Carnivore Diet VS Keto Diet (For Weight Loss) – What’s The Difference?

Let's talk about Carnivore Diet VS Keto Diet for weight loss.

What's the difference between the two dietary approaches?

Also – which one is better for losing weight, since this is their goal?

Let's do a side-by-side comparison in this article!

Note: This article includes references and studies on Carnivore Diet and Keto Diet.

Carnivore Diet VS Keto Diet (In A Nutshell)

All in all, Keto Diet seems to be a bit better in terms of weight loss.

Our team has focused on the main aspects of these 2 diets when comparing them:

  • Weight Loss Results
  • Ease of Use
  • Safety
  • Versatility
  • Cost

And overall, the Keto Diet won more points in the end.

However, the 2 diets received an equal grade in a lot of chapters, which proves they aren't very far off from each other.

Now – the Keto Diet is more versatile and slightly less costly.

That's because it recommends different diet plans (in terms of net carbo distributions).

These plans depend on the weight loss goals of each person.

In addition, it's less expensive (in terms of foods permitted).

It more variety in its food choices, so you won't be spending a lot on animal products.

But as you notice, I said it's only “slightly less costly” because getting a personalized plan is a little pricey as well.

So in reality, there's not a big difference in terms of spending money between both diets.

The Carnivore Diet does seem easier to follow, though:

  1. You can eat until you're full.
  2. Obviously, you have to stick to the allowed foods.
  3. You  don't need write down the time/number of carbs.

So basically – eat whenever you're hungry and that's about it.

But at the end of the day, none of these 2 dietary approaches are balanced in any way.

In the long run, both can cause serious complications.

So if you want to lose weight – follow a balanced diet, exercise regularly and focus on healthy foods.

If you need a simpler option, I would advise you to try the top meal delivery program.

Overall – you can still try both Keto or Carnivore diets (at your own risk).

But I personally don't believe they're worth trying at all.



#1 – Results – DRAW

Firstly, both Carnivore Diet and Keto Diet are popular when it comes to weight loss.

However – they have different approaches and restrictions.

So in this chapter, we're going to talk about each diet's features:

  • claimed benefits
  • efficacy for weight loss
  • possible results

Now – these two dietary regimens promote low-carb lifestyles.

So both dietary approaches are effective in terms of supporting weight loss.

1. Carnivore Diet

Based on my article about the Carnivore Diet, here are its potential benefits for the body:

  • helps prevent obesity and related complications [1]
  • decreases digestive problems such as bloating, gas and constipation
  • improves blood pressure and inflammation
  • reduces the risk of diabetes or high blood sugar levels [2]
  • regulates cholesterol and triglyceride levels [3]
  • boosts energy levels and mental focus
  • promotes satiety and a better appetite management [4]

Again – the Carnivore Diet strictly implements the consumption of animal-based products.

So you would completely avoid plant-based foods high in carbohydrates.

Now – once you give up carbs consumption, losing weight is the first thing you will see.

This includes related problems like obesity, high cholesterol levels and diabetes.

But the Carnivore Diet has very limited studies behind.

So don't expect too much when it comes to reaping all of its claimed benefits.

Its main target right now is to only help you lose weight [5].

It actually restricts your carb intake in order to send your body into the ketosis state.

So you could definitely notice that your excess fats start to disappear.

2. Keto Diet

Let's now move on to Keto Diet, which has different versions.

But we're going to focus on its most basic approach.

So now – here are some of the claimed benefits of this regimen:

  • losing and managing weight [6]
  • regulating appetite and hunger
  • increasing energy levels
  • normalizing blood sugar and cholesterol levels
  • improving carb-related inflammation
  • helping people with diabetes and prediabetes [7]
  • reducing seizures in epileptic people [8]

Firstly – the Keto Diet is known to be helpful for people with epilepsy.

However, it's only epilepsy – Keto connection that has several studies behind it.

Also – this diet is popular for people who want to lose weight and maintain it low.

That's because it's also a low-carb diet (just like the Carnivore Diet).

We all know that cutting carbs is a quick way to lose extra pounds.

The mechanism behind is also ketosis, which converts stored fats into energy [9].

Once that happens, you start to lose weight (just like the diet promises).

However – there's still a lot of debate about its other benefits, since it's not really considered a balanced diet.


Overall – both Carnivore Diet and Keto Diet can support weight loss.

The main reason is the carbs restrictions that both diets and based on.

So in terms of losing weight ONLY, these two approaches are effective.

But again, they are not sustainable in the long run, so potential issues are inevitable.



#2 – Safety – DRAW

These 2 diets are pretty similar from this point of view.

Again – both diets are low in carbohydrates and not too sustainable.

So speaking about their safety, none of them look great.

1. Carnivore Diet

Now – the Carnivore Diet requires the consumption of protein, fats, and minimal carbs.

So if you think about it, focusing on those foods can cause health problems.

Let me share with you some potential side effects of this dietary approach:

  • nutrient deficiencies [10]
  • increased risk of type 2 diabetes [11]
  • imbalances in the gut bacteria
  • high risk of causing heart disease [12]
  • digestive problems (constipation, diarrhea and bloating) [13]
  • obesity and high cholesterol [14]
  • cancer and  other chronic diseases
  • mental health issues

In addition, you can read our article about Carnivore Diet's top side effects.

This diet is also believed (by some) to cause cancer, cholesterol and heart problems.

However, there are no real proofs, so it's better to ignore these rumours yet.

Now – there are several reasons for the problems above:

  • elimination of nutrient-dense food groups
  • high intake of saturated fats and meats

As you can see, the factors can have a huge impact on your health.

Not to mention the diet's extreme restrictions that can affect your mental health.

So are the side effects of this regimen worth it?

I would say they're not…

2. Keto Diet

Usually, the possible side effects caused by the Keto Diet appear in the first phase.

However – since some of them can develop into long-term complications.

So if you're curious, here are the potential negative effects of this dietary approach:

  • low energy or fatigue [15]
  • difficulties in sleeping and headache
  • digestion issues (diarrhea, constipation and bad breath)
  • increased cravings/inconsistent appetite
  • deficiency in vital nutrients [16]
  • increased risk of kidney stones and fatty liver [17]
  • heart and cholesterol levels issues [18]
  • memory problems and social isolation

Firstly – the first four symptoms above are called “Keto Flu.”

Usually, it happens at the beginning of this diet, since your body needs to adjust to it [19].

But what about the other adverse reactions?

Well – the main culprit behind them is the lack of enough nutrient-dense food sources.

Also, they can arise due to the consumption of foods with s high protein and fat content.


Overall – there are a lot of similarities between the Carnivore Diet and the Keto Diet's safety.

I'm talking about the majority of their side effects and the culprits behind them.

Well – this only means that none of these diets are sustainable.

So that's why they are likely to cause various health problems.



#3 – Ease Of Use – WINNER: Carnivore Diet

Now, we're going to compare the Carnivore Diet and the Keto Diet's terms of use.

So basically – we will look at the following details:

  • foods allowed
  • guidelines need to be followed
  • eating schedule

As early as now, the Carnivore Diet has fewer restrictions.

So let's discuss further the differences between these dietary patterns.

1. Carnivore Diet

In terms of ease of use, here are the basic things you need to know about the Carnivore Diet [20]:

  • you should focus on consuming high-fat, moderate protein and very low-carb foods
  • foods allowed are only animal-based (meat, fish, seafood, eggs and dairy products)
  • all plant-based foods are eliminated
  • there are no exact guidelines when it comes to the amount of daily food
  • eating schedule is not really specified
  • most of the time, fasting is not needed (but some still do fast)
  • you can still eat out if you can find the permitted foods

Now – there are different versions of the Carnivore Diet.

But almost all of them require that you can eat whenever you're hungry.

Also – the amount of food depends on your body's activity.

2. Keto Diet

On the other hand, the Keto Diet has a different approach [21]:

  • food revolves around protein, healthy fats and a limited amount of carbs
  • meat, seafood, fish, high-fat dairy, eggs, healthy fats, nuts and seeds are all allowed
  • low carbohydrate vegetables are also allowed
  • the amount of food per serving depends on your goals
  • fasting is not present in most versions of this diet
  • eating out can be challenging, since you need to know the number of calories in each food

In addition, an eating schedule is not really the highlight of the Keto Diet.

It mostly focuses on the distribution of carbs in your daily meal.

Also – the number of carbs per day depends on your weight loss goals.

Some versions strictly implement 20 grams of net carbohydrates (usually for those who want to lose weight).

Meanwhile, those who want to maintain their  weight can go as high as 100 grams (net carbohydrates).


To sum it up, the Carnivore Diet is easier to follow and more convenient.

But that is only if you compare it to the Keto Diet.

That's because the latter requires more effort and focus counting the net carbohydrates.

So overall – the Carnivore Diet has an advantage in this chapter.



#4 – Versatility – WINNER: Keto Diet

We're now going to focus on the versatility of these 2 diets.

To be specific, here are the aspects we are going to look into:

  • the kind of people who can follow the diet
  • the suitable ages for the diet
  • its difficulty for people with certain conditions

But so far, the Keto Diet is more versatile and flexible (depending on a person's goal/health state).

So let's tackle the comparisons and contrasts of these dietary approaches.

1. Carnivore Diet

Generally – only certain types of people should follow the Carnivore Diet:

  • not recommended for children or teenagers (17 years old and below)
  • healthy adults (18+ years old) can follow it for a short period

Again – the diet is not balanced and a lot of nutrients are eliminated.

So that's why it's not recommended for younger people (who are in the growth phase).

Their bodies require a wider variety of nutrients for development, so it makes sense.

Lastly, though healthy adults can try the diet, it's not recommended to follow for the long term.

It can cause a lot of side effects, due to the high consumption of animal products.

Now – the Carnivore Diet is also not recommended for people with the several health conditions [22]:

  • digestive problems (IBS)
  • history of disordered eating
  • liver or kidney diseases
  • cancer and cardiovascular issues

Again, excess intake of animal-based products can exacerbate these health issues.

So overall – you should be a healthy adult in order to be able to try the regimen.

Otherwise, you shouldn't try it at all.

2. Keto Diet

Meanwhile – let's look at the people who can try the Keto Diet:

  • adults that are healthy with no underlying conditions
  • children and adolescents (some modified versions)
  • pregnant and breastfeeding women (different versions)
  • people with epilepsy, metabolic syndrome and high blood sugar levels

Again – there are different versions of the Keto Diet.

Most of them revolve around the number of net carbohydrates included in daily meals.

For example – the Atkins Diet offers several plans to cater to the needs of the people.

However, not all types of Keto Diet are suitable for children, adolescents, and pregnant/breastfeeding women.

Since it's not a balanced diet, there's a risk of inadequate nutrient intake.

With that, let's also mention the individuals with health conditions that can be affected by the diet [23]:

  • a history of pancreatitis
  • gallbladder or liver diseases
  • thyroid problems
  • kidney stones

Besides the lack of balance in essential nutrients, the Keto Flu can also add stress on existing health conditions.

So even if there are special plan, the diet is still not for everyone.

But even if a person can try it, the regimen should only be a short-term strategy only.

As I mentioned previously, you can still find safer ways to shed excess pounds.


To summarize, the Carnivore Diet and Keto Diet require a low carbohydrate intake.

Also – these dietary patterns are known to promote weight loss.

However, there are different factors to consider before trying any of them.

But if you're only looking at the flexibility of the diet, I would say that the Keto Diet has an edge.

Again – it offers plans with varying daily net carbs to address people's weight loss goals.



#5 – Cost – WINNER: Keto Diet

Lastly – let's compare the cost between the two dietary regimens.

We're going to see if the Carnivore Diet is more budget-friendly than the Keto Diet (or vice versa).

But to give you a quick answer, the Keto Diet is more advantageous at this chapter.

1. Carnivore Diet

Let's talk about the different factors related to the Carnivore Diet:

  • animal-based products can be expensive (especially high-quality meat cuts)
  • eliminating of a lot of food groups will force you to double your expenses
  • higher intake of animal products is pricey in the long run
  • food allowed in this diet are quite accessible in most cities

In addition, the healthcare costs of the potential risks in this diet can also be expensive.

So overall – the Carnivore Diet might not be suitable for all types of budgets.

In a normal setting, animal-based products are pricier.

That especially if you compare them with vegetables, fruits and other plant-based foods.

But since those are eliminated, this dietary regimen might raise your spending.

2. Keto Diet

On the other hand, let me share the things you need to consider about the Keto Diet:

  • there are other food options, so you can balance your budget
  • you won't spend your money solely on animal products
  • your food choices are more flexible (depending on the plan)
  • a lot of allowed foods are also easy to find
  • getting your personalized plan can be costly

Honestly – the money you save on the Keto Diet is not that significant.

So even if you can buy less expensive foods, getting an individualized diet plan can still be expensive.

In terms of food prices only, this diet has indeed a more budget-friendly approach.

Again – you should also consider the possible side reactions of this regimen.


All in all, the Keto Diet is a little bit less costly.

That's because in some of its versions, some plant-based products are included.

We all know that plant-based foods are less expensive than animal-based products.

However – none of these diets are free from potential side effects.

They can develop into long-term implications, which might require you to spend on medical treatments. 



Final Conclusion

As you can tell by now, the Keto Diet is slightly better than the Carnivore Diet.

However – the differences are not that major and here's why:

  • they have about the same results and risks of side effects
  • Keto Diet is more versatile and it costs a bit less
  • Carnivore Diet is a bit easier to use

Now – the reason why the Keto Diet has an edge is because of its flexibility.

Again, there are more food groups allowed in this regimen.

Also – it has different plans that can suit people's weight loss goals and current health status.

But we also have to admit that not all people are willing to follow a meal plan.

So that's why the Carnivore Diet is considered easier to follow.

You would only have to eat animal-based products whenever you feel hungry.

So there's no need to count your net carbs or strategize on how to distribute them during the day.

But again, none of these diets are sustainable or balanced.

With that, it's still better to stick to safer lifestyle routines to lose weight.


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Written by 

Paula has a background in Chemistry and continues to pursue further studies in it. She loves searching for the best products in the market that will give excellent benefits to the human body and share them with you.

Last updated: May 17, 2023

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