What's up with carnivores eating berries and honey?

(Bob M) #1

Listened to this, which I thought was great:

It’s an interview with someone in Sweden who does regenerative farming. His name is Richard Perkins (from the UK).

He relates that he went carnivore for a while (6 months?) but developed heart palpitations. So, he added honey and berries, and this resolved. I believe he eats these seasonally. Note that he eats a higher fat diet, I think near PKD, and also eats a lot of offal, when he’s eating carnivore. He’s a big believer in eating the whole animal.

But why have I seen so many carnivores seemingly go this way? Is it just a “thing”? Or is there a real need for some to have some carbs? If there is a need, how could carbs help with heart palpitations? What is missing in carnivore these types of carbs provide?


They want to ‘go backward’ which is easiest before they figure out what is truly happening in their bodies while on the carnivore lifestyle…BUT if one can backtrack and eat some berries and a few carbs, ie something like extreme lc menu or a Keto type plan…more power to them to have more options in their life if they do better on it.

some info.

blood volume is key on adaption/transition and balancing on a new eating plan.

start with basics:

then if the above is mentioning blood volume etc in direct relation to heart palps then we must then figure out what this blood volume is all about…another good read on it. Heart palps are mentioned further down the line.

from the article: Blood volume is tightly regulated and related to multiple organ systems. Furthermore, it is closely associated with sodium content and hydration status. The maintenance of blood volume is crucial to normal function as it is necessary for the constant perfusion of body tissues. Blood volume can be increased or decreased by systemic dysfunction.

of course there is tons of blood volume info out there extra to research…then narrow down with ‘carb effects’ on ‘human blood volume’ and you learn a bit more of course.

So you got adaption, you got toxins leaving your body, you got ‘who you are and how long does all this transition to a healing happen’ for each of us as individuals, and that time varies immensely…then ya got what are ya doing thru your changes, is one still exercising like a maniac when they should not be doing that as hard still? depleting electrolytes and not drinking enough and many never have enough salt that is so important and and and and

we know carbs ingested retain more water in the body…we know when some is ‘eating berries and some honey’ WHO ARE we kidding here? LOL what ELSE are they eating, cause I can guarantee that is not just it :slight_smile: :slight_smile: I don’t even wanna pretend someone says they are eating 1/4 cup of raspberries and my entire life from the heart palps are now ‘fixed’ to no end HAHA (personal opinion and interjection on that one of course)

So alot of info to take on with what is going down when one comes off ALL PLANT CARBS. Your little carbs in eggs will not hold water in your body like plant carbs will…your few carbs in shrimp will not hold more water in your body like plant intake will…and so on down that line.

ok just a start on the chat…good chat too ctv!

nothing wrong with anyone going backward that can and do well doing just that…but for US WHO have to be at zero plant carb intake for best health, the back track can’t happen. Damn never every new carni has some darn stupid azz heart palps and it is trial and error on the basic salt intake, water intake, WHO you are of course in med issues that most of us never truly know WHO is writing this stuff and their real truthful medical history…and time on plan to balance and read to learn the whys and all.

Carnis that are long term learn to help themselves and learn more info on whys before they ‘fall back to plant carbs’ as some almighty savior. But again, if one can go back a bit and do fine, there is not a darn thing wrong with that, but that info that one can’t exist long term or 20 plus years without correcting these issues is wrong cause tons of us are doing just that :slight_smile:


Medicinal honey, coffee and berry carbs. Fair enough.


well, now. hmmm, lol…not fair enough, cause it has nothing to do with ‘medicinal’ for health actually.

it is a system real body scientific function and how the body reacts and processes and functions on and off sugar intake.

Remember, a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, the medicine go dowwwwnnn, the medicine go down…the sugar in food is not medicine and won’t ever be :slight_smile:

it is more about why someone can’t adapt and change as needed thru transitions and ‘who they are on real truths of who they are’ when dropping all sugar intake…so many zc’ers had to find them in their journey, and they did so…

never saying this is an easy walk for anyone cause it isn’t into this lifestyle at all…but when one puts more science thought into reasons why behind what is truly happening on a science body functions and processes against food intake and exercise and more…then we can get balance in carnivore more clearly to suit us as we need.

Which is another reason why coming into zc we never say eat this or limit your fat or don’t eat all you need when hungry cause it is KEY to health to eat as you need, carnis eat so wildly different thru alot of their journey and they ‘feel off’ cause they are not meeting other carnis eating xyz on their journey and think something is wrong. There is nothing wrong if you eat all you need, as you need it. Learn that the fat/protein ratio is the only key here one needs to manipulate to ‘be ok on this’ plan…along with adequate salt and more of course but then ya gotta remember, so many come into this thinking I want omad, I want 2 meals a day, I want to cut salt NOW, I WANT I WANT and this plan is not about that at all.

It is the simplest of life. Eat all you need and gear at fat if best, gear more at leaner protein if ya feel ya need it, just eat all you desire as you need it and if one follows the real life of what their body is asking, one can’t go wrong unless they let the old dieting info into their brain, then they get in their own way.

key being for me coming in I ate tons of bacon, so much my sodium could never go lower and that sodium kept more water in my body as I also dumped water dumping carbs but it becomes a balance act. Come into carnivore and drop all salt, drop all plants, drop all dairy which is higher in sodium, dump all processed stuff we might eat like sausages and more with higher sodium won’t be the same person coming into this plan with just ‘beef water’, done. Beef water is the harder adaption changes actually. so…carni thoughts on what happens as we hit this plan and feel who we are on it and how we want to control it come into big big play here on very personal levels to each person doing this plan.

(Bob M) #5

I find it odd that these foods “cure” whatever they had. I can see both being not that bad, as plants want berries to be eaten, so berries at least should be not as bad as other parts of a plant. Same with honey, as it’s supposed to be eaten. That is, even if you have issues with plants, you’re less likely to have issues with these foods.

Where I can’t figure it out is why these work.


I have the same thoughts about berries. Honey is way too sugary though so I can get a subtle sugar poisoning from a super tiny amount…
But my “problem” is the same as yours: HOW on earth do they help? I don’t see it…
We know that some carbs may help in certain situations but that could be something else. I understand the berries and honey are very natural things, we have them since ages but why would they help so much…? But maybe they do sometimes, I really don’t know or care much. My body is happy with carnivore food as far as I can tell from my carni periods, some other part of mine gets ideas eventually…

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #7

I doubt there is a “need” for carbohydrates, since some of the longest-term carnivores have gone for many years without problems. But again, many of them are driven by medical necessity to avoid plant foods. For example, Georgia Ede says that she actually enjoys vegetables, but doesn’t like what they do to her health. On the other hand, Stefansson and the Bear ate carnivore simply because they preferred to. But the point is that none of these people suffered health problems by eating no plant foods.

I certainly haven’t seen anyone propose a plausible mechanism. Though it is possible the meat they were eating lacked some mineral or vitamin. Honey does contain small amounts of a number of vitamins and minerals. But it is 82% sugar, the rest being water, and there are plenty of other sources for vitamins and minerals. Especially since a number of researchers claim that you get more bioavailable micronutrients from meat than from plants, and particularly than from commercial supplements.

Supposed to be eaten by bees, yes. Though I suppose this argument is similar to saying people shouldn’t drink cows’ milk, because it’s intended for baby cows. Myself, I have no conceptual problem with people’s drinking milk; however, calling oneself a “carnivore” while eating all that sugar from honey just doesn’t feel right to me.

My personal rationale for not eating honey is simply that it’s all sugar, and I need to stay away from sugar. I don’t need the fructose burden on my liver.


There is a need, clearly, for some people, we know such cases. It doesn’t matter that who can live a life without them, they aren’t the ones who need them. Yes, the human body can get everything it needs from animal food, it seems but not everyone can live ideally okay on carnivore for some reason.
I never felt the need to add carbs since I somewhat got used to extreme low-carb (yeah, I go off but I never felt the need for carbs. I just got tempted or something. I never feel “oh yes, I needed this physically”. maybe I would if I forced carnivore? no idea). I probably only would need them if I got super active (not likely). Activity is the typical thing that requires more carbs but surely some people feels better with more carbs, we read that on this forum many times.
And even just liking stuff may be a good enough reason to eat them, I surely would get mental health problems if I forced a boring woe I hate. And even a nice one can become that if I get rob of my target of desires and variety…

It seems a possibility to me. Just doing keto or even carnivore doesn’t gurantee we do it right. Carnivore is based on meat and meat is pretty good nutritionally so I imagine it’s harder to do it wrong but clearly possible… Maybe something went wrong there? Maybe the woe wasn’t bad in general but it didn’t suit the one in question well enough…?
Still odd that mostly sugar and water things could help but I am not familiar with the vitamins in honey and fruit to any usable extent and that only would be one side, the actual health problem is another…

(Rebecca ) #9

Yes, I consider local honey to be medicinal ( very small amounts when needed: allergies, cough or on a superficial wound)
We also keep Manuka Honey on hand. I don’t eat any fruit at all…however
Coffee…that is a daily “medicine” for me!!!

(Bob M) #10

I also think it might be there is something “missing” in whatever carnivore they were following, that is now provided by the honey/berries.

This particular person raised his own chickens, cows, whatever else, and fed them from his land. He was about as good as you can get for sustainable animal production and “farm to table”. Maybe there’s something missing in the plants the animals are eating? (But why would berries have that? If something was missing from the soil, it seems to me it’d still be missing in the berries… But I don’t know enough about ruminant feeding, or chicken feeding for that matter, to know what they actually eat.)

Berries make sense in Sweden, as they have a lot of light for a long time during summer. Berries grow well there.

Honey is an issue, as he said the hives tend to die in the winter. He was raising bees, though, so he was getting raw honey directly from the bees.

I have not looked that much into honey as medicine, though I do see it has some benefits, at least in some studies I read.

Could it be as simple as vitamin C? But even he said he eats liver raw, which supposedly has vitamin C in it.

It’s hard to figure out.

Edit: There’s always the possibility of genetics. Perhaps his genetics is such that he operates better with some carbs? Not sure.

(Stickin' with mammoth) #11

My carnivore rule is that I can (if I feel like it) harvest and eat whatever native (that’s key) fruit or berry is ripe and within reach while I’m hiking in the wild. So, huckleberries, Pacific blackberry, wild strawberry, wild rose hips, currant, and that’s about it. I usually grab about six berries, pop 'em in my mouth, and enjoy berry breath for a few miles. Good times.

(Jane) #12

Hives should not die in the winter if you are taking proper care of them and not harvesting too much honey. Even with proper care you can lose a hive, but it is not the norm.

Hives need ventilation and plenty of food stores (honey). If they don’t have enough honey the entire colony starves - you don’t lose part of a hive - it is all or nothing with bees. You can feed sugar patties in the winter to get them through until there is nectar in the spring to start making hioney again. You can’t feed them syrup like you can in the spring and fall because it takes too much energy to concentrate the syrup into honey and they need their energy to keep the queen and hive cluster warm.

(Bob M) #13

Even in Sweden?


He said he was at the same longitude as part of Alaska. And, I’ve visited about the same latitude, and it’s got about 4 hours of light during winter. (Of course, I went in the summer, when there was 4 hours of darkness. 11 pm was like daylight.)

There will be many months without flowers or other sources of nectar.

(Jane) #14

Ah well, in that case I am sure the losses are much heavier. The only way to start a hive over is to buy/import bees or catch a swarm. You can split a strong hive but in that climate I don’t see how the hive could build up enough to split.

I’ve been to Sweden in January and it was bitter cold and dark. They ate a lot of fish and potatoes, neither of which rely on bees to produce.

You can keep a hive alive by feeding sugar syrup if there is limited nectar, but the honey isn’t “honey”.

You have given me some things to think about… I think I will go look up how the Swedes keep bees!

(Edith) #15

I believe they chose honey for carbs because it is made by bees, a type of animal, and therefore they can say it is carnivore. They chose fruit, berries in particular, because like you said, the plant “wants” its fruit to be eaten, and berries are pretty low carb.

My theory is that adding some carbs back in causes a little more water retention and therefore less electrolyte wasting.

I have added a little bit of carbs back in via fruit and a few veggies, and I feel much better. Strange things happen to me on pure carnivore.


they retain water in the body. ketogenic menu by nature will not retain water cause carbs hold water in the body…so it is an easier issue of now unbalancing your electrolytes very quickly vs. when eating carbs, that water is retained in the body and not having as much of an issue with electrolytes.

a few berries and a teaspoon of honey is not curing them.

it isn’t what is in the food other than the carb intake from that food. More carbs, more water retention thus changing how your electrolytes are used and dumped from your body.

It is all about the water retention just like VE mentioned too and each individuals personal body on who you are inside with personal med issues and how the body is responding to outside situations also, like over exercising without food intake and such and put it all together and …but it does take a bit for carnivores to ‘feel and learn’ their balances. Once we know that, we can instinctively work thru this and many have done just.

ongoing heart palps is a rare thing for carnivores actually…yes they can start thru adaption but very few ever take them farther if enough enough sodium and water are used and if one eats when one ‘feels off’ in a small way and sodium being like most important electrolyte because it can be flushed thru our bodies very quickly.

remember I assume we don’t have heart issues of any kind too ya know…so when I say ‘everyone’ I am never including anyone who can easily have a real heart issue happening.

Like I got PVC heart issues. But I also know this, I know coming off carbs ‘cured’ me but if I go back to eating those foods then I get actual start up of my PVC situation back. For me this is not ‘water controlled’ heart flips from carnivore, it is a real deal diagnosis from my cardiologist but I know going carnivore ‘cured’ me just like eating more carbs ‘cured’ someone who is having heart palps on carnivore but doesn’t understand why they are continuing.

(Karen) #17

I believe we have been so indoctrinated over the years that these particularly foods are nutritious and are ‘super foods’ . I used to believe it wholeheartedly, I would consume honey (and blueberries) on a daily basis believing that, and the root ginger i had with it, was 100% why I was able to keep colds at bay and keep my airways clear! When I consumed honey in my lemon ginger hot drink I would then want more and add it to other drinks. Very addictive for me personally.

When I went Carnivore and stopped those honey lemon and ginger hot drinks did I start getting colds and blocked sinuses??? NO ! I still don’t get colds and flu like other people I know. Flu maybe once every 2 or 3 years ( In fact I can’t remember the last time I had flu but I had a bad cough that wouldn’t shift December 2018 and January 2019 pre Carnivore) Colds probably about the same. I get a runny nose but nothing to write home about, I blow it regularly to keep it clear but there is never much snot for want of a better word lol

I think the proof is NOT in the honey pudding … its in the meat hahahah! :wink:


HAHA proof in the honey pudding, love that.

Key to everything…a healthy immune system is what makes us not go down and get sick from everyday common crap floating around and going very extreme lc/keto type plan or even into carnivore which many of us need that full elimination…all brings back our immune system.
Like 70% of our healthy immune system support is in our digestive guts and what goes thru ‘that’ area can make or break our immune system thru ‘small plan allergies’ that work against us on a personal level for each individual.

so guys… Who knows exactly what plant intake can cause that unless one gets a monster allergy testing handled thru labs do we ever know that and expensive ‘useless no ins. testing’ no Dr gives ya unless radically required, so foot that bill on your own :slight_smile: and then remember, we are what we eat as an overall ‘full pic’ of each of us on a very individaul level.

even B vits and more are pissed out thru water in our systems. Any extra vits/minerals are flushed thru xyz of our life thru water intake, no carbs can retain those as our ‘daily lives which are radically diff.’ in activity and more and in the end, you got a heart palp on carnivore, it is more of an easy fix to truly ‘micro manage your current world and what that person IS doing daily’ vs. dumping back to carbs as some easy water retention fix.

but again, many even ‘expert vocal carnivores’ can go back. we are seeing it out there but in the end, did they truly not do the best way forward in carni to suit them vs. ‘’‘claiming’’’ that carb back track ‘cured’ all? I don’t think, I know not!

when one can go back easily and do fine it is cool…but to put out the ‘cure’ is ridiculous and unfounded and deterimental to full truths of what it takes for others. but we all ‘read the gurus’ don’t we LOL


Both are pretty stupid IMO. I am usually considerate and while not nice, try to be not rude but I can’t say this differently. (It’s for the “honey and berry is carnivore” belief, not your comment, it’s important.)
It doesn’t matter what the plant wants. Why don’t we eat bananas, that’s a fruit too. Okay, not ancient… :smiley:
There are tons of low-carb things but carnivore is about eating ANIMAL products.
Honey is clearly plant to me but fine, let’s call it hybrid. It’s sugar from plants, for heaven’s sake… A bit processed by bees, yep. Still makes no sense to me and it’s 80% SUGAR.

But I don’t care who uses which labels - as long as it doesn’t cause miscommunication and confusion and yep, it does. Vegetarians and vegans do the same so poor normal host has no idea if their vegan guests eat meat or not. And vegetarians get meat soup (without the meat) and chicken, for some reason, I experienced that and was quite tired in my brain.

But yeah, I met people whose body preferred some plants, that’s okay, there are all kind of people. But plants aren’t carnivore, sorry. And plant originated sugars are odd things on carnivore too…


Boueberries are luxury items so not those but I ate insane amounts of honey. From my own viewpoint, not from the average person’s… The average person eats truly INSANE amounts of sugar. I half lived on sweets and still ate a fragment of it but at some point I simply got the bigger half of it from honey. Honey is one of the top tastiest items for me (of course I only ate good quality ones, I am a choosy gourmet if it’s about certain things like eggs or honey :smiley: my country has ZILLION good beekeepers), the best tasting sweetening stuff… But I never considered it helpful for my health. It definitely never helped with my colds but it works for others as far as I know.
My colds were always rare and I never got the flu, my health don’t seem to care about my woe this far (but as my body LOVES low-carb and anyway, I am sure my health would be worse after 10 high-carb decades vs 3.5 high-carb and 6.5 low-carb that just gets lower as time passes. and lots of sugar is bad for everyone anyway)… Maybe except my teeth but the harm was done early.

I have my very beautiful memories of honey and that’s it :slight_smile: I probably will buy a jar here and there but I live with a high-carber who eats sweets for almost every meal (he avoids added sugar though but can handle a bit sometimes). It’s culture and nostalgy… But my body prefers not eating sugary stuff and it’s perfectly fine.