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

Can you eat onions on a Carnivore diet? Many Carnivore beginners wonder if they consume their favorite foods. This article focuses on one of the most favored ingredients in all cuisines worldwide: onion! Let’s review experts’ opinions on onion nutrition and see if you can include it in your Carnivore diet.

Can You Eat Onions on a Carnivore Diet? [Expert Guide]
Highlights
  • The original version of the Carnivore diet allows only animal products and excludes plant-based foods, carbohydrates, and fibers.
  • Onions are not allowed on the strict Carnivore diet due to their carbohydrate and fiber content.
  • More flexible versions allow limited amounts of low-carb foods, like onions, especially for beginners who may find it challenging to eliminate carbohydrates completely.
  • Onion powder, a dehydrated form of onions, can be used for flavoring in small amounts on a less strict Carnivore diet.
  • The benefits of eating onions include adding flavor and phytonutrients, improving digestive health, increasing satiety, offering micronutrients, and bringing variety to meals.
  • Onions contain vitamins C, B6, folate, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium.

What Is The Carnivore Diet?

To find out if you can eat onions on a Carnivore diet, we first need to learn what the Carnivore diet is and what rules and principles we need to follow on this diet.

The original version of the Carnivore diet is somehow strict and only allows animal products and accepts no cheats!

The strict version of the Carnivore diet excludes all plant-based foods, aims to maximize fat and minimize or eliminate carbohydrates, and is one of the zero-carb or all-meat diets.

Let me list the basic rules and principles you need to follow on the Carnivore Diet.

  • Consume Only Animal Products: High-fat and high-protein products like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and some dairy products ( some versions exclude dairy as well).
  • Avoid Plant-Based Foods: Avoid plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and processed foods derived from plants.
  • Avoid Carbohydrates: The original version of the Carnivore diet eliminates or limits carbohydrates, i.e., no sugars, starches, and fibers found in plant foods.
  • Consume Fatty Cuts of Meat: The strict Carnivore diet focuses on fatty cuts of meat, as it substitutes carbohydrates.
  • Processed Meats: Processed meats like bacon, sausages, and deli meats are allowed on the Carnivore diet, but it’s better to minimize processed foods.
  • Dairy (Optional): Some versions of the Carnivore diet allow high-fat dairy products like butter, cheese, and heavy cream.
  • Drink Plenty of Water: The main beverage allowed on the Carnivore diet is water, and you need to drink plenty of it. You can also drink bone broth for added nutrients and electrolytes.

Learn More: What Is The Carnivore Diet? Myth vs Fact

Dr. Paul Saladino, Author of "The Carnivore Code":

"The strict carnivore diet excludes all plant foods, including onions, because some individuals may have sensitivities to plant toxins and antinutrients. However, some people find that small amounts of certain vegetables, like onions, can be included without issues."

Can You Eat Onions on a Carnivore Diet?

The original Carnivore diet avoids carbs because, contrary to what many may think, our body doesn’t need carbohydrates to function, or as Dr. Ken Berry puts it:

“There is no such thing as essential carbohydrates, as essential sugar. It’s going to prove to you that you won’t die. Your brain won’t cease to function if you don’t have daily sugars and dietary carbohydrates in your diet every meal every day.”

You can watch the full video of me interviewing Dr. Ken Berry about carbohydrates and myths of the Carnivore diet on top of this very page.

So, you don’t need carbohydrates nutritionally, and the key is to avoid unwanted elements to see the healing results and then start to add things if you ever want.

But it may be hard for beginners to cut back on the foods they like to eat.

The solution is to start limiting the unwanted foods on the Carnivore diet for 60 to 90 days and check if there are any side effects.

On a strict Carnivore diet, onions are not allowed as they’re vegetables and contain carbohydrates and fiber.

However, some Carnivore experts believe that not everybody can eliminate carbohydrates all at once and need to limit them gradually.

So, if you’re a beginner and it’s hard for you to cut onions altogether, start limiting them, decrease the amount as time passes, and check your reactions continuously to see if there are any side effects or if cutting onions is doing good to you.

Learn More: Female Carnivore Diet [30-Day Meal Plan, Results, and Recipes]

Shawn Baker, Author of "The Carnivore Diet":

"While the pure carnivore diet advocates for the exclusion of all plant foods, including onions, some followers may choose to incorporate small amounts of low-toxin vegetables as part of their personal approach."

Which Onion Is Allowed on a Carnivore Diet?

As mentioned above, the original Carnivore diet doesn’t allow onions, but some versions don’t say no to onions. If you’re a beginner and can’t avoid onions, you can limit your consumption and have different kinds of onions: red, white, yellow, or any other type.

Learn More: The Lipedema Diet: All You Need to Know

Can I Have Onion Powder on a Carnivore Diet?

If you’re not following a strict version of the Carnivore diet, you can consume small amounts of seasonings like onion powder for flavor.

Onion powder is made from dehydrated onions and keeps some of the flavor and nutrients found in fresh onions.

If you want to include onions in your diet, it's better to use the powder, which is a concentrated form and doesn't have the carbohydrate content of fresh onions.

Learn More: 10 Carnivore Diet Mistakes Ruining Your Results

How to Eat Onions on a Carnivore Diet?

If you need to include onions in your Carnivore diet, you must know the following tips.

  • Minimize Your Onion Consumption: Try to gradually decrease the amount of onion you consume.
  • Onion Powder: You can use small amounts of onion powder, which is a dehydrated form of onions.
  • Experiment Gradually: Decrease onion gradually and see how your body responds.
  • Consult a Professional: If you have underlying conditions, it's wise to consult a healthcare professional.

Learn More: How to Start a Carnivore Diet? When Should I Start? [Expert Guide]

Some Carnivore Consume Minimal Onions

According to a survey conducted by Harvard University on individuals following a Carnivore Diet, 72 percent reported strict adherence to meat-only consumption, while 28 percent included small amounts of low-carb vegetables like onions without experiencing negative effects.

The Benefits of Eating Onions on a Carnivore Diet

The original version of the Carnivore diet includes no vegetables, including onions. If you're following a more flexible version of the Carnivore diet, adding small amounts of onions can have the following effects.

Health Benefits

Studies indicate that onion can lower the toxicity of chemical agents in kidney, liver, brain, blood, heart, reproductive system, embryo, and pancreas by decreasing lipid peroxidation, antioxidant effect, radical-scavenging, anti-inflammatory, and other activities [1].

Adding Flavor

Adding small amounts of onions or onion powder to your meals could enrich the taste of your Carnivore dishes.

Phytonutrients

Onions contain different phytonutrients, such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which have various health benefits.

Learn More: Can I Have Mayonnaise on Carnivore? How to Make It?

Antioxidants

Studies show that outer layers of onions are rich sources of various antioxidant compounds [2].

Digestive Health

Onions are full of prebiotic fibers that help grow healthy gut bacteria, which are good for digestion.

Satiety

The fiber found in onions can help you feel full longer, which may help the effects of the Carnivore diet.

Micronutrients

Onions contain vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, B, and potassium.

Variety

Adding onions to your Carnivore meals helps you experience variety and more enjoyable cuisine.

Now that we're talking about the benefits of onions on a Carnivore diet let's see what nutrients can be found in onions.

Onion Nutrition

Here are the nutritional values based on a medium-sized raw onion (about 110 grams):

  • Calories: Around 44 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 10.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g
  • Sugars: 4.7 g
  • Protein: 0.9 g
  • Fat: Very low

Vitamins and Minerals:

  • Vitamin C: 9% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): 5% of the RDI
  • Folate: 5% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 4% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 6% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 2% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 2% of the RDI

Learn More: How to Get Vitamin C on a Carnivore Diet? [Best Meat to Avoid Scurvy]

Summary

Although the original Carnivore diet excludes plant-based foods like onions, there are more flexible versions that allow some onions.

Consuming small amounts of onions on a Carnivore diet can have some benefits, but gradually decreasing it helps you reach your Carnivore results.

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