So just how Keto is your food? Or does it matter?


(Heather Meyer) #1

So I am apart of another Keto group on facebook and there seems to be this BIG debate on what constitutes Keto. Here is the arguement…

“Keto foods are about ingridents regardless of how low in Net carbs they are.Bad ingridents but low net carbs still equal non-Keto food”

“There is no such thing as Keto or Non- Keto foods. Every food has a Net carb count and its whether it fits your macros for the day.”

To give an example… there is an ongoing debate about a certain tortilla wrap out there. The Net carb count is only 3 grams for 1 tortilla, thus the group who believes in “if it fits your macros,” gladly indulge. BUT the group who believe its all about ingredients that make it Keto or non Keto are like “heck no! its gotta go!” and they think that because the tortillas contain whole wheat flour amongst other ingredients.

I recognize that one main factor seems to bias one side in particular…so lets take out that factor. Many do Keto because they want to reduce systematic inflammation or reduce symptoms of an illness… so lets take it out of the equation altogether. Lets imagine that the person is a completely healthy yet overweight person who is only looking to lose weight. They arent trying to eat healthier per se… they just want to lose the extra weight.

So… what is everyone thoughts?

(Pete A) #2

I just happen to prefer real food over processed/packaged or low carb “rigged” foods that simulate high carb.

My cabinets don’t have much food…other than coconut oil and 100% cacao. (and the coffee!)


My woe is keto if it puts and keeps me in ketosis. I was big on IIFYM keto - with my own personal blacklist. I definitely don’t eat just any food (or super rarely, my body can handle that), no matter if I do keto or not.

Ketoers do keto very differently, with different attitude, they haven’t the same circumstances, sensitivity… It’s normal.
To me, everything is “keto”, it’s all about the amounts (I mean it in general. anything can be keto for someone. certain items and keto just can’t mix for me personally but this list is pretty short) but it doesn’t mean I find eating most more or less edible thing a great idea…

If someone just wants to lose weight, keto isn’t even necessarily needed… My SO easily (I mean, he decides and do it, it’s quick and sure) loses weight on HCHF but couldn’t do low-carb for 2 days let alone keto. I don’t lose weight on any woe except maybe on carnivore with the right strictness if I manage to stick to it for long (I never did but it will happen eventually). And I am the fat one, not him.

Losing fat is complicated and very individual. To me, health and well-being is the top priority even when if fat-loss is one of my big goals. I can’t just not consider it.

And I have a certain… order? Ranking? Carb content is important but there are others. Sometimes I rather eat a very carby stuff than a “keto” one because it’s better for my health and figure… It’s not all about carb content or being more processed or not. I like to eat food my body likes and avoid the ones feeling off or causing problems. Even if they are keto or carnivore…

(And I didn’t even mention my weird new world where I mostly eat carnivore food - but if it’s a “keto day”, I add some very high-carb items as well. Sometimes I add keto non-carnivore ones, of course but it’s usually something considered very much not keto. As I like them while I rarely want the non-carni keto stuff.)


I think it’s entirely individual, and a sliding scale.

If eating low carb tortillas within an individual’s macro allowance means that they stick to the keto way of eating, then that’s better than them going off plan entirely.

If, due to the ingredients in the tortilla, eating one low carb tortilla causes cravings and makes an individual more likely to go off plan, then it’s better to avoid it altogether.

I think it’s impossible to know which sort of person you are without doing n=1 tests on yourself, and I think it will likely change over your lifetime, depending on other factors (such as weight, metabolism, fitness, sleep etc).

I would suggest that it is nonsensical for other people to inflict their position on others - it’s not to say they don’t have experience, because whatever they have done has worked for them, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that it’ll work for someone else.

The problem is that people keep trying to make fixed rules, and I think there are some fundamental standpoints (such as ‘lower carbohydrate intake’ and ‘consume adequate protein’) and the rest are variables, where individuals will have differing levels of success with different methods.


Wisely said.
That’s why I ate banana covered with chocolate (3g net carbs or less, it was a great amount for me) every day as a beginner ketoer… It was a phase but necessary. I needed this much to stick to this super low vegetable woe… From my own viewpoint. (And now I do carnivore, life is surprising sometimes.)

By the way, the more liberal ones understand when a newbie use crutches for a while. It’s not the same as clinging to it forever. Some of us need gradual changes… It’s fine and dandy some folks are able to do it strict from day 1, never going astray but most of us aren’t like that. Some of us don’t even want to be that good.

So, each to their own. Sometimes we allow some dubious stuff to be able to stick to keto. Or something that we consider just fine even if most ketoers wouldn’t touch it. We don’t have the same opinion of carby things… My opinion is heavily based on the individual and the amount.


The numbers are what makes it keto or not, it’s not even debatable. People like to combine different things into one so they have something to complain about. That’s the internet at it’s best.

if people are going to claim that the quality is what makes something “keto” or not, then I hope they’re not eating fat bombs, cakes, cookies and ice creams just because they’re “keto”.

I’m all for that junk food, who doesn’t like it? But to pretend that just because the ingredients aren’t on (their) preferred list simply doesn’t wash. No shortage of people doing “dirty keto” and still having amazing results and improving their health. Real whole foods are clearly better, but that’s the case for every WOE and hardly specific to keto.

(Joey) #7

I would suggest keeping the definition simple…

If your eating choices put (and keep) you in ketosis, then you’re doing "keto."

The way to accomplish this: sufficiently reduce your carb intake. And then get your nutrition from other sources - which are hopefully healthy sources, otherwise you may be inviting a different set of health challenges over the long term.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #8

All I would add to Joey’s definition is that if you have an issue/problem with one or another food, then don’t eat it whether or not it’s keto. It won’t be ‘healthy’ for you.

I would also caution that the jury is still out on PUFAs. Yes, we need to eat PUFAs but we don’t need much and we need it with a low ω 6/3 ratio. I think the best way to get what PUFAs we need is from food not oils. All animal fat contains small amounts of PUFAs and that’s probably about what we need to consume. Not the humongous amounts with very high ω 6/3 ratios of oils including olive and avocado oils. Eat olives and/or avocados instead of oils.


there is no keto or non keto foods. All food can be keto food.

you hold to about 20g carbs or whatever it takes for the individual, it doesn’t matter what they eat for those carbs.

now a more purist is gonna say ‘don’t eat that crap’ LOL but in the end keto is the macros and after that, food is a personal preference on works and doesn’t for that person

(Vic) #10

My food is no longer Keto focused.

Nr 1 focus is health, to acheave that I eat carnivore.

Nr 2 focus is happiness. I’m actually proud of my woe and the health I acheaved. I love being the weird meat eater. It make me feel, good and more happy.

It no longer matters to me if I’m in ketosis or not. i do promote the keto woe and lead by example as much as I can. Ketone meters are like a reward point system for beginners, i think its very important, including the piss sticks

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #11

You realize, I hope, that ‘carnivore’ is a subset of keto? If you’re eating carnivore you’re eating keto and you’re in ketosis. Whether you care or not is a different issue. I think it’s important to stay consistently in ketosis and when you’re eating zero carb or close to it I don’t see how you wouldn’t be. Or I’d like to see some data that indicates otherwise.

For example, I eat standard keto which includes incidental carbs from foods I consume that are primarily fat and protein. I don’t eat ‘carb’ food per se - I never look at a slice of pizza and wonder how much of that can I eat and stay sub-20 grams of carbs today; or if I eat the whole slice whether or not I’ll be back in ketosis tomorrow! I care about sustaining ketosis by keeping those incidental carbs very low, but I don’t care about how many ketones I have. I simply presume that because I’m consistently in ketosis, my metabolism produces however much ketones I need and can utilize effectively. My attitude will remain the same unless and until I see data that shows otherwise.

(Vic) #12

Hehe, of ofcourse :smile:

It should say " ketone focused"

English is not my mother tongue, it goes wrong now and then, sorry

(Laurie) #13

I’m in the “if it fits my macros” camp. I have reactions to plant foods, including many vegetables. So I’m basically carnivore. However, the bit of sugar in the cooked ribs I buy once a month doesn’t bother me. My carbs are still low. If someone says I’m not keto because I ingest sugar but not vegetables – oh well, too bad.


word play time

carnivore is a ketogenic eating plan but it is not ‘THE Keto Plan’…heehee

I think keto gets so confused. Yes ketogenic eating vs. THE Keto Plan with guideline macros to hit etc. and ‘guided smart food choices’ in its plan concept.

(Diana) #15

What I don’t understand is why do most keto recipes end up being so high fat. If the concept is eat fat only to satiety shouldn’t the recipes actually be higher protein and lower fat? Otherwise people end up just consuming too much fat by using/following the “keto” recipes.


take away real sugar and what gives flavor? fat or fake sweeteners, like there ain’t nothing else kinda in a way to make all the food taste ‘good’ or trying to ‘substitute’ tastes I think.

(Bob M) #17

Though I think it’s interesting that some (many?) carnivores get low ketones. When the Peak Human podcast team went to the Maasai and the Hazda (two different tribes of each), they tested them and got ketones of 0.1 mmol/l. The Maasai ate basically just blood, milk, meat, with a bit of soup made from a bitter root. The Hazda basically ate meat, with some vegetables, depending on tribes. Mainly meat, though.


low current lc into ketone plan flying thru the body and its changes --ketones off carbs and into a long term of life—in ketogenic state-- a real off all carbs or keeping them very low ALL the time on a constant basis… and what kills me is I had the science article on it and lost it and if you google how and why long term ketogenic ketones WILL never be burned and used long term by a ketogenic burning system you find the info that makes it all good…and darn I so wish I could find that science related study on it again but darn I tried and can’t :frowning:

One who ‘goes keto’ and one who is long term ketogenic thru years of this lifestyle are 2 different people on a ‘measure my ketone burn’ and we flip our ketone levels and reactions thru real science changes…but darn I say this LOL but lost my article to show.

2.5 yrs in and I pee stripped and it was low pink and I was like WTH? and I researched and found the best info on why ketones means nothing other than ‘new to this plan and how they burn’ and long term ketogenic bodies and how they burn so different! More than one ketone tested on strips, which show small limits of what a real ketogenic life flows thru us and more flips on how they function in the body and a ton more… but ugh, I can’t support without my great article on it.


We can’t live mostly on protein, that would be zillion times more protein than needed, costly, unhealthy, inconvenient and not tasty enough. Maybe not all at once for everyone…
Even if I eat way, way more protein than needed, I usually eat more fat than protein in grams. I need my calories, can’t base my energy intake on protein.

Of course, one shouldn’t just follow a recipe and eat a ton of that, ignoring their own personal needs. We all need different, individual macros (and it’s not just the macros, of course). They are usually wide ranges, of course. I had very nice days with 50g and 250g fat alike (I rarely can afford the latter but sometimes I need it. people who needs way more energy, easily can get away with way more even when losing fat. if the fat they eat satiates them just fine). But my normal days are far from both and my fat percentage is typically in a fixed range as that what works and comes naturally and tastes great.

There are insanely fatty keto recipes, sure. They even have their role. Someone needs lots of energy but want some lean meat… The energy must come from somewhere (not everyone can have a huge energy deficit without problems so even if the goal is fat-loss and there is plenty of bodyfat, just eating very little may be a very bad idea. and some of us can’t even do it due to hunger).
I rather eat fatty meat to begin with because my taste dictates that. I use almost no added fat (it doesn’t satiate me) and still eat quite fatty.
Sometimes the cream or butter helps with texture…

But sometimes it’s all about joy. Even I had fatbombs sometimes because I loved them. I had to ban them most of the time as I already overate fat but they were enjoyable :smiley: Now I use extremely fatty items mostly if I need them to avoid undereating (or eating a bit too much as undereating typically results in that) or can afford them, especially on my rare days when I eat some lean protein.

(Vic) #20

In my honest opinion, carnivore is default for human’s. Most on this forum actually eat carnivore with some added carbs, like 20gr or so.

Therefore keto is a subset of carnivore.