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Can I Use Turmeric on a Carnivore Diet? Is It Healthy?

Turmeric has various health benefits, but can I use turmeric on a Carnivore diet? Going on a low-carb diet like Carnivore means avoiding plant-based products. But what if we need to gain turmeric benefits like anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects? Is there a way to add turmeric to Carnivore meals? Let’s learn!

Can I Use Turmeric on a Carnivore Diet? Is It Healthy?
Highlights
  • The Carnivore diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet focusing on animal-based foods, excluding plant-based products.
  • While turmeric is plant-based, it can be included in a Carnivore diet due to its low-carb content.
  • Turmeric can be used sparingly as a seasoning, in supplements, teas, or even as a flavoring in butter or ghee.
  • Turmeric offers anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, joint health, digestive, mood, liver, and cardiovascular benefits.
  • Turmeric is generally allowed during fasting and can be used in various ways on a Ketogenic diet.

What Is the Carnivore Diet?

Can I use turmeric on a Carnivore diet? Well, to answer this question, we first need to learn what a Carnivore diet is.

The Carnivore diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that aims to streamline weight loss and bring different health benefits by focusing on animal-based products and excluding plant-based foods.

On a Carnivore diet, you can consume different kinds of meat, including beef, pork, lamb, and poultry, along with animal byproducts like eggs and limited dairy. You can also eat seafood, such as fish and shellfish.

Excluding plant-based foods means that no fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds are allowed. This exclusion happens because the Carnivore diet tries to minimize carbohydrate intake and lead the body to the state of ketosis to burn fat instead of carbs for energy.

To induce ketosis, the Carnivore diet not only minimizes carbs but tries to increase the fat intake. So, fatty cuts of meat are a main source of providing calories and necessary fats for Carnivore dieters.

In addition to plant-based foods, Carnivore dieters need to avoid other carb sources like sugars, sweeteners, and processed foods, as well as most food additives.

Dairy is generally not allowed on the strict Carnivore diet, but Carnivore dieters can consume cheese and heavy cream. Milk has some carbs, so it’s not favored on the Carnivore diet.

Water is the main beverage on the Carnivore diet, but black tea and coffee with butter are also allowed.

So, what benefits can we gain following all these dietary rules? Well, minimizing carbs and consuming more fat and protein can help us shed extra pounds, improve mental clarity, and get rid of some health issues, like autoimmune disorders and digestive problems.

Despite all these benefits, a Carnivore diet can cause nutrient deficiencies if you don’t consume enough whole, nutritious foods. Also, more research needs to be done on the long-term effects of the diet on the heart.

Learn More: Can You Eat Sauce on a Carnivore Diet? [The Best Sauces to Eat]

Can I Use Turmeric on a Carnivore Diet?

Turmeric is a popular spice derived from the roots of the Curcuma longa plant, so it’s generally not allowed on the strict Carnivore diet. Also, it can contain anti-nutrients like oxalates, which are plant toxins causing various problems for the human body.

Each ½ teaspoon of turmeric contains about 24mg of oxalates, i.e., 219mg per 10 grams. To minimize the oxalate levels, Carnivore experts do not recommend using turmeric.

However, since turmeric can provide various health benefits, including anti-inflammatory features, antioxidant activity, pain relief, arthritis and diabetes management, heart and brain health, digestive benefits, cancer prevention, weight management, and anti-aging effects, some people prefer to use it even on a Carnivore diet.

Their reason is not only the health benefits of turmeric but its low levels of carbs. There are about 1.43 grams of carbs in 1 teaspoon of turmeric, which doesn’t exceed the daily carb limit.

Learn More: Can I Use Coconut Oil on a Carnivore Diet?

How to Use Turmeric on a Carnivore Diet?

  • If you're on a Carnivore diet but still want to use turmeric for its taste and health benefits, you can use it sparingly to stay loyal to the diet and not ruin the results by consuming too many calories.
  • Another way to use the benefits of turmeric without breaking the rules of the Carnivore diet is by taking turmeric supplements. Turmeric capsules contain curcumin, an active compound, which is the source of turmeric benefits.
  • If you prefer fresh turmeric powder, you can make a turmeric tea or broth by infusing water with turmeric powder or grated fresh turmeric root.
  • Additionally, turmeric can be used as a seasoning for various Carnivore meat dishes.
  • Another way to use turmeric is to make turmeric-infused butter or ghee. You can melt animal fat (like beef tallow or butter), stir in turmeric powder, and use it as a tasty topping for cooked meats.

Learn More: Can You Eat Pickles on a Carnivore Diet? Is It Healthy?

The Benefits of Turmeric on a Carnivore Diet

Let’s take a look at the main benefits of turmeric on a Carnivore diet.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, provides various anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation can cause various chronic health conditions, so consuming turmeric to reduce inflammation can improve our overall health. In addition to anti-inflammatory effects, turmeric has neuroprotective, anticancer, hepatoprotective, and cardioprotective effects (source).

Antioxidant Effects

Curcumin is also a potent antioxidant, which protects cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. It also helps managing oxidative and inflammatory conditions (source).

Joint Health

Turmeric can alleviate symptoms of joint pain or arthritis as it has anti-inflammatory properties. It is an essential positive point for Carnivore dieters who are concerned about joint health. It can lower exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness, boosting recovery and performance in active people. It can also have positive effects on alleviating arthritis symptoms (source).

Digestive Health

Turmeric can help indigestion and bloating, which can cause problems on a high-meat diet. Additionally, it plays an important role in improving metabolic syndrome and hyperlipidemia.

Mood and Mental Health

Curcumin can positively affect mood and mental health. It can also help decrease depression and anxiety (source).

Liver Health

Turmeric has detoxification effects, which help clean the liver and reduce liver inflammation.

Cardiovascular Health

Since Carnivore dieters consume high amounts of fat, they may be at risk of heart disease. Studies indicate that curcumin can positively impact cardiovascular health by improving factors like blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease (source).

Turmeric Nutrition

Here is the nutritional content of turmeric per 1 tablespoon (about 6 grams) of ground turmeric:

  • Calories: 20 cal
  • Carbohydrates: 4.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g
  • Sugars: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 0.5 g
  • Fat: 0.7 g
  • Vitamin C: 1.7 mg (3% of the daily value)
  • Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg (6% of the daily value)
  • Iron: 1.8 mg (10% of the daily value)
  • Potassium: 170 mg (5% of the daily value)
  • Manganese: 0.2 mg (8% of the daily value)
  • Curcumin: 2-5% of the spice by weight

Learn More: Can You Eat Pepper on a Carnivore Diet? What About Pepper Oil?

Does Turmeric Break Ketosis?

Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body shifts to burning fat instead of carbohydrates to provide energy. The carbohydrate intake must be very low to induce and maintain ketosis. That’s why the Carnivore diet aims to minimize carbs.

Turmeric itself, in its natural form as a spice, is very low in carbohydrates and sugar, so it is unlikely to significantly impact ketosis when consumed in moderate amounts.

But remember that if you use turmeric together with other ingredients, its carb levels may change and negatively affect ketosis.

For example, if you're using a curry powder or spice blend that contains turmeric along with other seasonings or additives, those other ingredients may add high amounts of carbohydrates to your meal.

Also, some turmeric supplements, especially those in capsule form, may contain fillers or additives that could have more carbohydrates, so always check the label on turmeric supplements.

Learn More: Can You Eat Olives on a Carnivore Diet? Is It Healthy?

Is Turmeric Allowed in Fasting?

Turmeric is generally allowed during fasting, whether intermittent fasting or other forms. However, consider the following points.

  • Caloric Content: Turmeric doesn’t contain high levels of calories, and it wouldn’t break a fast. However, consuming turmeric mixed with other ingredients like milk or sweeteners can change its calorie levels and break the fast (the calorie level depends on the kind of fast).
  • Turmeric Supplements: When consuming turmeric capsules, check the label for any added ingredients that can increase calorie levels.
  • Fasting Goals: The specific goals you follow in fasting can affect the use of turmeric. Whether you’re fasting for religious or health reasons, specialists in each area can help you with the use of turmeric.
  • Health Benefits: Some individuals use turmeric during fasting to gain benefits like anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric can be added to water, herbal tea, or broth to improve the flavor without adding significant calories.

How Do You Use Turmeric on a Ketogenic Diet?

The Ketogenic (Keto) diet is a low-carb, high-protein, and high-fat dietary approach, aiming to induce ketosis and lead to weight loss by minimizing carb intake and maximizing fat and protein.

Turmeric contains low levels of carbohydrates and can bring flavor and health benefits to your keto-friendly meals. You can use turmeric on a Ketogenic diet in many ways, including the following.

  • Turmeric Seasoning: Use turmeric powder to spice up meat, poultry, or seafood dishes. You can sprinkle it on before cooking or grilling to add flavor and color.
  • Turmeric Golden Milk: Make a keto-friendly version of turmeric golden milk. Mix coconut milk (or other keto-friendly alternatives) with turmeric, a pinch of black pepper (to increase the absorption of curcumin), and a keto-friendly sweetener like stevia or erythritol. Heat the mixture and enjoy.
  • Turmeric Sauces and Dressings: Create keto-friendly sauces and dressings using turmeric. You can make a turmeric-infused cream sauce with heavy cream and turmeric for chicken or cauliflower dishes. For salad dressings, mix turmeric with olive oil, vinegar, and keto-friendly herbs and spices.
  • Turmeric Eggs: You can add turmeric to scrambled eggs or omelets.
  • Turmeric Soups: Use turmeric as a seasoning in keto-friendly soups and stews.
  • Turmeric Supplements: If you prefer to gin the turmeric benefits but don’t like its taste, you can take turmeric supplements without added sugars or carbohydrates.
  • Turmeric Marinades: Create turmeric-based marinades for meats or vegetables. You can mix turmeric with olive oil, herbs, and spices and marinate your protein or vegetables before grilling or roasting.
  • Turmeric in Keto-Friendly Smoothies: Add a small pinch of turmeric powder to your smoothie and enjoy.

Learn More: Can You Eat Avocado on a Carnivore Diet? What About Avocado Oil?

Does Turmeric Activate Autophagy?

Turmeric, with its active compound curcumin, can boost autophagy. What is autophagy, and why does it matter? It is a cellular cleaning process to degrade and recycle damaged or dysfunctional cellular components.

Autophagy is important because it helps maintain cellular health and brings various health benefits, such as longevity and the prevention of certain diseases.

Although more research needs to be done to confirm the positive effects of turmeric on autophagy, recent studies indicate the following points.

  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Chronic inflammation can disrupt autophagy, so reducing inflammation indirectly supports autophagy.
  • Molecular Pathways: Some studies have suggested that curcumin may activate some molecular pathways related to autophagy. For example, it may activate AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), stimulating autophagy.

Can I Eat Turmeric on an Empty Stomach?

Yes, you can consume turmeric on an empty stomach. Actually, consuming turmeric first thing in the morning can have various health benefits, including better absorption of curcumin.

You can consume turmeric on an empty stomach in different ways, including the following.

  • Turmeric Water: Mix some turmeric powder (1/4 to 1/2 tsp) with warm water and drink it on an empty stomach. You can add a pinch of black pepper to increase the absorption of curcumin.
  • Turmeric Tea: Brew a cup of turmeric tea by steeping turmeric powder or grated fresh turmeric root in hot water and enjoy.
  • Turmeric Supplements: Simply take turmeric supplements in capsule or tablet form with a glass of water on an empty stomach.

Learn More: Can You Eat Onions on a Carnivore Diet? [Expert Guide]

Summary

As we read in this article, the answer to the question, “Can I use turmeric on a Carnivore diet?” is yes. Turmeric is low in carbs and calories, so it won’t make a significant disruption in the flow of a Carnivore diet.

However, you need to ensure you won’t overeat it to avoid affecting the diet results. Turmeric can have various health benefits on a Carnivore diet if used adequately.

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