And Sample Carnivore Diet Meal Plan
The carnivore diet has been on an upward trajectory since Dr. Shawn Baker appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience in 2017. If you're living under a cow and still have not heard of this diet, check out our blog post: The Carnivore Diet Explained!
A main reason for this elimination diet's continued adoption is the growing amount of testimonials. We've found countless people that swear by the Carnivore Diet. Through the elimination of plant-based foods and complete focus on an animal-based diet like our ancestors–they have been able to optimize their overall health.
We've even reached out to a few leaders in the carnivore space on Instagram to gain a better perspective on success and the carnivore diet. And honestly, hearing these accounts first hand has such a strong impact compared to just reading about the diet itself.
Scott M. of the CarnivoreCast (@carnivorecast) was generous enough to answer some of our carnivore-related questions to help us better understand carnivore diet results through his first-hand experience.
"My results from the carnivore diet include improved body composition (lost fat and gained muscle), better sleep, improved digestion, more satiety and less restriction, improved mood, better energy and alertness, and simplicity in cooking/shopping."
Scott and other proponents of the Carnivore Diet promote the idea that by eliminating plant material, you can simplify your life and optimize your health.
At first glance, the task of cooking and shopping on the Carnivore Diet may appear to be greatly simplified, but it’s not as simple as it appears, at least at first.
You know the saying? "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle." Well that is exactly what the Carnivore Diet is. You're dedicating yourself to eating solely animal-based products, like an actual carnivorous animal. And like these animals, you won't be spending much time thinking about what to eat since the diet is so limiting.
Although the diet is limited to animal-based products, not all animal-based products fit into the carnivore diet. So we decided to create a carnivore diet food list for your reference!
Carnivore Diet Food List
The two primary carnivore diet rules are:
- Eat only animal-based products
- Maintain a zero-carb diet
If you stick to eating just meat (the all meat diet), you'll be fine. Dairy products are allowed since they come from animals, but this is where you will begin to find carbohydrates creep onto the nutritional labels. So, we will provide some more information on dairy below the food list.
Following the food list, we will provide a sample carnivore diet food pyramid, carnivore diet meal plan, and carnivore diet shopping list.
Now, onto the list!
Things to Eat on Carnivore Diet
- Meat: beef, lamb, pork, game, chicken, turkey, etc.
- Fish: salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, crab, etc.
- Animal Products: eggs, bone marrow, lard, bone broth, etc.
- Low-lactose dairy products (in small amounts): butter, heavy cream, hard cheese, etc.
- Seasonings (with no carbs): salt, black pepper, etc.
Things to Avoid on Carnivore Diet
- Fruits: apples, oranges, bananas, berries, etc.
- Vegetables: asparagus, mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, etc.
- High-lactose dairy: soft cheese, milk, yogurt, etc.
- Legumes: beans, lentils, etc.
- Nuts and seeds: walnuts, almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Grains: oatmeal, wheat, bread, rice, quinoa, etc.
- Alcohol: beer, wine, liquor, etc.
- Sugars: white sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc.
- Beverages other than water: coffee, soda, tea, juice, etc.
As you can see, we have separated the dairy products into two categories: Low-lactose and high-lactose. This is because lactose (aka milk sugar) is just that, the sugar in milk. And what does sugar equal? CARBS! The big no-no.
So, to truly be following the Carnivore Diet, you need to, at the very least, avoid high-lactose dairy products. It's really up to you to decide how much you want to limit the low-lactose dairy products, though.
To help you out a bit here, we'll include a list below featuring standard carbohydrate amounts per serving in everyday dairy products.
- Ghee - 0 g per Tbsp
- Butter - 0.1 g per Tbsp
- Heavy Cream - 0.5 g per Tbsp
- Half & Half - 0.6 g per Tbsp
- Heavy Cream - 0.4 g per Tbsp
- Brie - 0.1 g per oz
- Cheddar Cheese - 0.4 g per oz
- Mozzarella Cheese - 0.6 g per oz
- Parmesan Cheese - 0.9 g per oz
- Cream Cheese - 1.2 g per oz
Carnivore Diet Food Pyramid
Since this is a lot of information at once, we figured we could help translate the above info. To do this, we'll be using something we're all familiar with from grade school: the food pyramid!
Though this food pyramid is much simpler, it still functions in the same way as that standard food pyramid in terms of intake.
The Carnivore Diet food pyramid pictured above is fit for those following the Carnivore Diet's standard variation. There are three main Carnivore Diet variations, including hardcore carnivore, standard carnivore, and keto-carnivore.
Of the three variations, hardcore carnivore is the most strict, while keto-carnivore is the most lenient. We've found that most people tend to fall somewhere between standard and keto-carnivore. We'll leave an infographic below breaking down the three most popular Carnivore Diet variations.
Carnivore Diet Shopping List
One last infographic resource we created to ease you into the Carnivore Diet is a sample Carnivore Diet shopping list!
The shopping list below gives an idea of what a typical trip to the grocery store could look like while following the standard variation of the Carnivore Diet. This is intended to provide you with an idea of what to include on your own grocery list. We recommend customizing your list based on the diet variation that best suits you!
Carnivore Diet Meal Plan
Given the simplicity of the diet and its approved food list, it would be expected that eating might become a bit bland. But that's not how it has to be.
We’ve put together a creative 7 day Carnivore Diet menu for you to get a better feel for the diet. Be sure to check out our Carnivore Diet Snacks blog post for other snack ideas as well!
Breakfast: Machaca con huevos breakfast tacos
Lunch: Ground beef patties
Dinner: NY strip steak
Breakfast: Pork shoulder steak
Lunch: Tuna and hard-boiled eggs
Dinner: Lamb rack and bone broth
Breakfast: Eggs and bacon
Lunch: Bone broth and roasted chicken
Snack: Hard-boiled eggs
Dinner: Pork shoulder confit
Breakfast: Steak and eggs
Lunch: Roasted pork chop
Dinner: Turkey burgers
Breakfast: Pork sausage and eggs
Lunch: Bison Burger
Snack: Pate and pork rinds
Dinner: Prime Rib
Breakfast: Lamb omelet
Lunch: Chicken breast and bacon
Dinner: Ribeye steak
Breakfast: Chicken Liver and eggs
Lunch: Ground beef patties
Snack: Grilled chicken tenders
Dinner: Confit chicken legs and bacon
As you can see, it's quite an easy diet to follow given the streamlined menu! In just a few minutes, you can plan out your meals for the month and get together a grocery list to accommodate your custom meal plan. Be sure to check out our other Carnivore Diet blog posts, and grab some of our carnivore-friendly beef jerky to meat your goals!