Are Condiments Allowed on the Carnivore Diet?

Condiments on a Carnivore Diet

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Thinking of trying Carnivore, but you worry it is too plain and boring? Is life without spicy chicken wings, not worth living?

Well then, we best talk about condiments but to answer the question it’s a big fat no for the condiments you are thinking of. However, there are compromises and nuances as you will see.

Condiments on a Carnivore Diet

First, what is the Carnivore Diet?

The Carnivore Diet seems to be rising out of the shadow of the Ketogenic diet and appears to be helping people resolve many long-standing health issues.

It is all about only eating animal products. No grains, seed oils, fruit, and vegetables.

There are many versions of Carnivore, like strict beef and water, nose to tail, paleolithic ketogenic diet, and hypercarnivore. These all bring their own twists to the table.

For the purposes of the article, we will presume it is just a standard carnivore diet that prioritizes the consumption of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.

We will also presume that you have no major health issues to resolve. Maybe you are just looking to shed a bit of weight or add a bit of energy to the day.

Yet, if you want some motivation and anecdotal evidence of what a carnivore diet has done for people with certain health issues then check out these two testimonial pages:

  1. MeatRX
  2. Ketogenic Endurance: Carnivore Diet Success Stories

Basically the rule of thumb that I have seen is, “the sicker you are the stricter you should be.”

Sausage and Ketchup

What are condiments?

These are something you are adding to your meal, in the case of carnivore a chunk of meat, or a nice piece of oily fish.

The condiment is used to enhance the flavour, add a flavour or to compliment the flavour of the meal. In layman terms, spices, herbs and sauces.

This article will trigger a lot of carnivore folk, and I have seen people react angrily when people have raised the condiment question.

But the same keyboard warriors are probably writing their replies sipping a nice cup of coffee. What’s the difference? So screw those guys, and have an open mind.

Potential benefits of condiments

As with everything in life, there seem to be pros and cons. These are the 2 main pros as I see it:

  1. Adherence – staying on the carnivore diet could be hard for people, especially if you have just started and have come from the Standard American Diet. The initial transition could be very rough. So if condiments help you get through this period, and stops you from giving up. Then that is a net positive in my view. So eating a carnivore diet with condiments is better than trying to eat strict carnivore and quitting after a couple of weeks.
  2. Quantity – some people especially in the beginning can struggle with eating enough, and when you don’t eat enough you may not be getting the energy and nutrition you require. Then you might be really annoyed that you don’t feel as great as all the Carnivore Diet Success Stories you have seen. A condiment is going to give the taste profile a boost, and maybe change up the texture. This could let you eat more meat, which means you could feel a whole lot better. So eating enough meat with condiments is better than not been able to eat enough meat without condiments. In my opinion.

If you are interested in the above-mentioned success stories, then check out MeatRx and Carnivore Diet Success Stories.

Potential drawbacks of condiments

There are many shades of grey, and you will have to do your own assessment but there are pitfalls with condiments too. Like:

  1. Surviving or Thriving – the above benefits are legitimate, and you will likely do more than just survive. However, to truly thrive. The condiments may be holding you back. This is why once you are confident about carnivore; the carnivore diet advocates recommend you do at least one 60-90 day experiment on just Beef and Water. Otherwise, you may never realize something is stopping you from truly thriving.
  2. The WHY? Is important – this will require some honesty from you. Why, do you really want condiments and what condiments are you gravitating towards? For example, some condiments like Ketchup have a horrifying amount of sugar in them usually more than ice cream. So are you actually just holding onto your sweet tooth and giving in to your sugar cravings by having these types of sauces. If this is true, then moderation will not help you. You need to eliminate it.
Ketchup LOVE

All condiments are equal


I recommend you do 2 things when considering what condiments to use:

  1. Avoid shop-bought – most shop-bought sauces, mixes, rubs, and dressings are laced with sugar, fillers, and preservatives. These also usually have some form of industrial seed oil in them too. So a better option is too…
  2. Make your own – using real ingredients, so you know exactly what you are eating. If you want to make some BBQ chicken, then mix up your own marinade with high-quality honey and some spices. A good example of why you should make your own is – mayonnaise. Traditional homemade mayonnaise is basically 4 ingredients, eggs, mustard, vinegar, and oil. A cheap shop bought one could have 3 times the amount of ingredients, especially if it is a reduced-fat version.


This is a condiment and one that is recognized as being almost a requirement by nearly everyone on low carb diets, not just carnivore.

Some long-term carnivores play down the role of salt, and state all the salt you need is in the meat you eat but I don’t buy into that.

Whilst I love the simplicity of this, most advocates recommend that all short and medium-term carnivores should add additional salt to their diet.

Even if it is just to prevent the potential of Carnivore Flu, in the transition phase. In fact, Dr. Paul Saladino writes in his book, “The Carnivore Code” that people should be getting around 6-10 grams per day, especially those that work out heavily as you excrete a lot of sodium during exercise.

Like with all condiments, quality is important. Amazingly a lot of table salts include sugar. Yep, that’s the world we live in! Where food suppliers think we need sugar in our salt!

So look for good quality natural sea and rock salts that are packed full of micronutrients and trace minerals.

Personally I believe rock salts are superior to sea salts from the ocean because they have been exposed less to human influence. For example, a lot of sea salts from the ocean have been shown to include a lot of microplastics, caused by human pollution.

Redmond Real Salt is the best widely available salt in my opinion. It is unrefined and in its natural state, meaning it has an abundance of the trace mineral you want from a salt. Yet it is taken from the ground of a sea bed in Utah, USA, so it is less exposed to potential issues than sea salts.

The cool thing is that they offer our readers a 15% discount when they use this Redmond link or you can type in “Wild” at checkout. Either way should work!

My other tip with salt is to buy it in bulk. I buy the 10-pound bucket from Redmond and save major money that way.

Redmond Real Salt 10 Pound Bucket

Some people like to drink salted water throughout the day, but I find just simply salting your food is all you need to do to keep your salt levels where you need them. My personal rule of thumb is: “salt to taste.” Easy peasy!

This video covers salt while attempting a carnivore diet!


It is all in the detail. Is anyone really going to cry foul if you squirt some fresh lemon juice on a nice wild-caught salmon? That is totally different from covering everything in shop-bought Ketchup, isn’t it?

So you should use articles like this, and what you see in social media groups from people doing the diet as guides and motivation.

You should always do your own experimentation, and find what works for you. Some people could add a little honey to their Greek Yogurt, as a weekend treat and have no issues. Other people might do that, and end up on a 2 week Pizza binge.

So be wary of people and articles that talk in absolutes like “this is how you have to do it” or “this IS the best way”.

They don’t know your circumstances and you don’t know theirs. Dogma and diet is a very unfortunate combination, so just do what works for you. It’s that simple.

One really cool thing about the carnivore diet community, in general, is that most people want to see you succeed. That goes for me as well. You see I’m a carnivore diet coach with Dr. Shawn Baker’s group, MeatRX. You can book me or a number of highly motivating coaches to help you on your journey.

Check us out here: MeatRX coaching.

I’d also recommend expanding your mind with these three, essential, (in my opinion), books:

  1. The Carnivore Diet by Dr. Shawn Baker
  2. The Carnivore Code by Dr. Paul Saladino
  3. The Carnivore Cookbook by Jessica Haggard I wish I had this book when I first started carnivore. (Plus, for a limited time, use ANDY5 at checkout for $5.00 off)

…and of course, check out our carnivorous YouTube channel “Wild Lumens” for great recipes and insight. It’s an amazing resource! (Please help us out and subscribe.)

I hope this article was able to help set you up for success. Thanks for reading!

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Consult with and ask your doctor about any diet or medical-related questions. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.

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