Can You Use Spices and Herbs on a Carnivore Diet? Why Not?

Spices Carnivore Diet

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The hardcore carnivore diet is one that consists solely of eating animal products, adding salt, and drinking water. Unfortunately herbs and spices come from the plant kingdom and therefore are not allowed on a strict carnivore diet.

What? No spices or herbs? I know sounds crazy right? However the wild thing about them is that they could be potentially causing health issues and chronic problems due to their toxic nature.

If you are some what new to the carnivore diet then check out our amazing and informative article:

  1. Carnivore Diet 101: A Meaty Resource From a Practitioner
Spices Carnivore Diet

Elimination Diet Concept

Why are people so interested in the carnivore diet? It appears to be due to the fact that the carnivore diet is the ultimate elimination diet.

What that means is that when people go on this type of diet they eliminate a lot of toxic and health-damaging plant foods.

You’re probably thinking, “wait, plant foods are good for us.” That’s what I thought too but we have been duped!

Plants are in constant survival mode and don’t want to be eaten so what they do is form their own internal and external pesticides to discourage them from being eaten.

Naturally some are more dangerous than others or I should say tolerable. Over time some people develop major health problems as a result of overeating them.

We are talking plants and veggies like kale, chard, potatoes, spinach, and of course spices and herbs!

Some plant pesticides can be deadly and certain seeds contain forms of arsenic!

If you want a more thorough and informative article on the surprising toxicity found in the fruits and veggies of our food supply then definitely check out these articles:

As you can see the carnivore diet is an elimination diet that can potentially help your body heal after being bombarded with toxic plant foods. There are people healing from all sorts of chronic issues like obesity, skin problems, arthritis, autoimmune disease, brain fog, irritable bowel syndrome, Chrohn’s, diabetes, and a host of other problems.

Need to see some anecdotal evidence then check out MeatRX. You will find some amazing health transformations.

Chemical Hazards in Spices & Herbs

Just like plants, spices and herbs are grown by big agriculture with many coming from China. Now it doesn’t take a genius to know these large corporate conglomerates are using non-organic farming practices.

What that means is there are man-made pesticides and toxins found in them. That’s why in 2016 a study was done to show just how toxic and hazardous spices can be.

The study concluded by saying, “The results demonstrated that the mycotoxins aflatoxins and ochratoxin A, the pesticides chlorpyrifos and triazophos, and the dye Sudan I posed the highest human health risk for spices and herbs.”

The study:

  1. Prioritization of chemical hazards in spices and herbs for European monitoring programs

Some of the health culprits found in spices, herbs and plants.

  • Oxalates
  • Lectins
  • Glycoalkaloids
  • Goitrogens
  • Cyanogenic Glycosides
  • Phytic Acid
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • Flavonoids
  • Saponins
  • Salicylates
Big Agriculture

Spices Are A Problem?

While reading the book, The Carnivore Code by Dr. Paul Saladino, he mentions the challenge of keeping spices in your diet. Here are a few points he brings up.


For people looking to lose weight on a carnivore diet satiety is an important issue. Sometimes overeating is what keeps us too heavy. He mentions that adding taste to our foods and making them hyper-palatable is what triggers our body to keep on wanting to eat.

By removing herbs and spices you are less likely to overeat and by doing so it’s easier to fulfill whatever calorie goals you are aiming for.

Toxic Seed Concept

Evolution is amazing! Plants have evolved to make their seeds toxic or deadly to animals when crushed and eaten. In fact most of the seeds we humans consume in the form of spices have some level of toxicity.

Dr. Paul Saladino believes if you are really trying to adhere to a carnivore diet and want to see great results then it’s a good idea to try to refrain from using these guys:

  • Black and White Pepper
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Cardamom
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Mustard
  • Caraway

Cinnamon is also a funky taste enhancer that comes from tree bark which has caused health issues in certain people.

Herbs a Little More Tolerable?

Dr. Saladino also mentions that herbs derived from plant leaves are a little more tolerable to certain people than the above-mentioned seeds. Here is his shortlist of potentially more tolerable herbs:

  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Sage
  • Mint

A Limited Approach

Dr. Shawn Baker, a huge proponent of the Carnivore Diet has a little bit of a different take on herbs and spices. According to him in his book, The Carnivore Diet, he mentions that people who are transitioning into the carnivore diet find herbs and spices to be a little more helpful.

It makes the meat a little more exciting and easier to eat but over time people ween off the spices and herbs.

Dr. Baker even adds some extra spice to his meat for special occasions!

However he does explain that if they are causing you problems and discomfort then by all means it may be better to just avoid them.

Sauces, Seasonings and What Not

Who doesn’t love a nice and tasty BBQ sauce? I mean us meat eaters crave that stuff but in all honesty it comes with a price.

Most of the store-bought sauces and flavor enhancers have some very unwanted ingredients like vegetable oils, gluten soy, and sugar just to name a few.

Dr. Baker advises that is you go down the sauce and seasoning route to just make your own so you absolutely know you are not including those toxic ingredients.

Salt for a Carnivore Diet

Keep It Salty!

The one flavor enhancer not to shy from is salt! In fact one of the mistakes newbie carnivore dieters make is not eating enough of it.

What’s a good amount or goal to shoot for? According to Dr. Saladino he is saying 6-10 grams is a nice target.

However not all salts are created equal. Stay away from the chemically and mass-produced salt and stick with the sea salt from inland salt beds.

Sea salt from the sea and oceans is potentially contaminated with human-made toxins and interlaced with microplastics which our bodies really don’t need.

The best brand, in my opinion, is Redmond Sea Salt from the state of Utah. This salt comes from an underground sea bed that hasn’t been contaminated with plastics and other toxins.

Pick it up in bulk to save money as you will go through it rather quickly assuming you stick to the 6-10 grams per day recommendation from Dr. Saladino.

Here is the quick and easy Amazon link to get it delivered on the quickness.

Most carnivore diet doctors agree salt is a major player in good health and essential for life. That’s why we went deep on the topic in our article on it.

In fact not having enough salt while on a carnivore diet can be dangerous and cause many challenges. This is an article you don’t want to miss.

My Experience with Spices

I’ve been a carnivore dieter since 2018 and since then I have experimented with different herbs and spices to see if they are a problem for me.

It turns out some are. For example I can’t mess with cumin and paprika. You know, the common ingredients for taco meat. These spices wreck my stomach and give me the worst cramps.

Prior to a carnivore diet I wouldn’t have been able to figure out what was causing me stomach issues but now you can do simple food tests and see what the culprit is.

Add Salt

Conclusion and Thoughts

To me the magic of the carnivore diet is that it is an ultimate cleanse. It allows your body to heal from being bombarded by toxic plant foods.

Personally I’m glad I eliminated herbs and spices when I went hardcore carnivore. I believe it gave my body an opportunity to heal.

Nowadays I add some pepper on occasion but usually have no problem with just salt.

The cool thing is some people are more tolerable of spices and herbs and the carnivore diet isn’t a strict dogmatic protocol. If they work for you then that’s great. Either way the journey to optimal health is full of learning and experimentation and I hope this article has helped.

I really suggest getting these two books on the carnivore diet so you can see it from a doctor’s point of view.

  1. The Carnivore Diet
  2. The Carnivore Code

Good luck on your path to optimal health and thanks for reading!

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or dietician or nutritionist. 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.


Prioritization of chemical hazards in spices and herbs for European monitoring programs

The Carnivore CodeThe Carnivore Code

The Carnivore DietThe Carnivore Diet

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