I have been on a carnivore diet for over a decade, and I've heard many people asking if it is okay to add fruits to your meal plans.
I went through a lot of peer-reviewed research and worked closely with a friend nutritionist to know the benefits of adding fruits to a carnivore diet.
Here is everything you should know about it.
- Fruits and plant foods may help you satisfy all nutrient demands more easily.
- You can maintain your metabolic flexibility by incorporating fruits into your carnivore diet.
- Avocados, bananas, and apples are among the fruits you can eat on a carnivore diet.
Can You Add Fruit to a Carnivore Diet?
Yes, you can add fruit to a carnivore diet. A meat-and-fruit diet is primarily a carnivore diet with some fruit added in moderation.
The carnivore diet is a zero-carb diet that focuses solely on meat. It is a type of elimination diet that restricts eating other foods except for meat.
This diet may result in several beneficial outcomes, including weight loss, improved mental clarity, and enhanced energy.
The rest of this piece will explain why adding fruits to a carnivore diet might be helpful, how carnivore dieters can include fruit in their diet, and who ought to avoid fruits entirely.
Health Benefits of Fruits for Carnivores
Carnivore diet affects your health in several aspects:
1. Fruit Anti-Nutrients as Dietary Acute Stressors
A modest amount of fruits can subject your body to a high level of plant anti-nutrients. When consumed, anti-nutrients in plant-based diets promote inflammation in the body .
To alleviate inflammation, your body produces its antioxidant known as glutathione . Your body will become accustomed to such hormesis stress and become stronger with time.
2. Fruits May Help You Satisfy Nutrient Requirements More Easily
Even though a carnivore diet will supply you with all the nutrients your system requires, adding a modest amount of fruits might help some individuals reach their nutritional needs more easily.
3. Vitamin C is an Excellent Example
While vitamin C is abundant in many plant-based food groups, it is quite low in animal-sourced foods.
A 100 g portion of grain-fed steak has just 1.6 mg, but an orange contains 53 mg of vitamin C .
Since your vitamin C requirement is relatively lower on the carnivore diet than on the omnivore diet, you may still obtain enough vitamin C to avoid scurvy (lack of vitamin C).
4. Folate is Yet Another Example
The carnivore diet's best folate sources are liver and eggs, while lean meat has relatively little folate .
For instance, 100 g of beef liver contains 290 mcg of folate (representing 72% of the RDA), but 100 g of ground beef contains only 6 mcg of folate (representing 1% of the RDA) .
If you don't consume organ meats daily, including fruits occasionally in your diet may assist. Avocados, oranges, papayas, strawberries, blackberries, and bananas are all high in folate.
For instance, 100 g of avocado flesh contains 89 mcg of folate (representing 22% of the RDA), whereas 100 g of papayas have 38 mcg of folate (representing 10% of the RDA)  .
5. Fruits and Vegetables Might Assist You in Maintaining Metabolic Flexibility
If you've been eating meat for a considerable time, a sudden shift from animal foods to a plant-based diet will likely cause some distress.
However, you may sustain your metabolic flexibility by including a small number of seasonal plant food in your diet several times per week .
If you had to rely solely on muscle meat to survive, you would fare a bit better than those who had previously maintained a strictly vegan diet.
Our forefathers used red meat and plant-based foods as survival food, and I feel it is a good idea to treat vegetables and fruits similarly.
Fruits to Choose and Avoid on Only-Meat Diet
Certain fruits are favorable to the meat diet, while some aren't.
Fruits to Include
Below is a list of fruits you should include in your eating habits since they are abundant in essential nutrients and offer a variety of health benefits.
- Avocados: They are high in vitamins E, C, K, and B6 and vital elements like potassium, folate, and magnesium . Avocados are acceptable in the diet since they are fruit and not vegetables.
- Apples: They are very nutritious and high in antioxidants and fiber. They improve mental health and help lose weight .
- Bananas: They are high in essential nutrients and can help with blood glucose levels, intestinal health, and losing weight. Bananas provide much-required potassium for your carnivorous diet .
- Peaches: They offer several health advantages ranging from a stronger immune response to reduced inflammation .
- Papayas: They are high in antioxidants and can help prevent heart disease problems. They also contain vitamins A and C .
Fruits to Avoid
Certain fruits in your carnivore diet affect your health and may get you out of ketosis.
- Raspberries, elderberries, and black currants should be avoided on a meat diet since they have anti-nutrients like oxalates and salicylate.
- Dried fruits, like raisins and prunes, are heavy in calories.
- Cherries irritate the stomach and induce bloating.
“Dried fruits are delightful bites, as well as loaded with medical advantages. The main issue: they are high in calories.”
- Ashu Gupta, Dietician
Who Should Avoid Eating Fruit?
You should avoid eating fruit if you are allergic to it, suffer from a chronic illness, or want to lose weight.
The last one is particularly true for sweet fruits (apples, oranges, mangoes, and pears). Here’s why.
1. People Who Are Allergic to Fruits
Even a small amount of fruits might make some individuals feel ill.
This isn't unexpected, given that fruits are abundant in anti-nutrients and natural pesticides.
Certain berries, for instance, that are low in sugars and thought to be limited in toxins, could be rich in salicylate and oxalates.
“Unlike other high-protein, very low-carb diets, the carnivore diet allows zero carbs. It includes only foods that either walked, swam, or flew.”
- Kelly Schmidt, RD
Raspberries, black currants, and elderberries are rich in oxalates, while many fruits are rich in salicylate, which might cause an allergic reaction.
2. People Attempting to Cure Chronic Diseases
Suppose you're starting the meat diet to address any underlying health issues.
In that case, it's better to adhere to a rigorous form of the carnivore diet that includes only ruminant meats, organ meats, and fat.
You require the highest nutrient-dense and high-quality meals possible to help your recovery.
The carnivore diet meets these requirements compared to other high-protein diets.
If your aim is to heal autoimmune diseases, you should also remove or reduce your toxin consumption through fruits, veggies, or your surroundings.
3. People Attempting to Reduce Weight
Adding fruits to your meals might not be a smart idea if you are attempting to lose some weight.
To drop weight, you need your system to go into stored fat and consume it for energy, which is the point of the keto diet.
Because fruits now are larger and sweeter than those accessible to our forefathers, there is a chance that you will consume too many and fall out of ketosis.
If you prefer fruits, you may incorporate them into your healthy diet to determine whether they affect your weight reduction progress.
How Should You Add Fruits to Your Carnivore Diet?
You should slowly add fruits to your carnivore diet by choosing specific fruits that will limit your carbohydrate intake.
Whereas fruits are great to include in a carnivore diet, most fruits accessible now were not available before agriculture, and our forefathers did not consume the fruits we do today.
The recommended methods for including fruits in your diet are:
- Select seasonal fruits: Consuming with the seasons gives your body the chance to cope with plant chemicals from that specific seasonal fruit before becoming exposed to other types of plant toxins. The only fruits our forefathers consumed were seasonal fruits.
- Take fruits in moderation: Consuming too much fruit may raise your sugar levels, knock you off from ketosis, and undermine your weight reduction efforts .
- Pick organic fruits: If you can afford them, buy organic fruits. Toxic fruits are routinely sprayed to maintain their shelf life, especially apples, grapes, and cherries . If you can't buy organic produce, go for the least toxic fruits like avocados or kiwi.
- Pick low-sugar fruits: Unless you're metabolically healthy, exercise regularly, and are physically fit, it is advisable to stick to low-sugar fruits.
Many fruits, like bananas, cherries, litchis, and mangoes, are rich in sugar; therefore, you should limit your consumption or avoid them .
What Happens If You Only Eat Fruit and Meat?
If you only eat fruit and meat, it will lead to fatigue, health problems, and nutrient deficiencies. But, you can eat meat and fruit if you want to kick start a carnivore diet. However, always seek professional medical advice before changing your diet drastically.
Can You Eat Banana on Carnivore Diet?
Yes, you can eat bananas on a carnivore diet since they are rich in nutrients and aid in weight loss.
Can I Survive on Fruits Only?
You can survive on fruits only but only for a limited time. You will lack nutrients optimal for body health. Fruits are also high in sugar which may lead to certain health problems like high blood sugar.
Is Eating Fruit on a Carnivore Diet a Good Idea?
Incorporating fruits into your carnivore diet has been proven beneficial to your health.
You will satisfy all nutrient demands and avoid the risk of certain health problems.
On a carnivore diet, you should make sure to eat less fruit and more meat.
It is, however, difficult to get quality meat in today's market as meats are either genetically modified or full of antibiotics.
That's why we've rounded up the best meat delivery services where you can purchase the best quality meat to kickstart your carnivore diet with fruit.