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Carnivore Diet Food List: What Should You Grab at the Grocery Store?

Carnivore Diet Food List

Have you ever found yourself pacing the aisles of a grocery store, feeling overwhelmed and uncertain, especially when diving into something as distinct as the carnivore diet? You're not alone. 

The shift to a meat-centric menu can leave many newcomers questioning every purchase. Is this cut allowed? What about that cheese? How can I ensure my meals don't become a monotonous parade of seared steak (delicious as it is) day in and day out?

The carnivore diet, with its emphasis on animal-based products, can seem deceptively simple at first. Yet, as days turn into weeks, the nuances, choices, and potential pitfalls begin to become more apparent. 

That’s why we’ve built this carnivore diet food list to help you keep things fresh and fun and prevent your plate from boring you into cheating on the diet. Below, we’ve listed out all the foods you can have on the carnivore diet to help you round out your nutrition and maybe even try something new.

Consider us your carnivore comrades, ready to guide you through the meaty maze of choices and ensure you emerge not only well-fed but also genuinely excited about every bite. 

After revealing our list of foods for carnivore diet, we’ll offer tips on sourcing them to enjoy quality food on a budget - while setting you up for success to reap all the benefits of carnivore diet

Carnivore Diet Food List: A Comprehensive List of Foods for Carnivore Dieters

Maybe you’re wondering…what can you eat on the carnivore diet in general? Or, perhaps you’re curious about a specific type of food group - like dairy, fruits, etc. 

The good news is you’ll have complete clarity on what you should be grabbing at the grocery store each time you visit after reading this carnivore diet food list.

Since the diet is comprised mainly of meat, let’s start there - breaking down all the various animals and cuts you can indulge in on this diet.

Meats: The Core of the Carnivore Diet

In comparing the carnivore diet vs keto or other styles, it’s a very straightforward approach to nutrition, hinging primarily on animal-based foods. 

But, it's not just about consuming meat. You must select the right cuts and types to ensure you reap all the benefits this diet offers. Let’s dive into the heart of the carnivore diet - meats.

Beef: Steaks, Ground Beef, Roasts, Organs

Beef stands as a cornerstone in the carnivore realm. Whether you're a fan of tender steaks or flavorful roasts, beef provides an impressive array of nutrients:

  • Steaks: From ribeyes to sirloins, steaks are the poster child of the carnivore diet. Rich in essential nutrients like B12, iron, and zinc, they are a flavorful foundation for any meal.
  • Ground Beef: Versatile and cost-effective, ground beef is a staple. Opt for grass-fed variants when possible to maximize omega-3 fatty acid intake.
  • Roasts: Think slow-cooked brisket or a Sunday roast beef dinner. Roasts are not only delicious but are excellent for meal prep, offering multiple meals from a single cooking session.
  • Organs: Often dubbed nature's multivitamin, organs such as liver, heart, and kidney are nutrient-dense. They're packed with vitamins and minerals often missing from muscle meats, like vitamin A, copper, and folate.

Pork: Chops, Bacon, Loin, Organs

Beyond bacon, the world of pork introduces a variety of tastes and textures. Here are some of the different ways you can enjoy pork on the diet:

  • Chops: A leaner option, pork chops are a savory alternative to beef and can be grilled, baked, or fried to perfection.
  • Bacon: Need we say more? While delicious, it's crucial to opt for varieties with minimal additives and preservatives.
  • Loin: Tender and juicy, a pork loin roast can be the centerpiece of any carnivore feast.
  • Organs: Much like beef, pork organs such as the liver are nutritional powerhouses, offering a different flavor profile for those looking to mix things up.

Chicken: Thighs, Breast, Wings, Organs

While the world of red meat is synonymous with carnivore diet, chicken offers a lighter alternative without skimping on taste. It’s a great choice when you want something lighter and are looking to cut back on your fat intake for a meal. There are so many ways to enjoy it, too:

  • Thighs: Dark meat like chicken thighs is juicier and more flavorful, making it a favorite among many carnivores.
  • Breast: A leaner option, chicken breasts are versatile and can be incorporated into a plethora of dishes.
  • Wings: Perfect for game day or a quick snack, wings can be seasoned and cooked to crispy perfection.
  • Organs: Chicken livers are often praised for their taste and texture, serving as a great introduction to organ meats.

Seafood: Fish, Shellfish, Mollusks

The ocean's bounty offers not only diverse flavors but also essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Fish: From salmon's omega-3-rich flesh to the lean profile of tilapia, fish offers a lighter alternative to land animals. They're also a fantastic source of essential nutrients like iodine.
  • Shellfish: Think of succulent shrimps, crabs, and lobsters. They not only diversify your meals but are also a good source of zinc and B12.
  • Mollusks: Oysters, clams, and mussels are often overlooked but are nutrient-dense, particularly in iron and vitamin B12.

Game Meats: Venison, Bison, Wild Fowl

These meats, often wild-caught or responsibly raised, present a different profile, both in terms of flavor and nutrient density. They often tend to be leaner, packed with essential vitamins and minerals that might not be as prevalent in domesticated meats:f

  • Venison: Lean, tender, and imbued with a subtly sweet, earthy flavor, venison is a refreshing divergence from the more common meats. It’s packed with protein, too.
  • Bison: Bison, or buffalo, offers a taste that's somewhat reminiscent of beef but with its own distinct character. It's leaner, often considered healthier due to its superior omega fatty acid profile, and packed with protein
  • Wild Fowl: Birds like quail, pheasant, and wild turkey offer a unique taste experience, ensuring your carnivore diet remains anything but monotonous.

Eggs: Whole Eggs, Egg Yolks

Eggs are more than just a staple breakfast item; they're a marvel of nature. Encapsulated within a fragile shell is a symphony of nutrition, an almost perfect balance of proteins, fats, and vital micronutrients. 

The yolk, with its golden hue, stands a testament to the richness it offers, both in taste and nutrition. And, it’s loaded with vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as essential fatty acids and antioxidants like lutein. Here are a few ways to enjoy eggs:

  • Boiled Eggs: Whether soft or hard these serve as a quick snack or a protein-packed addition to salads. The simplicity of boiling eggs retains the rich, creamy nature of the yolk and the tender texture of the white.
  • Scrambled or Fried Eggs: These methods bring out a different flavor profile, especially when fried in good quality fats. Scrambled eggs offer a canvas for added flavors - herbs, cheeses, or meats. Fried eggs, with their slightly crispy edges and runny yolk, can elevate any dish.
  • Poached Eggs: These are a culinary delight with a delicate texture. They provide a silky-smooth white encasing a lush, flowing yolk. Perfect atop salads, meats, or even toast for those who incorporate some plant foods.
  • Omelets: This is a fantastic way to incorporate various carnivore-friendly ingredients, like cheeses and meats, into a single, flavorful dish. The fluffiness of the beaten eggs, combined with your choice of fillings, results in a satisfying and nutrient-dense meal.

Carnivore Snax: A Must-Have Meat Snack in Your Arsenal

One of the most significant challenges carnivore enthusiasts face is finding suitable snacks. It’s easy to meal prep and ensure a delicious steak or juicy piece of chicken for your main meals, but what about those in-between moments? 

Traditional snacking avenues like chips or popcorn are off the table. And while a piece of jerky might suffice occasionally, it doesn't always hit the mark. 

What the carnivore dieter truly yearns for is carnivore diet snacks that aren’t just meaty, but also satisfying in taste, texture, and nutritional value. And that’s where our meat chips come in.

Born out of the necessity to offer carnivore dieters a snack they truly deserve, Carnivore Snax is not just another meaty snack, but a revolution in taste and quality. Here’s why these are an invaluable component of your carnivore diet food list:

  • Uncompromised Sourcing: Our commitment to quality begins at the source. We meticulously select our meats based on stringent standards, ensuring you get only the best.
  • Taste Sensation: Each chip variety is crafted for a melt-in-your-mouth experience. The perfect blend of seasoning and meat brings out a flavor explosion with every bite.
  • Varieties Galore: With options ranging from ribeye chips to chicken chips, there's a flavor for every palate. Be it the robustness of beef chips, the tenderness of lamb chips, the smokiness of brisket chips, the classic choice of steak chips, or the delightful crunch of pork chips, there's a Carnivore Snax for every moment.

Snacking no longer has to be a challenge as you navigate the carnivore lifestyle. With our 0-carb snacks, you can turn every snack time into a delightful, meaty escape. Now, let’s move on to the next section in our carnivore diet list of foods: dairy.

Dairy: Based on Personal Tolerance

While the carnivore diet predominantly emphasizes meat, dairy products do find their way into the meals of many adherents. 

But dairy's inclusion isn't without its caveats. It's essential to approach dairy with a nuanced perspective, understanding its complexities and, more importantly, its effect on your body. 

For some, dairy is a delicious and rich complement to their carnivore journey, while for others, it may be best limited or excluded due to sensitivities or intolerances.

Cheese: Hard and Soft Varieties, Avoid Processed Cheese

Cheese is more than just a delicious addition to your meal; it’s a diverse world of textures, flavors, and nutritional benefits. But not all cheeses are made equal, especially when it comes to the carnivore diet. Here’s what you need to know about navigating cheese on carnivore diet:

  • Hard Cheeses: Varieties like Parmesan, Cheddar, and Gouda are not only rich in flavor but also packed with proteins and essential fats. They often contain fewer carbs, making them more compatible with a carnivore approach.
  • Soft Cheeses: Brie, Camembert, and Feta introduce a creamier texture and a different set of flavors. While they're a joy for the palate, always check the label to ensure no additional carbs or fillers have been added.
  • Avoid Processed Cheese: It might be tempting to grab that pack of processed cheese slices for convenience, but they often contain additives and fillers that don't align with the carnivore ethos. Stick to natural, whole cheeses to savor the real deal.

Butter & Ghee: Preferably From Grass-Fed Cows

Dairy fat can be a treasure trove of nutrition and flavor, especially when we talk about butter and ghee.

  • Butter: Beyond its luxurious texture and taste, butter, especially when sourced from grass-fed cows, is rich in beneficial fatty acids, vitamins A, E, and K2, and antioxidants. It's a versatile companion, whether you're cooking with it or slathering it over a juicy steak.
  • Ghee: A form of clarified butter, ghee takes the nutritional benefits of butter a notch higher. With its water and milk solids removed, it's often better tolerated by those with dairy sensitivities. Its high smoke point makes it ideal for cooking, and its nutty flavor enhances any dish.

Heavy Cream: Without Added Sugars or Fillers

Heavy cream can elevate a meal with its creamy richness, but it's crucial to make discerning choices:

  • Pure and Unadulterated: Always opt for heavy creams without added sugars, stabilizers, or fillers. A pure heavy cream offers a delightful texture and taste without unnecessary additives.
  • Versatility: Use it in your coffee for a rich touch or whip it up for a creamy topping. Its uses are diverse, but always remember to check for personal tolerance, as some might find excessive cream consumption can upset their digestion.

Supplements & Add-ons: Not a Must, but Can Enhance the Experience

While they may not fall under the same umbrella as “foods”, carnivore diet supplements play a profound role in helping you maximize benefits while minimizing carnivore diet side effects

Bone broth: Great for Minerals and Hydration

Bone broth provides a unique set of minerals, amino acids, and collagen that can support joint health, gut integrity, and skin vitality. 

Additionally, its high electrolyte content can aid in maintaining proper hydration. When made from high-quality, grass-fed animal bones, this broth can be a therapeutic addition to the carnivore diet, especially for those who might be transitioning.

Salt & Electrolytes: Important for Maintaining Balance

Salt is an essential mineral when you're consuming primarily animal products, especially if they're lean cuts.. Adequate salt consumption can help manage energy levels, prevent muscle cramps, and support overall cellular function. 

Beyond plain salt, some carnivores opt for electrolyte supplements, particularly during the initial stages of the diet to ensure they maintain a healthy electrolyte balance. This can be crucial for staving off fatigue, headaches, and other transition-related symptoms.


Other supplements you may want to consider include:

  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Iodine
  • Vitamin K2
  • Taurine
  • B Vitamins
  • Collagen or Gelatin

A multivitamin should cover most of these. That concludes our carnivore diet food list - so let’s quickly look at what not to have on your carnivore diet list of foods.

What Not to Have on Your Carnivore Diet List of Foods

You can safely assume that anything not listed above is banned on the carnivore diet. And for good reason - the diet sticks to anti-inflammatory foods exclusively. That being said, we’ve listed out the types of foods your list should not include on the carnivore diet:

    • Grains (wheat, rice, oats, corn, etc.)
    • Legumes (beans, lentils, peaks, peanuts, soybeans, etc.)
  • Vegetables (leafy greens, carrots, broccoli, you name it)
    • Fruits (apples, oranges, berries, bananas, melons, etc.)
    • Nuts and Seeds (almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, etc.)
    • Certain beverages (beer/wine, sodas, fruit juices, and essentially anything but water)
    • Sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, artificial sweeteners)
    • Seed and vegetable oils (canola oil, coconut oil, corn oil, etc.)

    Basically, here’s the rule of thumb you want to remember: if it grows from the ground, it’s off-limits. We recently wrote about following the carnivore diet with fruit if you’re interested in trying a meat/fruit hybrid diet.

    And, one more note on our carnivore diet food list. The diet is exclusionary by nature, but don’t feel shackled to these standards. If you want to consider adding something back into the diet, by all means - go for it. Just know you aren’t following the diet to the fullest and may sacrifice some degree of results.

    But beyond the carnivore diet food list, here are a few quick tips for success as you head out and start shopping. 

    Beyond the Carnivore Diet List of Food, Consider These Factors for Success

    Before we bring this list of carnivore diet foods to a close, we want to offer a free 

    • Quality Over Quantity: the Importance of Source: Prioritize grass-fed, pasture-raised meats for richer omega-3s and vitamins. The source of your meat can greatly influence its nutritional profile.
    • Reaping Benefits Without Breaking the Bank: Shop local, buy in bulk, and consider nutrient-rich organ meats. Keep an eye out for sales to ensure both quality and affordability. Read our guide on carnivore diet on a budget for more advice. 
    • Meal Planning and Preparation: Plan your meals weekly to diversify your intake and shop efficiently. Batch cooking and using slow cookers can simplify preparation and maximize flavor. Our recourses offering carnivore diet seasoning tips or full-fledged carnivore diet recipes are worth reading.
    • Adjusting Your Food List Over Time: Be attentive to how different foods affect you. Tweak your food choices based on personal well-being and preference, making the diet uniquely yours.

    Bringing Our Carnivore Diet Food List to a Close

    We hope you feel more confident after breezing through our carnivore diet list of foods. With all that said, it’s time you headed out to the grocery store!

    Our blog has an array of other helpful resources, including carnivore weight loss advice, carnivore diet safety considerations, what to expect on carnivore diet before and after, the proper carnivore diet macros to follow, how much to eat on carnivore diet, the carnivore diet pros and cons, and more.

    Whether you’re following a male or female carnivore diet, this list of carnivore diet foods remains the same. 

    So, step confidently into this diet, trusting you're equipped with the best resource out there. And whenever in doubt, revisit this guide or indulge in a pack of our carnivore chips. No carnivore diet food list is complete without them!

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