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Keto vs ketovore diet: What’s the difference?

All about the Ketovore diet

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Estimated to reach $12.35 billion by the end of 2024, the keto diet is one of the fastest-growing diet trends in the country — and for good reason. While originally used to help treat patients with epilepsy, the ketogenic diet is now used widely by people looking to achieve optimal health and improve various health conditions. A ketogenic diet, in its basic form, is a diet that is high in fat and low in carbohydrates. People who follow a keto diet aim to achieve a state of nutritional ketosis, allowing the body to use fat for fuel.  While the keto diet remains popular, you may have heard the term “ketovore” floating around social media. But what exactly is the ketovore diet?

ketogenic diet salad eggs tomatoes greens on a round plate on table with red towel
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What is the ketovore diet?

The ketovore diet is an unofficial term (not a scientific word) that describes a diet that mixes a standard keto diet and the carnivore diet. You might also hear the ketovore diet referred to as keto carnivore or a meat-heavy keto diet.  The carnivore diet is a stricter form of the keto diet that involves eating only meat and animal by-products. Those on a carnivore diet do not consume other low-carb foods, such as vegetables, nuts, or seeds. Unlike a ketogenic diet that often involves consuming about 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, the carnivore diet is zero-carb and far more restrictive.

Given that a true carnivore diet allows only for the consumption of meat and water, this diet can be extremely difficult to follow on a long-term basis. For that reason, many people have turned to a “ketovore” diet, which is similar to carnivore but allows for the consumption of some plant-based foods. A person who is following a keto diet will still consume a large amount of meat as the main food group. However, this diet allows for the consumption of some other low-carb foods such as heavy cream, avocados, spices, and a small amount of low-carbohydrate vegetables.

Overhead view of classic meatloaf and bowl of salad on cutting board
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Ketovore diet vs. keto

On average, those on a traditional keto diet consume about 7o to 80% of their daily calories from fat, 10 to 20% of calories from protein, and the rest from carbohydrates. This diet, which is low in carbohydrates and high in fat, helps achieve a deep state of metabolic ketosis that can result in many benefits. Although the keto diet is often known for its weight loss benefits, many people try the keto diet for other reasons, too, such as improved digestion, enhanced energy levels, reduced inflammation, and more.

Unlike the keto diet, the ketovore diet follows a slightly different macronutrient ratio. People following this diet consume large amounts of meat, which makes the overall protein macros much higher than that of a regular diet. In turn, this makes a ketovore diet more of a high protein, moderate fat, and low carbohydrate diet.

keto meal green chef salmon.
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Benefits and limitations of a ketovore diet

In terms of restrictiveness, a ketovore diet falls somewhere between a standard ketogenic diet and a carnivore diet. The flexibility this diet provides makes it an ideal option for those who want to achieve the benefits of a carnivore diet but find it to be too restrictive. Many people find the carnivore diet to help treat or manage chronic digestive issues, such as irritatable bowel disease.

Eliminating plants and plant-derived foods from the diet is thought to allow the gut to heal while removing digestive irritants. By consuming a ketovore diet that contains more meat-based foods than plants, those with GI concerns may notice an improvement in symptoms without having to remove plant foods from the diet entirely. Other benefits of a ketovore diet include improved blood sugar control, anti-inflammatory effects, a decrease in food cravings, and better cognitive function.

While the ketovore diet offers many benefits, it’s still important to understand its potential limitations. This diet is high in protein, which means it may not be suitable for people with kidney conditions or who are prone to kidney stones. If you’re thinking of making a change in your diet, it’s important to speak with your doctor to discuss safe practices before starting.

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What foods does a ketovore diet include?

A ketovore diet relies heavily on meat, which can include beef, poultry, seafood, fish, and other types of meat. Other low-carb foods allowed on a ketovore diet include:

  • Eggs
  • Heavy cream and other low-carb dairy
  • Avocados
  • Cheese
  • Coffee
  • Spices
  • Low-carb vegetables (leafy greens, broccoli, etc)
  • Oils
  • Low-carb nuts or seeds (almonds, for example)
Sandwich meat spread
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Should you try the ketovore diet?

When compared to a carnivore diet, the ketovore diet allows for a much wider range of foods to be consumed. For many people, this diet is more sustainable to stick with on a long-term basis. For those already following a keto diet, switching to a ketovore diet is fairly easy. If you’re not yet acquainted with keto eating patterns, you might find that jumping right into ketovore is too restrictive. Remember to start slowly as your body adjusts to running on a new type of fuel and familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of the keto flu. Whenever you make a change like this, it’s always best to consult your doctor about the best diet for you.

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Emily Caldwell
Emily is a full time freelance writer with a special focus on health, fitness, lifestyle, food, and nutrition topics. She…
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