Carnivore Diet Protein to Fat Ratio: Why This is Crucial!

The carnivore diet is all about fat and protein sourced from animal foods. But how much protein is too much protein? And how much fat is too much fat? If you’re looking for the ideal carnivore diet protein to fat ratio, this should help: On an all-meat diet, you source your energy (calories) from two […]
Josh Koop
April 19, 2020

The carnivore diet is all about fat and protein sourced from animal foods. But how much protein is too much protein? And how much fat is too much fat?

If you’re looking for the ideal carnivore diet protein to fat ratio, this should help: On an all-meat diet, you source your energy (calories) from two main macronutrients: fat and protein. The perfect ratio depends on what you want out of the diet itself and your level of physical activity. Given that you exercise regularly, you can experiment with beef to find the perfect percentage for your needs. 

Of course, too little fat or protein can leave you fatigued and in a terrible mood. Check out the tips below to figure out the perfect ratio to sustain your lifestyle!

Protein To Fat Ratio

During your life, you have always been sourcing your energy, and therefore caloric intake, from the three major macronutrients groups out there: carbs, lipids or fats, and protein. These three food groups provide energy in the shape of calories in the following way:

  • Carbohydrates - 4 calories per gram.
  • Fat (or lipids) - 9 calories per gram.
  • Proteins - 4 calories per gram

An omnivore diet includes these three types in different ratios, depending on whether it is a Mediterranean or SAD (Standard American Diet) eating plan.

The carnivore diet eliminates carbohydrates and fibers, leaving our body to source energy from only protein and fats. This process happens through ketosis, which is the typical response to our body to the lack of glucose or sugar.

Some studies sustain that, regardless of the macronutrients in your diet, the secret to losing weight is to count calories and ensure that the ingested caloric intake is lower than the burned one. However, the carnivore diet takes an entirely different approach to the subject.

While following this lifestyle, you can eat as much as you want, without counting calories or measuring portions, until you are full. However, what is truly important is the ratio between fat and protein. This correlation depends on:

  • The amount of physical exercise you do
  • Your lifestyle
  • What phase of your diet you are currently following
  • What you want to get out of the diet
  • Other physical needs

Fats contain twice as many calories compared to lean protein per gram. If you are trying to lose weight, you will be looking at cutting down the amount of fat in favor of proteins. Alternatively, if you aim to gain lean mass, fats are helpful to give you the energy you need at the gym for a harder workout. 

Ultimately, it is essential to consider how you feel after each meal. When you start experimenting with beef only, you can gain an understanding of the specific protein to fat ratio in your diet by checking the package. If a 70/30 lean-to-fat percentage makes you feel fatigued or tired, you might consider switching to a higher rate of fat, and vice-versa.

Assortment of healthy protein source and body building food - Carnivore Diet Protein to Fat Ratio
Assortment of healthy protein source and body building food

Where To Get Enough Protein

While there might not be a perfect formula that works for everybody, getting the ratio right for your needs is essential. If you are trying to increase the amount of protein in your diet, you should consider adding:

  • Chicken breast - easy to cook and highly versatile, chicken breast without the skin is among the leanest protein sources. Please note chicken lack a diverse amount of amino acids than beef
  • Venison - while less usual on our tables, venison boasts only 2.5 grams of fats for every 100 grams of produce.
  • Turkey - similar to other kinds of poultry, it is lean and presents only 7 grams of fats for 100 grams.
  • Beef and Pork Chops - whether its rib-eye or fillet, ensure to cut out the fat!
  • Seafood and fish - Try to stick to leaner cuts, such as white fish fillets
  • Eggs - Chicken or duck eggs will do the trick. Don't focus on eating only egg whites, the nutrition is in the yolks.

Other ingredients such as muscles, lamb, prawns, duck, and goose are just as viable but might require increased expenditure. The type of lean meat you prefer depends on your budget, need for variety, and taste.

Composition of the main molecules that compose a normal weight woman. Water, fat, protein, minerals and carbohydrate. Illustration of the basic components of the human body.

What Happens If I Overeat Protein?

Overconsumption of meat, especially in the absence of other ingredients such as fibers and vegetables, can lead to assorted health conditions. Most come from a lack of water intake, though conversely, overconsuming water can lead to a loss in electrolytes.

Digestion problems such as constipation and diarrhea are the most common ones associated with increased consumption of meat. Dehydration and kidney damage in people with pre-existing conditions are also something worth considering. 

For most of these problems, the best solution is to stay hydrated throughout the day and drink at least half of your weight in water (in ounces), as suggested by Kevin Stock.

Another side effect of a low-carb, high-protein diet is bad breath, which derives from the production of chemicals in your gut by the ketosis process.

Where to Source Fat

If you are looking at increasing your lean mass and find more energy to improve the length and intensity of your gym workout, you might consider adding fat to your diet

While it might sound obvious, finding fatty ingredients has turned out to be a challenge for many carnivores. Indeed, today supermarkets tend to focus on leaner cuts, which they can sell at premium prices.

However, you can still introduce specific ingredients to help you reach your needed fat content. In consuming fat you want to get these higher fat cuts from grass-fed sources when you are able to as fat stores the carcinogen content from their diet.

Some of the best ones for this are:

  • Fatty mince or ground beef - while you might know it under different names, this ingredient is readily available in most supermarkets, butchers, and ButcherBox. For best results, aim at a fat content that is at least 20-25%. It might be challenging to have an idea of what the percentage is, but often it goes along with the price. Cheaper products tend to have a higher amount of fat.
  • Bacon - Many may view eating loads of bacon might as the number one reason for you to turn carnivore, so enjoy it! I don't recommend this approach as it is lower in protein than the fat content. Also note, American bacon tends to have higher percentages of fat.
  • Beef Suet - this is the name of the fat that surrounds the kidney of cattle. It is readily available from butchers and incredibly cheap!

Other tips and tricks to increase the amount of fat in your diet are to cook your eggs and meat in fat or lard. Alternatively, you can add dairy such as heavy whipping cream and hard cheeses into your morning coffee or as a side to your steak. Indeed, cheeses have up to 30 grams of fat per 100 grams and give you the boost you needed.

What Happens If I Overeat Fat?

Of course, one of the risks associated with overeating fat is gaining unwanted weight. The amount of fat in your diet should reflect the amount of exercise and gym training you do per week. 

Aside from ruining the effects of your diet, lipids can cause more severe health conditions such as Atherosclerosis. While this sounds like it is fat you consume it has been shown that the carbohydrates and trans fats that are turned into fat are the more deadly issue.

This disease happens when the accumulation of stored fats create plaques inside the arteries and make them stiffer. In turn, more rigid vessels stop the blood, and therefore oxygen, from circulating correctly through your body. 

Other conditions, such as hypertension, heart attack, and stroke, can also present themselves if your diet does not happen in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.

Final Thoughts

While there is no perfect protein to fat ratio that benefits everybody, you should adjust the intake of these two macronutrients in the way you see fit. I personally have been subscribed to ButcherBox for over two years as they always provide amazing quality meat direct to my door, I would very much suggest them!

If you are looking at getting rid of a little extra weight, ensure that your diet includes mostly lean proteins. Or, if you are trying to increase your body mass, increasing the amount of fat in your meal plan can be beneficial. Ultimately, you should feel comfortable with your eating habits and routine.

If you read this far you are amazing! I would love to hear from you in the comments below if I helped you gain knowledge and useful information, additionally I would like to know if I got anything incorrect that you believe should be researched more and updated. As always to get the word out please join our new Carnivore Rx group on Facebook and share this out on social media!

Sources

To the Carniovore Dieters Who Will Settle for Nothing Less Than Quality Meats

I have used ButcherBox now for going on nearly 3 years as finding meat that isn't raised on candy or junk like corn isn't easy. Instead of spending hours searching to get the best quality I have chosen to have ButcherBox deliver me high quality meats, from Ribeyes, Brisket, ground beef... Others may choose chicken with all cuts from whole to breasts, thighs, and more Then add in my side favorite which is heritage pork that tastes sooooooo much better than any store bought pork I have ever had.
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