What's up with carnivores eating berries and honey?

(Bob M) #21

I also haven’t been sick for a long time, but then I went on a 7 day course of antibiotics (they thought I might have bacteria in my elbow), and I promptly got sick after that. A cold, I think, or at least not covid (took multiple instant tests).

I theorize the antibiotics killed the “good” bacteria in my mouth and associated systems, and allowed a cold to invade.

That seems like a reasonable theory. I have never been completely carnivore, though I tend toward few plants, but it changes. Today for lunch, I had some fresh salsa and olives. Usually only have olives or olives and capers or just capers, as an addition to my meat (ham and beef heart this week).

I have been eating a few more carbs (like salsa) lately, eating less salt…and having fewer (no) lower leg cramps. I can’t tell if that’s because it’s the carbs or the fact that it’s winter. Or something else.

@Janie I don’t know enough about bees to comment. Our neighbors (in CT, USA) keep them, and even they have said they have lost hives over the winter. I would assume keeping bees alive in Sweden would be even harder, but I don’t know. When I was there (Sweden) a few years ago, I don’t remember seeing bees, but I also wasn’t looking.

(Sama Hoole) #22

I don’t get the justification for abandoning ketosis because it causes issues in the long term. Ancestrally, that makes no sense. Ketosis would have been the dominant fuel state. Mechanically, the reasons are too vague. Electrolyte imbalances, low testosterone, low thyroid…there are other confounding factors playing into them.

Personally, I don’t see the benefits of adding in fructose outweighing the big con of leaving ketosis.


It was a good podcast.

Richard, the interviewee, developed heart palpitations after about 12 weeks. The top of the list is that he probably had electrolyte disturbances as happens on a very low carb diet - insulin dependent natriuresis. He may be misinterpreting the benefit to carbohydrates. Carbs would have increased his insulin response and help retention of sodium, which limits diuretic loss of other minerals. Maybe that is the mechanism? But I also wonder about the micronutrient level in the berries and honey. The berries at that high latitude sound amazing in the intense long summer days that they grow under in a natural, biodiverse environment. Salt can be scarce inland. I wonder if he consumed much blood?

I would have gone more for electrolytes - sodium and magnesium, for example, before re-introducing many carbs to home treat heart palpitations.

Probably best to have some cardiac tests done to rule out other potential causes of the palpitations.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #25

Dr. Phinney discusses the “natriuresis of fasting” in a number of his lectures, available on the Low Carb Down Under YouTube channel. The issue is simply that, in the absence of high insulin affecting the kidneys, they excrete sodium a bit more readily. In his take on the matter, the issue is easily resolved by taking a bit more salt.

Since the mechanisms that regulate calcium, magnesium, and potassium are interlinked with those that regulate sodium, it is often the case that getting enough sodium keeps the others in balance. Though some people do need to supplement the other minerals, in addition to increasing their salt.

(Bob M) #26

I’d assume that if you eat/drink things like blood, that would help. I’d assume that if you have your own animals and are trying to eat the entire animal, you’d do that, but I don’t know. Or you’d make blood sausage or something similar.

I think some of this can’t be answered until we get insulin meters. For instance, protein causes a very high insulin response. Is it really the insulin response of some berries that’s good? If it’s only insulin, I would say no, as I don’t think the insulin response of berries is higher than say lean meat. Now, if you’re eating mainly fat, the response could be different.

But without pin-prick insulin meters, we can’t really analyze it. We need some fairly detailed AUC (area under the curve) analyses.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #27

According to Bikman, however, context is important. In the context of high carbs along with the protein, there is no glucagon response, and the insulin/glucagon ratio increases dramatically. Whereas in the context of low carbohydrate, both insulin and glucagon increase, and the insulin/glucagon ratio remains unchanged. It is the insulin/glucagon ratio that determines whether we are in ketogenic or fat-storage mode.


You ask if there’s a real need for some to have some carbs, @ctviggen.

The answer is yes.

While we’re told there’s everything we need in grass fed beef, we’re also told to take this and that supplement. Keto people glorify this mostly unregulated Big Supplement industry. The alternative: eat some carb food that has what you’re missing.

Now as for the carnivores eating honey and fruits, I always found it funny that most carnivores I know about from this forum drink coffee, also plant food. Very few people are really carnivores.

Same with keto. So many people doing keto say it was as our ancestors ate, it must be good, etc… drink coffee, loads of it. Because surely, our ancestors were drinking coffee, right?

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #29

I hope you’ll excuse a little rant, triggered by this passage.

I know that we are told to do these things, but I don’t do them, and I seem to be doing just fine. We actually have a thread here to the effect that “there are no rules for keto,” and that way of thinking really suits me. In my case, I don’t actually like the taste of the grass-fed beef I’ve had, so I’m very happy to stick with the cheaper stuff in the supermarket. And I seem to be doing just fine without it. Likewise, I seem to be getting along just fine without any of the supplements so many people recommend. What that tells me is that if anyone is claiming that such stuff is necessary on keto, they are blowing smoke up you-know-where.

On the other hand, some people really do need supplements and better-quality food, so it comes down to the Dudes’ second dogma, “Find out what works for you.”

Sometimes I get the impression that people are feeling there’s only one right way to do keto, hence this little rant. As long as we are eating a low enough amount of carbohydrate to keep our insulin under control, we are doing keto right. Dr. Westman had a patient who was quite poor and could only afford McDonalds burgers (without the buns, of course!) but he got healthier and lost quite a bit of fat, even on cheap fast food. So grass-fed beef is not a keto rule, nor is any of the other stuff people say we need—especially when those people are trying to sell us a product.

But you shouldn’t let me tell you how you need to do keto, either—except when I tell you to do it your way, lol!

Okay, I’ll stop now. Back to our regularly scheduled thread. :grin:

(Robin) #30

Very good rant… a good reminder to all of us who have found OUR right way… it might be the absolute wrong way for others. Gotta be careful slinging those rigid rules around willy nilly.


Keto is an extremely diverse woe/diet. There are carnivores and vegan ketoers but even omnivore ketoers have very different styles. My original keto was basically the only style I could do: vegetarian, generous high-carb (40g net, way way higher total but I don’t care about that) and I half lived on sweet desserts out of necessity (but I liked them until they got old and boring).
I can’t supplement stuff, it’s against something in me. I had to take maybe 250mg magnesium a month on my on/off vegetarian keto, I never need that on my on/off carnivore-ish and it’s better anyway.

Yes, many people consider their woe carnivore even with tiny off items. Close enough.
I am safe and like extras so I label my default woe carnivore-ish but if everyone would do that, almost no one would be carnivore while the not quite carnivores would be way more carnivore than almost all carnivore animals, they eat more plants than human carnivores… Okay, maybe human carnivore label has nothing to do with animal diets though I would think they can’t be disconnected…
But yep, it’s a tad unfair that vegans shouldn’t touch animals while carnivore may eat many plants :slight_smile: Or not, I don’t know and I don’t care, honestly.

Indeed, very much. Many people’s carnivore would be my secondary, somewhat failed room 101… I would so hate it. (My real room 101 if someone doesn’t know yet, is low-fat. Especially HCLF but low-fat already sounds horrible to me. Whatever it means. I define it as below 80g fat a day. Maybe 70, 80 is still okay sometimes.) I would hate meat all the time and forced to eat… Ew. And I would miss my eggs :sob: And more.
My own carnivore(-ish) forced on me for long, that could work. I just can’t do it by myself yet.

(Jane) #32

One of my pet peeves. Posts that claim absolutes like it is written in stone. My own household of 2 is a prime example. If I ate the way my huband ate (we are both keto) I would still be fat. He has never been fat, never exercised more than me and always ate more. And until he went keto he was eating burgers with buns and fries and pasta and rice and… but he was becoming a TOFI and he realizes that now.


@Paul, you’re doing exactly what I “preach”: getting your needs from food, instead of supplements.


Chris Kresser has found that even with a nutritious diet dialled in to a lifestyle that the food stuffs many of us eat in these contemporary times still result in deficiencies that require supplements.

(Edith) #35

I recently re-listened to Paul Saladino’s podcast about why he added fruit and honey to his diet. His reasoning sounds very similar to what I went through with the heart palpitations. I have added more carbs to my diet, and my body is much happier, heart palpitations pretty much gone except for a few flip-flops every once in a while. My digestive tract is also happier. My son, who also tried carnivore for a few years also ran into the heart palpitation trouble and he is only 29 years old. He also solved the problem by adding some carbs back into his diet.

What I found a little troubling, though, is that Paul Saladino actually seems to be anti-keto now, as well.

MOOvember Carnivore

I dumped him long ago but now you are sayin’ he is spewing out anti-keto stuff? Like what is he saying mostly? Advocate of upping carbs and eating ALL in moderation? Maybe coming out with his own ‘diet’ stuff to buy like Deal a Meal from Richard Simmons or his own weight watchers club? Hmmmm, just too wild. What ya reading on what he is saying now…I don’t even wanna go check him out on the net anymore, I am like so over this guy HAHA

(Jane) #37

I see posts all the time about how we evolved from a meat-only diet and we don’t “need” carbs.

Well, I am of the opinion that some have “evolved” past a meat-only diet and some DO need a small amount of carbs to remain healthy. To think our bodies aren’t very adaptable flies in the face of how our immune system reacts to “invaders”.

(Bob M) #38

I’ve seen a theory that some of the people who have had issues with carnivore and went back to eating carbs ate too much liver and the like, and then needed vitamin C to overcome the very high vitamin A content. Paul Saladino was eating a TON of liver.

Don’t know whether it’s true, but it’s at least plausible.

Also, Amber O’Hearn said some people who have thyroid issues on carnivore … don’t eat enough. One woman who said carnivore trashed her thyroid, she since increased the amount she ate, got her thyroid working again, and has retracted everything.

While I’m still of the opinion, we don’t “need” carbs, I still eat some of them.


agree. you do you. you eat what suits you only. after that the body reaction is key to what level you hit on carb intake and from what foods.
simple as that. All in carnivores are here for their specific reasons thru med issues and food gut issues and reactions to plant based and we know who we are and need this lifestyle but many can walk back into lc land.

again who ya are with mind, body and soul reigns key here on all of it.

(Ohio ) #40

There’s something about berries & honey outside the keto world. I know of 3rd generation doctor who has an autoimmune disorder. Berries & honey are his only exception to his carnivore diet. He gravitated towards this way of dieting because of his studying of the evolution of phytonutrients.

For me personally, they are a bit strange. I grow berries and have access to lots of wild berries. I can eat buckets of berries without too many issues. Seems like I can get with over 100g of carbs from raw honey without hardcore issues.

50g of added sugar and I’m sick for a week at best. Seizures aren’t out of the question. Honey and berries really stick out to me. Glad other folks are shining a light on this keto abnormality.


for me a few berries and that sugar hit would and has derailed me off plan and backtracked me horribly…hence off ‘all sugar’ for this person.

interesting you do so well on them as VE has put some back and did fine also and actually felt better but I also think like you ‘a low GI thing like a berry’ would be my first try back, but for me it was a 0 go on that.

again, who we are and I don’t think you can explain or anyone can for that matter :sunny: why you can add back XYZ and do fine while another can’t which is why we gotta be our own N-1 in all this and base it on food reactions/invasions and/or qualifying fab foods that do work for us and only give us better and take nothing from our health.

interesting thoughts on that from your post.

I wish I could eat a bucketload of berries :slight_smile: always like them. but you also said ‘without too many issues’ so where is the berry line for ya and what can it trigger at some point for you? just wondering.