The short and simple definition of the ketovore diet is that it is a way of eating (WOE) not actually a ‘diet’ but an animal protein based ketogenic way of eating. It is an offshoot of the carnivore way of eating that allows for a bit more wiggle room.
Those who eat ketovore often incorporate dairy, some low carb fruits and vegetables and the occasional ‘keto treat.’
Let’s break it down a bit more – what is carnivore?
The traditional carnivore diet is a way of eating based completely on eating animal protein, salt and water.
It’s often referred to as the ultimate elimination diet. It’s pretty hardcore and it can be challenging but it is an excellent intervention for those who need to heal their bodies. By cutting back to just meat (preferably beef) individuals are able to help heal their gut environment, can see weight loss, and general improvement in health.
There are carnivore diet advocates who have followed this way of eating for many years and swear by it. There are others who push the envelope of the definition and add in other foods.
The strictest level is just meat, organ meats, salt and water.
The next level allows for incorporating some dairy in the form of things like cream and butter, eggs and perhaps the addition of some spices and seasoning.
Ketovore vs. Carnivore
Then you get what is now being called Ketovore diet – adding in some forms of plant foods from time to time – usually low carbohydrate fruits and vegetables, a wider range of seasonings and spices and sometimes nuts and seeds if a person is able to tolerate them.
The biggest difference aside from the addition of plants with a ketovore diet is that those who follow a carnivore diet aren’t necessarily in ketosis (this can be for a number of different reasons) where someone following a ketovore diet approach still maintains a state of nutritional ketosis.
If you want more information on Carnivore my absolute go to resource is Judy Cho, NTP and her Carnivore Cure book.
Keto vs. Ketovore
On the surface one would probably think that keto diet and ketovore diet are the same thing but there are some nuances that make them different.
With both keto and ketovore the idea is to be in a state of nutritional ketosis. Using fat as a primary fuel source. Traditional keto relies on consuming a higher fat diet. Traditional keto macros generally sit around 75% from fat, 25% from protein and 5% from carbohydrates.
Ketovore allows one to play around a bit more with the macros and slides towards having a higher protein ratio and could even allow for more carbohydrates. It is not necessarily a high fat diet BUT it still keeps you in nutritional ketosis and allows you to burn fat and use ketones as your primary fuel source.
If you want to get really technical “Keto” is actually a metabolic state – being in ketosis. Keto foods are just foods that will allow or help you to get into ketosis.
So what does a ketovore eat?
Healthy nutrient dense whole foods! These items will form the basis of your eating plans but at it’s core ketovore is animal based protein with healthy natural fats.
- meat (beef, lamb, pork, etc), poultry and seafood
- deli meats and cured meats
- salt (sea salt, pink salt – you want mineral rich!)
- healthy fats such as olive oil, tallow, lard, butter, ghee (no seed oils!)
If you can tolerate them you might add in (this is individual!)
- cheeses including cream cheese
- cream, sour cream and greek yogurt (including coconut yogurt/milk/cream)
- coffee, tea, cacao
- herbs and spices – onion, garlic, and ginger
- lemon and lime for flavoring
- low carbohydrate fruits such as berries
- low carbohydrate vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, lettuce
- nut milks
- nuts and seeds
Extras – if they work for you!
- keto baked goods (usually made with nut or coconut flours), keto sweets
- sweeteners such as erythritol, stevia, allulose, and monk fruit
There is no hard and fast rules you can add or eliminate items from the list depending on your own individual needs!
The true beauty of a ketovore way of eating is it is SIMPLE and you absolutely don’t need to buy any special (expensive) or weird ingredients!
Being ketovore is also flexible! You can mix up your eating with completely carnivore days with some classic keto days thrown in or just have a nice mix with a ketovore low carb meals every day.
Sample Ketovore Meal Ideas
You can eat what you like for any meal but as a general guideline try to prioritize protein at every meal this will help with your overall satiety and help maintain muscle and lose weight if that is your goal.
Ketovore Breakfast Ideas
- Eggs anyway you like them!
- Bacon, sausages, minute steaks
- Coconut or nut flour pancakes
- Greek or coconut yogurt with some keto granola and berries
- Bone or meat broth
- Frittata or quiches
- Protein shake if you are in a hurry
- Protein sparing french toast
Ketovore Lunch or Dinner Ideas
- Roast meats with low carb veggies on the side
- Seafood Marinara
- Grilled Fish
- Bunless burgers
- Steaks, chicken breasts, pork chops – your favorite cut grilled how you like it
- Keto soups
- Sandwiches made with a keto or protein sparing bread
- Deli meat and cheese platter
- There are literally thousands of keto and low carb recipe ideas for just about any meal you like – search engines are your friend!
Hi there, so is ketovore lower carb than regular keto? They say between 20 & 50g. Or is it more to do with the animal protein component? Thanks!
Hi Graeme – it’s not necessarily lower carb than regular keto – ketovore is more protein based and is a variant of carnivore that allows for additions to it like spices, the occasional vegetable and dairy. Where traditional Keto is focused on having a higher fat ratio – ketovores can tone down the fat component to suit their individual needs.
Thank you very much for your response, that clarifies it. I’m giving this way of eating a go, I’ve been on it for a week now and haven’t found it difficult to maintain, unlike my previous attempts at full carnivore and regular keto. Regular keto I find too fussy and it takes the focus away from animal protein, which seems to be key for me, I get crazy carb cravings if I don’t rely on animal protein heavily. Full carnivore I found difficult to maintain too though, especially because of various life situations. Thank you for creating this blog, very helpful and inspiring!
I went from carnivore to ketovore. The previous comment is correct in that it all depends on what you eat. But I have found it easy to limit my net carbs to around or under 12 net carbs per day and 20 grams of total carbs on this way of eating. And it’s tastier than it sounds. You may not get to enjoy Indian Butter Chicken or General Tso’s chicken anymore, but nothing beats Chorizo con Huevos or steak and eggs for breakfast. 🙂
Hi, I have another question please. Are all organ meats considered equal? I saw advice that they can form a healthy part of a carnivore / ketovore diet, but I find some more palatable than others. Are they nutritionally similar?
Organ meats are all high in varying nutrients – this post is great for breaking it down. https://www.nutritionadvance.com/organ-meats/ So I wouldn’t say they are equal they each have their benefits. I personally prefer mine in capsule form because I’m not fond of the flavour of any of them!
That’s great, thanks so much! x
When you say in powder form do you mean a multivitamin or are there powders I need to look for?
there are encapsulated organ meats – so you can take them in pill form
So, my usual intake involves 2-6g of carbs a day (I can’t eliminate yogurt), and once every few months I bake a keto cheesecake for a snack. I eat half a stick of butter, half a pack of bacon(nitrate and hormone free), some beef, and about 4 eggs a day. I usually remain in a moderate ketosis level. If I wanted to raise my ketosis level, would I increase fats?
Hi Elijah – Is there a reason you want to raise your ketone levels? There are a lot of different avenues you can try – you can definitely try upping your fats and see how that affects your ketone levels but it may or may not work (everyone is different). Are you wanting to raise them thinking it will increase weight loss or are you looking more for the mental benefits? Also how do you measure your ketones?
I am a 72 yo been on keto for about 1 y, lost 30# because I’m a diabetic my dr does not want me in ketoisis. The ketovore plan sounds wonderful, will it be safe for me?
I am not a doctor but I imagine your doctor does not want you in keto acidosis which is entirely different from nutritional ketosis which the keto diet/ketovore diet puts you into. Low carb/keto is now an approved intervention even by the Diabetic Association. I am a type 2 diabetic myself and put it into remission using ketovore – it is a safe intervention for most people but always work with your health practitioners!