTTER gives me a migraine, and in quantity will cause weight gain through inflammation (and that is drawn butter)! Heavy cream has proteins I do not tolerate well…

The answer is we need a way to describe WHEN it is probably most appropriate to go full on carnivore as a starting point.

Here are the starting points, and MY triggers for them, chime in, it will help us.

  1. KETO (20g of NET Carbs): If you can get into deep purple pee sticks on 20g of carbs, have at it
  2. Careful KETO (20g of Total Carbs or less): you have a tough time making ketones, have some inflammation
  3. Carnivore (Zero net carb goal): You have inflammation/edema, plugged sinuses for a long time, get migraines and suffer from any “itis” (arthritis, dermatitis), psoriasis, or are taking major meds for these kinds of things. Food Allergies. If at least 2-3… the more you have the more reason to do it.
  4. Carnivore (is appealing to you): You love bacon, meats, could leave the rest (I am ALMOST here)

My buddy could literally do 40g of carbs a day and make ketones. I was 5g/day, and if I went over by almost anything, I was out for 2-3 days.

Diet soda knocks me out, and prevents results from fasting!

So, we are going to need a diagnostic way to do this, AND a way to gauge the person we are talking to. I am trying to get someone on the program, and they are struggling after falling off. To me, this means they did not find enough stuff they enjoyed, and they were not focused on reducing inflammation enough!

But that would be my approach. Present the food choices as “It really depends on your body, your desire to eat certain things, and your WHY…”

If you have someone who is eating crap food, and wants the smallest possible change… I push IF and OMAD, and helping to get them there… My brother is an example. He cannot control his dinner. But he gave up breakfast after 50 years of never missing it. That got him to slowly start making other changes.

Now he likes BPC in the morning…