100% Carnivore

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
Plus blubber is not like the fat of land dwelling mammals - it has insanely high carbohydrate content.
I think "insanely is probably a strong word. I couldn't find a lot of information on the carbohydrate content of fresh, raw whale flesh, but I did find this. As far as I could tell, the highest carbohydrate level was found in the skin, and it was about 22% carbohydrate by calories. I think part of the reason that whale meat/blubber glycogen content was hard to track down is that it breaks down pretty quickly once the animal dies (even in a cold environment), but I could be wrong. So, while they were certainly not eating a "zero carb" diet, it was definitely meat based and very low-carb. Even when they could have potentially traded for other foods, it would have created a higher carb "window" for a few weeks/months within the year.

If anyone has any higher quality data about marine mammal carb content, I would certainly be interested.

100% modern meat diet really is an experiment with a diet that has no natural analog,
I don't disagree, but I would say that a long term 100% meat diet has no natural analog. A 90-100% meat diet for 3-6 months at a time has a variety of natural analogs. The question (which I am yet to develop a strong opinion on) is whether or not 100% meat is a good way to go for months/years at a time.
I would agree with what @ali brought up, and have been skeptical for a while of the multi-decade sustainability of a keto diet. Fundamentally, ketosis is a starvation strategy, and would typically be self-limiting in most situations. You either find food and stop starving, or you die. There are a few more specific comments I could make, but that's the core issue. I do think it's a good idea to dip in and out of ketosis on a regular basis (as we see with IF, carnivore, and a cyclic keto diet), but 100% keto 100% of the time might not be ideal. Unless you're using it to treat epilepsy or a specific metabolic disorder, in which case being 100% keto is probably healthier than seizures and death.

Stefansson had to add a bunch of fat to his diet compared to what the Inuit were consuming - making it more of a modern Keto diet. He couldn't hack the high protein and didn't have the capacity for gluconeogenesis the Inuit possessed.
Very true. That being said, he still seemed to do well on his (admittedly bastardized) version of the Inuit diet. If we do have a "minimum necessary dose" of carbohydrate for long term health, it's very likely that we can make it from protein, regardless of any exceptional degree of liver function (of course, that begs the question, why?). From a macronutrient standpoint, I find it unlikely that we would develop any issues, assuming we don't intentionally restrict protein or fat.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
I think "insanely is probably a strong word. I couldn't find a lot of information on the carbohydrate content of fresh, raw whale flesh, but I did find this. As far as I could tell, the highest carbohydrate level was found in the skin, and it was about 22% carbohydrate by calories.
If anyone has any higher quality data about marine mammal carb content, I would certainly be interested.
The % values I found for some of the blubber were as high as mid 30s%. If someone thought the content was zero, 30% is pretty crazy, that's a reasonable macro % for a mixed diet let alone one for what is commonly thought of as just fat - I know I was surprised. They need this as they go hardcore glycolytic on long dives for energy, using very little oxygen.

The glycogen in the muscles does degrade fairly rapidly but only at warmer temps, the colder it stays, the longer it sticks around. The methods of preserving the meat also can preserve a lot of this for longer than anything you'll find at the butcher shop. IDK how long the carbs stick around in the blubber.


Very true. That being said, he still seemed to do well on his (admittedly bastardized) version of the Inuit diet. If we do have a "minimum necessary dose" of carbohydrate for long term health, it's very likely that we can make it from protein, regardless of any exceptional degree of liver function (of course, that begs the question, why?). From a macronutrient standpoint, I find it unlikely that we would develop any issues, assuming we don't intentionally restrict protein or fat.
I think adaptation speaks for itself in this case that carbs are something the body is preferentially designed to run on for a good bit of energy needs. Carbs are relatively abundant in nature, fats and protein are a relatively precious resource by comparison. The Inuit self selected for larger liver/higher gluconeogenesis capacity. Stefannson literally couldn't digest that high a % of lean meat without becoming ill. I'm curious how many people on 100% meat diets are definitively not Keto.
 
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North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
As a last thought re Stefannson, on his diet his insulin response was terrible, while the Inuit had no problem even with large amounts of carbs.
There is no doubt we are designed to go into ketosis from time to time. There are no examples in history (that we are aware of) and no contemporary examples of using it full time. The tolerance rate when it was used for seizure control left a lot to be desired.
Its great that it can and does work, and if necessary I suspect most folks could use it for many years if death was the alternative. I have an instinctive negative reaction to long term use of it for "recreational" purposes, but again if it works and is tolerated that's pretty neat.
 

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
If someone thought the content was zero, 30% is pretty crazy, that's a reasonable macro % for a mixed diet let alone one for what is commonly thought of as just fat - I know I was surprised.
30+% is pretty high, but the carb containing food isn't going to be the entire diet, so really we're looking at that as maximum carb intake during most of the year, with average being much lower. From what I've seen, most of the the glycogen in beef (>80%) is gone after 48 hours, even when it's refrigerated. That being said, a fraction of a lot of glycogen is still a fair amount of glycogen. Whale glycogen breakdown may also be a slightly different process, so my ignorance in the field of whale-ology is a bit of a limiting factor.

I'm curious how many people on 100% meat diets are definitively not Keto.
While I don't know for sure (I don't have a meter), I very strongly doubt I'm in ketosis most of the time. I eat eggs and cheese as well, so I don't know how well that applies. Even just eating fatty animal products, I don't think most people spend a lot of time in ketosis unless they purposely add supplemental fat and keep their protein moderate. It could just be that the better you are at gluconeogenisis, the less time you spend in ketosis. I'm not sure if that study has been done.

There is no doubt we are designed to go into ketosis from time to time. There are no examples in history (that we are aware of) and no contemporary examples of using it full time.
With so much of this stuff, we're just waiting on the long term data. People did well on diet X for 10 years, but what about 50 years? What about cradle to the grave? If it makes me operate better, does that mean it's healthy? Will it always make me operate better, or will the wheels fall off at some point? So many questions. So little data. There's a lot of smart people with good ideas, but there's a few too many being promoted as messiahs and gospel. Tricky stuff.
 

Al Ciampa

Level 8 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I very strongly doubt I'm in ketosis most of the time.
This might be part of the problem here. However a thread titled, “100% Carnivore”, grew synonymous with ketogenic eating, it it incorrect.

“Keto” is a boxed term that the internet likely coined which, for all practical purposes, means “controlled carbohydrate eating”. A true therapeutical ketogenic diet is very low in both carbohydrates and proteins. You have to go extremely far out of your way to truly eat Keto.

You are not constantly in a state of nutritional ketosis, meaning blood levels of ketones are above baseline but below 5mmol/l (if I recall), eating carnivore unless your are fasted.

With respect to applicability, who cares how humans survive above the arctic circle? I’d wager that their physiology is markedly different from lower latitude dwellers. If not just in BAT content alone.

For everyone who is truly concerned for the long-term health of their fellow Internet forum members, a controlled carbohydrate diet—whether carnivorous or not—is extremely therapeutic for a great many people with deranged metabolisms and/or systemic insulin resistance.

If you’ve never experienced either, you might want to simply watch how this thread unfolds without creating unnecessary doubt in those tenuous beginners by participating in a empty debate. On the other hand—actually more of an unnecessary disclaimer—I’d caution those using these an eating style such as this to monitor their progress and be ready to adapt if things begin to go south.

“Unnecessary disclaimer” because anyone who begins a restricted diet protocol in the first place is doing so to escape feeling poorly, and once righted through dietary change, does not stay the course in the face of once again, feeling poorly.

The bottom line is, if your metabolism requires it, there is enough high-quality and long-term positive research into a “properly executed” controlled-carbohydrate eating style to warrant public use. Moreover, if you feel better, these sensations are not lying to you.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
With respect to applicability, who cares how humans survive above the arctic circle? I’d wager that their physiology is markedly different from lower latitude dwellers. If not just in BAT content alone.
Another factor to ponder is the nature of food production and harvest methods leading to all sorts of off label ingredients in our food. There is an increase in colon cancer and seems to be an increase in autoimmune disorders of every sort.

This could lead to a lot of speculation in different directions - to me it means whatever diet one chooses, include variety.
 

Al Ciampa

Level 8 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Another factor to ponder is the nature of food production and harvest methods leading to all sorts of off label ingredients in our food. There is an increase in colon cancer and seems to be an increase in autoimmune disorders of every sort.

This could lead to a lot of speculation in different directions - to me it means whatever diet one chooses, include variety.
I honestly thought that we were all already on the same page as to food quality and sourcing. My fault for making assumptions.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
I honestly thought that we were all already on the same page as to food quality and sourcing. My fault for making assumptions.
Well, the title of the thread is 100% carnivore, not reduced carb or low carb. While the two are functionally similar, there is a bit of difference in how it will play out.

I can imagine it gets difficult to economically source a lot of unprocessed meat, and to maintain variety. I have enough trouble on a roughly even mix of macros, limited more by imagination and habit than availability. 100% meat is limited by definition

My personal thought on a lot of the digestive woes that seem to be afflicting larger percentages of the population is that too much processed food is being eaten but also too much of the same foods day in and day out. While it is nice to be able to tweak macros to sidestep metabolic illness, it would be better to know why so many are developing problems in the first place, and why CRC rates are increasing in the younger generation. Hard to imagine it has nothing to do with what we're eating, but seeing as we are bathed in EMF, chemicals and pesticides, it may very well have noting to do with the macros or stated nutritional content.

But this isn't really an advocacy thread one way or the other (or at least it didn't start out as one), just a general conversation abut the subject. It makes a certain amount of sense to discuss high Arctic culture and adaptations (the only known culture to subsist on anything close to the diet being discussed), but also to compare/contrast what's known of ancestral populations at every latitude as well as contemporary dietary research - such as it is.
 

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
I can imagine it gets difficult to economically source a lot of unprocessed meat
Certainly, if everyone opted for a meat-heavy diet, but that is unlikely. It's also a local/national issue as well. It's much more economical to be a carnivore in the US (and environmentally friendly, if that's a thing that matters to you) than in Sub-Saharan Africa. It's simply a matter of what resources are available. Our meat production efficiency is just about the best in the world.

too much processed food is being eaten but also too much of the same foods day in and day out.
I don't know if I totally agree with this. I do agree that eating the same food all the time can be an issue, but only if the food itself is not good. The amount of variety that we have is a relatively new thing. Prior to regular international trade practices, dietary variety was a seasonal phenomenon, not a weekly one. Someone eating a "varied" diet today will see more different foods in a week than most people used to see in a year. Even current studies of long-lived individuals and populations show that most folks who live a long time eat a lot of the same stuff. I don't think there's anything wrong with eating lots of different things, and maybe it's kind of cool that I have the option to have a half gallon fruit smoothie in December, but I certainly don't think it's a prerequisite for health.
I do agree that certain foods that were historically consumed in large amounts are not as viable anymore due to pollution, but I think those cases are rarer than people make them out to be. Fish that are high up on the food chain acquire enough toxins that I wouldn't want to make tuna or shark a staple food. We could also argue that certain staple plants, like wheat and corn, are not what they used to be.
While we are certainly being exposed to more toxins than ever, I think it's good to remind ourselves that a healthy human body is capable of detoxifying phenomenally high amounts of crap. Look at how long it takes for a hardcore smoker, alcoholic, or drug user to really get sick. When I realized how old addicts usually are before they see diagnosable issues, compared to how much poison they take in, it shifted my perspective about how much I need to worry about mild toxic accumulations. I don't think I'm risking too much by eating animal fat that may be slightly contaminated by fat-soluble pesticides that my food ate (also, my food can detox itself with its own liver and kidneys, so it's not like it's just a toxin bank). Now, if I'm hamstringing my liver with high-dose fructose via Mountain Dew, then maybe I should be a little more concerned about what fertilizers were used on my micro-greens superfood salad mix ;)

it would be better to know why so many are developing problems in the first place, and why CRC rates are increasing in the younger generation. Hard to imagine it has nothing to do with what we're eating, but seeing as we are bathed in EMF, chemicals and pesticides
This has nothing to do with carnivory, but I think epigenetics plays a big part in this. As each generation is exposed to risk factors for cancers, metabolic issues, and inflammation, the next generation becomes more susceptible to those very issues. If that's correct, then historical evidence is even less useful (though certainly not useless), and the means of achieving optimal health is even more of moving target than we think it is.
Welcome to the s*%$storm, here's you food journal and your blood draw schedule. Please leave your dogma at the door ROFLROFL
I believe you've pointed this out before, but much of it has to come down to subjective experience.
 

ali

Level 7 Valued Member
Merry xmas all. Enjoy some food, meat with or without lovely roast potatoes cooked in goose fat, brussel sprouts sauted in garlic, roast carrots drizzled with maple syrup and cauliflower cheese.
My vegan daughter has returned so we're having brussel sprouts with brussels sprouts. My wife and I are going to secretly tuck in a xmas dinner a couple days later. Live and let live.
Enjoy the festivities.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Certainly, if everyone opted for a meat-heavy diet, but that is unlikely. It's also a local/national issue as well. It's much more economical to be a carnivore in the US (and environmentally friendly, if that's a thing that matters to you) than in Sub-Saharan Africa. It's simply a matter of what resources are available. Our meat production efficiency is just about the best in the world.


I don't know if I totally agree with this. I do agree that eating the same food all the time can be an issue, but only if the food itself is not good. The amount of variety that we have is a relatively new thing. Prior to regular international trade practices, dietary variety was a seasonal phenomenon, not a weekly one. Someone eating a "varied" diet today will see more different foods in a week than most people used to see in a year. Even current studies of long-lived individuals and populations show that most folks who live a long time eat a lot of the same stuff. I don't think there's anything wrong with eating lots of different things, and maybe it's kind of cool that I have the option to have a half gallon fruit smoothie in December, but I certainly don't think it's a prerequisite for health.
I do agree that certain foods that were historically consumed in large amounts are not as viable anymore due to pollution, but I think those cases are rarer than people make them out to be. Fish that are high up on the food chain acquire enough toxins that I wouldn't want to make tuna or shark a staple food. We could also argue that certain staple plants, like wheat and corn, are not what they used to be.
While we are certainly being exposed to more toxins than ever, I think it's good to remind ourselves that a healthy human body is capable of detoxifying phenomenally high amounts of crap. Look at how long it takes for a hardcore smoker, alcoholic, or drug user to really get sick. When I realized how old addicts usually are before they see diagnosable issues, compared to how much poison they take in, it shifted my perspective about how much I need to worry about mild toxic accumulations. I don't think I'm risking too much by eating animal fat that may be slightly contaminated by fat-soluble pesticides that my food ate (also, my food can detox itself with its own liver and kidneys, so it's not like it's just a toxin bank). Now, if I'm hamstringing my liver with high-dose fructose via Mountain Dew, then maybe I should be a little more concerned about what fertilizers were used on my micro-greens superfood salad mix ;)


This has nothing to do with carnivory, but I think epigenetics plays a big part in this. As each generation is exposed to risk factors for cancers, metabolic issues, and inflammation, the next generation becomes more susceptible to those very issues. If that's correct, then historical evidence is even less useful (though certainly not useless), and the means of achieving optimal health is even more of moving target than we think it is.
Welcome to the s*%$storm, here's you food journal and your blood draw schedule. Please leave your dogma at the door ROFLROFL
I believe you've pointed this out before, but much of it has to come down to subjective experience.

I don't believe the increase in digestive woes or cancer can be linked to meat consumption, but it also cannot be definitively linked to sugar, fat, etc etc.

My working hypothesis is that NO food I eat is 100% benign. I don't believe this is the natural state of things. Certainly you are superficially correct re food variety in ancestral populations - although they ate a lot more from their environment than we would even think to do. Check out any book on the use of local flora by the native inhabitants for food and medicine and we overlook a mountain of potential variety that puts our local produce section to shame.

So, something in the food and or water is making increasing numbers of us ill, but science so far has no smoking gun. Herbicides and pesticides are high on the list though, and they are present in all produce, grains, and as a consequence via feed, in the farmed animals we eat. Other chemicals are so ubiquitous they are present in wild game and farmed plants and animals from one pole to the other. I don't know how well our systems are at eliminating these manmade substances and at what metabolic cost - they are nothing like simple alcohol metabolism.

This is where I shoot for more variety, as every plant and animal is liable to have a different vector of toxin accumulation/exposure. I don't know what the risk factors are and science is not revealing anything but more questions. Based on my hypothesis, every bite I take has something costly associated with it along with providing me necessary nutrition. According to GAS I might go a long time and then the response just collapses, so I spread it around in an attempt to not overload any specific aspect.

Is possible I'm whipping up some synergistic combinations that are more toxic than they might be separately, but I doubt it. I still feel most folks get too little variety compared to ancestral populations and suspect the pesticide load associated with this is a contributing factor.

Really just speculation, but I don't see how it could be anything but beneficial to get more variety.
 

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
As is tradition, I'm going to bump this thread on more time, just when you all thought it had quieted down for a bit.

Reason being, Santa read my letter and must have thought I haven't made too much of an a#@ out of myself, so I got one of those Keto Mojo monitors. I had to take some early measurements, because I'm an excitable nerd, but I don't plan on doing anything more in depth for a few more weeks/months, when I feel like doing the CGM, Keto Mojo, and probably HRV all at once. The keto strips are a buck each, so I really only want to use them when I can see as much of the big picture as possible.

"Nutritional ketosis" ranges from 0.5 mmol-3.0 mmol (which are kind of arbitrary numbers), but obviously there's a little bit of wiggle room from 0-0.4 where you're making ketones, but not technically in ketosis. I've heard some people starting to say that many of the benefits of ketosis actually start to happen soon after you start producing ketones in larger volumes, so just having ketones that you can measure might be just fine, nutritional ketosis or not. This is still an area of research.

I've used six strips so far.
  1. I checked my blood on Christmas day right after I got it, which was in the early afternoon, about 5 or 6 hours after breakfast. I was at 0.4 mmol
  2. I checked today at 1 in the afternoon, about 4 or 5 hours after breakfast, and right before I worked out. I was at 0.2 mmol (and blood glucose was at 91 mg/dl, because why not use both types of strips that came with the thing?).
  3. I checked at 1:45, directly post-training. My ketones were "Lo" (which means less than 0.2, and therefore not measurable by the device), and my glucose was 98 mg/dl. Must have sucked all them ketones out of the blood and done used 'em up.
  4. I checked at 2:15, 30 minutes post-workout, right as I was starting to eat some burgers. My ketones were back at 0.2, and my glucose was at 100 mg/dl.
  5. I checked at 2:45, one hour post-workout and 30 minutes post-meal. My ketones were 0.6 mmol and my glucose was at 92 mg/dl.
  6. I checked at 3:30, 105 minutes pst-workout and 75 minutes post-meal. My ketones were 1.0 mmol and my glucose was 90 mg/dl.
I'm not really going to make much in the way of assumptions based off of just this data. It's just not very good data unless it's repeatable, or at least the context around it is well understood. In other words, I have no idea if this is a normal ketone response to exercise and food or not. And which of the two things caused what response. In order to get a clearer understanding of what's going on, I flat out need a lot more data points.

The main reason I posted this was because I think it illustrates what Al and I were saying earlier. That is, I am not remaining in ketosis (and certainly not strict nutritional ketosis) on a carnivore diet, but I am in state where I can dip into and out of ketosis fairly easily based on different stimuli. Exactly what those stimuli are and the degree to which they effect my blood ketones is something that's going to have to be sussed out some other time.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
I got one of those Keto Mojo monitors.
Glucometer

I got one of these almost a year ago. That because someone told me that diet drinks elevated blood glucose.

Some article stated it did some it didn't. So, I got it and found out the diet drinks don't affect my blood glucose on my Ketogenic Diet.

My 2 hour post reading is usually around 94; sometimes as low as 84 and as high as 109.

For someone unfamiliar with what the blood glucose number means, a 2 hour post meal reading needs to be under 140.

My fasting blood glucose is around 74.

Post Workout Glucose Reading

As I am sure you know, it appear blood glucose level are elevated, even on a Ketogenic Diet, after training; another topic for another time. That probably occurs on a Carnivore, any diet for that matter.

https://diathrive.com/

I shopped and found this Glucometer to be reasonably priced. I purchased the package where I get the meter, 100 lancets, 100 test strips, for a three month supply. The monthly cost is $8.00.

I infrequently check my blood glucose. So, my monthly plan works for me.

I found the company easy to work with. They send you a Newletter with some interesting information about every month.

Keto Mojo

I got this a few months ago. Since the strips are a dollar each, as you stated, I take infrequent readings.

My reading is between .9 and 1.5 mmol/l. So, I am constantly in "The Zone".

My wife took her reading after a 16 hour fast. She posted .6 mmol/l; light ketosis.

For someone unfamiliar with what the ketone number means...

"Nutritional ketosis" ranges from 0.5 mmol-3.0 mmol (which are kind of arbitrary numbers), but obviously there's a little bit of wiggle room from 0-0.4 where you're making ketones,
1.0 - 1.5 mmol/l For Training

With that in mind Thomas Delauer, who post fitness videos. stated that he believes the optimal level for those training on the Ketogenic Diet is 1.0 - 1.5 mmol/l; which mine fall into.

Delauer believe that you are taking in enough fat to maintain ketosis and burning more body fat for fuel. A higher ketone level in the 2.0 to 3.0 range, indicating that you are taking more fat than you need; utilizing the tat that you are taking in more so for fuel than your own body fat.

That is Delauer's premise; no data to support it. With that in mind, here some...

Personal Anecdotal Data

After being diagnosed with a Metabolic Condition, I did what any normal, logical individual would do. I freaked out, went on a Intermittent Fasting Ketogenic Diet to try improve or maintain my situation.

I lost 17 lbs in 35 days (losing .48 lb per day). I then calmed down and grew part of my brain back.

I decided to gain the weight back on the Ketogenic Diet. Since I was limited on protein and carbohydrate intake, that meant fat was my only option; bumping my fat intake up around 1,000 a day.

I gained back most of the 17 lbs of weight, some of the weight was body fat.

So, Delauer's premise might be correct.

I am not remaining in ketosis (and certainly not strict nutritional ketosis) on a carnivore diet, ...
Gluconeogenesis

As you reminded me in our discussion on Dr Shawn Baker's Joe Rogan interview on the Carnivore Diet; when too high a percentage of protein is consumed and the fat percentage is too low, the body automatically will convert protein into glucose; Gluconeogenesis.

In the few individual that I have worked with on the Ketogenic Diet, the majority are NOT on the Ketogenic Diet, are not in ketosis and never will be.

One of the main reason for their failure is consuming too much protein and not enough fat.

Kenny Croxdale
 
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