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Can You Eat Ginger on a Carnivore Diet? Is It Healthy?

Can you eat ginger on a Carnivore diet? It’s one of the many questions people ask when they hear Carnivore excludes all plant-based foods and ingredients. It’s no secret that ginger can have various health benefits, but as a plant-based food, it’s not allowed on the Carnivore diet. Not so fast! There are hacks you can learn here about adding ginger to a Carnivore diet. Let’s learn!

Can You Eat Ginger on a Carnivore Diet? Is It Healthy?
Highlights
  • The strict Carnivore diet excludes all plant-based foods, including ginger, for its plant origins and containing anti-nutrients like oxalates.
  • Some versions of the Carnivore diet may allow minimal low-carb plant-based ingredients, but ginger is generally not recommended.
  • If individuals choose to include ginger in their Carnivore diet, they must do so in minimal amounts.
  • Ginger offers various health benefits, including digestive health, anti-inflammatory properties, appetite control, blood sugar regulation, and immune support.
  • Ginger contains low levels of carbs, so it doesn’t significantly impact ketosis.

What Is the Carnivore Diet?

Can you eat ginger on a Carnivore diet? Well, the answer depends on our definition of the Carnivore diet.

There are different versions of the Carnivore diet, and even individuals can customize it a bit based on their needs and preferences, but the results may differ.

The strict Carnivore diet doesn’t allow any plant-based products, from fruits and vegetables to grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. The reason for cutting plant-based foods is to minimize carbohydrates.

Minimizing carbs means that the body has to shift to other sources of energy, like fat. Burning fat is the result of cutting carbs and consuming more fat and protein. 

In a Carnivore diet, more fat and protein come from animal-based products, like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy.

Less strict versions of the Carnivore diet may allow minimal low-carb plant-based ingredients. The fewer carbs you consume, the easier the ketosis and fat burn. I’ll explain ketosis later in this article.

Burning the reserved fat is not the only aim of the Carnivore diet. It also tries to provide different health benefits like better mental clarity, weight loss, improved digestion, and relief from certain health conditions.

Some people are afraid of the Carnivore diet's side effects like nutrient imbalance or deficiency; that’s why they think of adding some low-carb plant-based foods to the diet.

Although you won’t experience nutrient deficiencies on a Carnivore diet if you follow the rules and consume whole, nutritious foods, if you want to include ginger in your diet, you need to consider some points I’ll explain below.

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

Can You Eat Ginger on a Carnivore Diet?

As mentioned above, the strict Carnivore diet allows no plants, including ginger. Ginger is a plant root with a special flavor and different health benefits like 

But the point that matters for Carnivore dieters is anti-nutrients like oxalates found in different herbs and spices like ginger. Oxalates are plant toxins naturally found in plants to defend against predators, including humans.

Each ½ teaspoon of dried ginger contains 8mg of oxalates, i.e., 96mg in every 10 grams. Fresh ginger has lower levels of oxalates, about 2mg in each ½ tsp, i.e., 17.5mg in every 10 grams.

Although ginger has low levels of carbs and anti-nutrients, it’s generally not recommended to use it on a Carnivore diet.

But if you need or prefer to consume ginger on a Carnivore diet, scroll to learn the important points that help you keep the good results of the diet even with ginger.

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

How to Eat Ginger on a Carnivore Diet?

  • Use Minimal Ginger as a Flavoring: Grate or chop a small piece of fresh ginger and add it to your meat before cooking. Do not use it too much, as you must keep it minimal to maintain the Carnivore diet rules.
  • Ginger Tea: Some Carnivore dieters steep thin slices of fresh ginger root in hot water to make ginger tea.
  • Ginger Supplements: If you aim to gain the benefits of ginger but don’t want to consume plant-based foods on a Carnivore diet, you can take ginger supplements in pills or capsules.

'Meat saved our lives': These people lost 200 lbs and healed 5 common chronic diseases with Carnivore.

Ginger on Carnivore and Weight Loss

One of the reasons many people use ginger is its effects on weight loss, among other health benefits. Some even think using ginger can boost the results of a Carnivore diet.

There are not enough studies supporting the effect of ginger on Carnivore diet weight loss results. Also, since ginger is a plant-based ingredient, it’s not recommended on a Carnivore diet.

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

The Benefits of Having Ginger on the Carnivore Diet

Although the strict Carnivore diet excludes all plant-based foods, including ginger, some dieters prefer to use small amounts of ginger, aiming to gain its health benefits, including the following.

Anticancer Effects

Studies suggest that ginger can have anticancer effects and its functional ingredients like gingerols, shogaol, and paradols play important roles in preventing various cancers (source).

Digestive Health

Ginger can alleviate indigestion symptoms like nausea and bloating. Studies also indicate that ginger can be an effective and safe treatment for pregnancy nausea and vomiting. It can also be used as an adjuvant treatment for nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy (source).

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Ginger contains bioactive compounds with anti-inflammatory effects. It also includes various biological activities, especially protective effects against male infertility, analgesic, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-obesity effects (source).

Appetite Control

Some studies indicate that ginger helps appetite control and reduces hunger.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Ginger can increase insulin sensitivity, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Immune Support

Ginger contains antioxidants and may help support the immune system.

Adding Flavor

Ginger can add flavor and variety to Carnivore dishes.

Ginger Nutrition

Let’s take a look at the key nutritional components and compounds found in 100 grams of ginger.

  • Calories: about 80 cal
  • Carbohydrates: about 18 g
  • Dietary Fiber: about 2 g
  • Protein: about 2 g
  • Fat: Almost none

It also contains small amounts of the following vitamins and minerals.

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Gingerol
  • Other Bioactive Compounds: Shogaols and Zingerone
  • Antioxidants

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

Does Ginger Affect Ketosis?

Simply put, ketosis is a metabolic process of cleaning the body from damaged or dysfunctional cellular compounds. Does it happen by itself? Generally, yes, but we can do things to induce and maintain ketosis.

One of the main things we can do to maintain ketosis is to minimize carbohydrate intake. So, let’s figure out what role ginger can play in ketosis and how it will affect it.

Although the carbohydrate levels of ginger differ in different types (dried, fresh, etc.), it contains low levels of carbs, meaning that it cannot have significant effects on ketosis.

What Does Ginger Do to Meat?

Ginger can have various effects on meat when used as a seasoning or marinade, including the following.

  • Flavor Enhancement
  • Tenderizing: Ginger contains protease enzymes, which can help break down proteins in meat, making the meat more tender and easier to chew.
  • Aromatics: Ginger can also add a rich and savory aroma and taste to meat.
  • Balancing Flavors: Ginger's sweet and spicy notes can help balance meat's savory and umami flavors.
  • Digestive Benefits: When used with meat, ginger can improve digestive problems and support the digestion of protein-rich meals.

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

Does Ginger Block Nutrient Absorption?

No, ginger does not block nutrient absorption to harm our general health. In fact, ginger has positive effects on health and offers various potential benefits, including helping digestion.

However, ginger contains ingredients that can affect the absorption of minerals. Let’s review its effect on different minerals.

  • Iron Absorption: Ginger contains phytates, which are considered anti-nutrients because they can inhibit the absorption of minerals like iron and calcium. High amounts of Phytates decrease the bioavailability of these minerals. However, ginger contains low levels of phytates, and we mainly use ginger as a seasoning, not in large amounts.
  • Digestive Aid: Since ginger can improve digestive function, it can enhance nutrient absorption from the foods you consume.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Ginger can positively affect general health by reducing chronic inflammation, which indirectly helps nutrient absorption and utilization.
  • Antioxidant Effects: Antioxidants found in ginger can help protect cells from oxidative damage, which improves general health and nutrient absorption.

Is Ground Ginger Good on Meat?

Yes, ground ginger is used as a flavorful and aromatic seasoning on meat, depending on the type of meat and your preferences.

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

Summary

Ginger is a plant-based spice not generally allowed on the strict Carnivore diet. In addition to being plant-based, ginger contains oxalates (plant toxins), which can have negative effects on our general health.

However, if you’re like some individuals who prefer to use ginger in their diet, you’d better use it occasionally and minimally so that it cannot affect the results of your Carnivore diet.

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