The Carnivore Diet is a restrictive regimen that limits food intake to meat, fish, and other animal foods such as eggs and some dairy products.
The all meat-only 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.
One primary reason for this elimination diet's continued adoption is the growing number of testimonials. From weight loss and reduced cravings to improved sleep and mood, the positive reviews are seemingly endless. Through the elimination of plant-based foods and complete focus on an animal-based diet–people have been able to optimize their overall health.
"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 M. of the Carnivore Cast (@carnivorecast)
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
Foods 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.
Foods 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.
Golden Rule of the Carnivore Diet
- 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.
As you can see, we've 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.
Carbohydrates per Ounce in Carnivore-Friendly Dairy Products
- Ghee - 0g carbohydrates per oz
- Butter - 0g carbohydrates per oz
- Brie - 0.1g carbohydrates per oz
- Cheddar Cheese - 0.4g carbohydrates per oz
- Mozzarella Cheese - 0.6g carbohydrates per oz
- Heavy Cream - 0.83g carbohydrates per oz
- Parmesan Cheese - 0.9g carbohydrates per oz
- Cream Cheese - 1.2g carbohydrates per oz
- Half & Half - 1.3g carbohydrates 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 Carnivore Breakfast Tacos
- Lunch: Ground beef patties
- Snack: Sardines
- Dinner: NY strip steak
- Breakfast: Pork shoulder steak
- Lunch: Tuna and hard-boiled eggs
- Snack: People's Choice Old Fashioned Original Beef Jerky
- 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
- Snack: People’s Choice Carne Seca Machaca Jerky Chew
- 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
- Snack: Tuna
- 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!