The Proper Human Diet – Keto or Carnivore?

The Proper Human Diet According to Dr. Ken Berry: A Journey Through Keto and Carnivore Eating

In recent years, the narrative surrounding nutrition and diet has taken a radical turn. While traditional advice often revolved around balanced diets from different food groups, some experts are advocating for low-carb, high-fat diets as an alternative to combat obesity and other chronic diseases. One such advocate is Dr. Ken Berry, a family physician with a strong inclination towards a keto and carnivore lifestyle.

What is the Proper Human Diet?

Dr. Berry believes in a “Proper Human Diet” – a way of eating that aligns with our evolutionary biology. In his view, this diet consists primarily of foods high in fats and proteins, with a low or zero intake of carbohydrates. According to Dr. Berry, this diet can aid in weight loss and improve overall health.

The Keto Diet: Not Just a Fad

The Ketogenic, or Keto diet, is a low-carb, high-fat diet that can help shed excess weight. The idea is to push your body into a metabolic state called ketosis, where it burns fat for energy instead of glucose. Dr. Berry believes that when the body switches to this fat-burning mode, it can lead to significant weight loss and improvements in various health markers.

The Carnivore Diet: Back to Basics

A more radical approach that Dr. Berry advocates is the Carnivore Diet, which consists solely of animal products. By removing all plant-based foods, this diet also cuts out most carbs, resulting in a similar metabolic state to the keto diet. While this diet is somewhat controversial, proponents argue it can bring about weight loss, better digestion, and a reduction in inflammation.

The Weight Loss Connection

While individual results can vary, many people following the keto or carnivore diets have reported significant weight loss. Both diets reduce the body’s reliance on glucose, meaning the body burns stored fat for energy. This process, combined with a high satiety level from fats and proteins, can lead to decreased calorie intake and subsequent weight loss.

Now, let’s discuss the six actions you can take today to get started with the “proper human diet”.

Action 1: Reduce Your Carbohydrate Intake

When adopting a keto or carnivore diet, one of the most crucial steps is to reduce your carbohydrate intake significantly. This means giving up many foods that you might currently enjoy, including pasta, bread, pastries, sugary drinks, and even some fruits and vegetables. Carbohydrates, especially the refined and processed types found in many foods today, can lead to spikes in blood sugar and insulin, potentially leading to weight gain and other health issues.

To get started, take a look at your current diet and identify where most of your carbohydrates come from. Next, start eliminating or reducing these foods from your diet gradually. It’s often helpful to focus on whole foods, replacing processed carbohydrates with low-carb veggies, high-quality proteins, and healthy fats.

Action 2: Embrace Fats

A keto or carnivore diet is high in fats, contrary to the low-fat dietary advice we’ve often been given. Dietary fats are not the enemy – they provide essential fatty acids, contribute to cell structure, and aid in the absorption of vitamins. These diets focus on eating healthy fats that can provide energy and keep you feeling satiated longer.

You’ll need to incorporate sources of healthy fats into your meals. These can come from foods like avocados, olive oil, butter, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and fatty cuts of meat. You can also use these fats in cooking – sautéing vegetables in olive oil or butter, for example, or adding a handful of nuts to a salad.

Action 3: Choose Quality Proteins

Protein plays a crucial role in these diets, serving as the building blocks for tissues, cells, and hormones. Both the keto and carnivore diets emphasize high-quality protein sources. Aim for grass-fed meats, which often have a more favorable omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio than grain-fed meats. Wild-caught fish can provide beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, and organic eggs can offer high-quality protein and essential nutrients.

Also, consider variety in your protein sources to get a range of nutrients. This can mean rotating between different types of meat, fish, and poultry, and including organ meats, which are often nutrient-dense.

Action 4: Listen to Your Body

This action may be the most personal, as it relies on understanding your body’s signals for hunger and satiety. These diets can be quite filling due to their high protein and fat content, which can help you naturally reduce your calorie intake.

As you shift to this new way of eating, take the time to tune into your body’s cues. Eat when you feel hungry and stop when you are satisfied, not necessarily when your plate is empty. This mindful eating approach can help regulate your food intake and make your diet more enjoyable.

Action 5: Stay Hydrated and Mind Your Electrolytes

Hydration is crucial, especially when starting a low-carb diet. Your body can shed water and electrolytes as it adjusts to using fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. This could potentially lead to dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance, which might manifest as the “keto flu” – symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.

To counter this, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and also consume foods rich in electrolytes. Sodium, potassium, and magnesium are especially important. Bone broths, lite salt, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and seeds can all contribute to your electrolyte intake. If necessary, consider an electrolyte supplement after consulting with a healthcare provider.

Before beginning any new diet, especially one as restrictive as the carnivore diet, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure it’s appropriate for your health conditions and needs.

In conclusion, Dr. Ken Berry’s Proper Human Diet, encompassing the keto and carnivore lifestyles, offers an alternative perspective on weight loss and health. The potential benefits can be significant, but it’s crucial to approach this way of eating responsibly and in consultation with your healthcare provider.

Some of the Testimonials/Results that people offer after living this “proper human diet” lifestyle for 6 months:

Testimonials from people who have adopted the ketogenic or carnivore way of eating often highlight a range of positive outcomes. Keep in mind, however, that individual experiences can greatly vary, and the following testimonials should be considered anecdotal rather than scientifically proven results.

Weight Loss

Perhaps the most commonly reported benefit of these diets is significant weight loss. Individuals often find that by reducing their carbohydrate intake and replacing it with high-quality fats and proteins, they’re able to shed excess weight that they’ve been struggling to lose through other methods. They often report a decrease in body fat percentage and improvement in body composition.

Improved Energy Levels

Many adopters of the ketogenic or carnivore diet report a marked improvement in their energy levels after an initial adjustment period. By allowing the body to run on ketones rather than glucose, these individuals often experience more sustained energy throughout the day, avoiding the typical “afternoon slump.”

Better Blood Sugar Control

For those with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, these diets can lead to better blood sugar control. This can result in reduced need for medication (under medical supervision), decreased insulin resistance, and improved HbA1c levels.

Reduced Inflammation and Pain

Some individuals, particularly those following a carnivore diet, report reduced inflammation and associated pain, particularly in conditions like arthritis. The theory is that by eliminating potential inflammatory foods (which can vary from person to person but often include grains, legumes, and sugar), they see a decrease in chronic inflammation.

Improved Digestive Health

People with various digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), acid reflux, or bloating sometimes report improvements in their symptoms after adopting these diets. This could be due to the elimination of certain foods that can be harder for some individuals to digest, such as grains and legumes.

Mental Clarity

An unexpected benefit that some people report is improved mental clarity and focus. While the mechanism behind this is still being researched, it could potentially be due to the body and brain using ketones for fuel or reduced blood sugar fluctuations.

Potential Challenges

While many testimonials are positive, it’s also important to remember that these diets can come with challenges. The initial transition to a keto or carnivore diet can lead to ‘keto flu,’ as the body adjusts to burning fat for fuel. Some people also find the diets difficult to adhere to long-term due to their restrictive nature.

Finally, because the long-term effects of these diets are still being researched, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before starting, particularly for those with pre-existing conditions. Regular check-ups and monitoring can ensure that the diet is having the desired effect on weight and health markers without causing unwanted side effects.