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What is the Best steak For the Carnivore Diet?

By Liam McAuliffe Updated on

For most carnivore dieters, a well-formulated carnivore diet meal plan is based around succulent, fatty cuts of steak. In fact, there’s a popular approach to eating carnivore that calls for consuming only steak, water, and salt. The primacy of steak on an all-meat diet makes selecting the best steak for the carnivore diet a crucial decision. 

In this article, we’ll explore the role of steak on a carnivore diet and determine the best steak to meet this diet’s particular nutritional needs. 

Table of Contents

Why Steak on Carnivore

Cows are large ruminant animals that nutritionally resemble the herbivores that our hyper-carnivorous hunter-gatherer ancestors thrived on for nearly two million years.

Our bodies retain the genetic inheritance of our ancestral reliance on fatty meat. A steak-based carnivore diet is a key to realigning our physiology with an ancestral diet in the modern world. 

Fatty cuts of steak provide carnivore dieters with a near-perfect complex of macro and micronutrients in the most bioavailable formats. Many of the vitamins, minerals, and compounds in steak are found only in ruminant meat. 

Cows have a rumen–the first of four stomachs. This digestive system allows them to process cellulose from plants into a fatty acids profile that is ideal for high-fat, low-carb human diets

The rumen stomach also helps cows eliminate plant toxins and antinutrients from their plant-based diets. Something humans can’t do themselves. Eating plants exposes us to plant defense mechanisms that can be harmful. This is why Dr. Kiltz likes to say that we humans came out of the trees not to eat the grass, but to eat the grass eaters. 

Fatty Steak for Carnivore 

Ribeye beef steak in a stainless steel pan with butter.

Since most animal products are zero-carb, the carnivore diet is, by default, a high-fat, low-carb way of eating.

As a keto-carnivore eating plan, it’s important that you get enough fat in relation to your protein intake. Most modern humans think of meat as lean muscle meat, but our ancestors thought of meat as primarily fat, with some muscle, along with nutrient-dense organs like liver, bone marrow, and brains

Our evolutionary focus on fatty animals is preserved in our ability to easily enter ketosis. Over eons as hunter-gatherers, the human body became efficient at using dietary fat for fuel, storing fat on the body for lean times, and breaking it down into powerful energy molecules called ketones. 

To maintain a ketogenic metabolic state and avoid overdoing the protein, most carnivore dieters need to consume about twice as many calories as fat compared with protein

This means that the best steak for the carnivore diet is going to be the fattiest cuts

The Best Cuts of Steak for The Carnivore Diet

One way to select the best steak on carnivore is to see how closely their macronutrient profile aligns with the optimal carnivore macronutrient intake, which looks like

  • 70-80% of calories from fat
  • 15-30% calories from protein
  • 0-10% calories from carbs

Here’s a list of the fattiest steaks. 

Nutrition Info per 100g oz. 

Beef CutCaloriesFatProteinCarbs% Calories from fat% Calories from protein
Boneless short ribs4714221.608020
Ground Beef (70/30)3323014.308218
Brisket (Point)35828.523.507228
Chuck Roast35927.326.406831
Ground Beef (75/25)2932515.807723
New York Strip28122.21907129
Ground Beef (80/20)2542017.207129
Skirt Steak25517.123.506139

Of course, with the leaner cuts you can boost your fat intake by simply slathering on a few tablespoons of butter, ghee, or beef tallow

You can also ask your butcher to get any of these cuts “un-trimmed.”

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The Best Steak for Carnivore: Ribeye is King!

When considering fat content, nutrient density, and overall carnivorous pleasure, ribeye is king!

Ribeye is one of the most nutritionally complete foods on earth and is loaded with an abundance of bioavailable nutrients that support numerous markers of health, fertility, and longevity

ribeye steak with nutrients

On nutrition labels, you’ll find many key ribeye nutrients like B vitamins, zinc, selenium, vitamin D, and iron. But ribeye is also a source of other vital nutrients like carnitine, creatine, taurine, and carnosine that USDA doesn’t list.

Let’s take a look at what nutrients you’re nourishing yourself with each time you make a 1lb ribeye the centerpiece of your carnivore meals :

NUTRIENT1lbs (16 OZ) 
B1 (THIAMIN) 55%
B3 (NIACIN)102%

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Best Steak for Carnivore: Nutrient Highlights

Let’s break some of these nutrients out and learn a bit more about what they’re doing for you. 

Conjugated Linoleic ACID (CLA)

Though this is a nutrient you won’t find on a nutrition label, its benefits warrant us calling it out. 

A result of the fermenting process that takes place within the ruminant digestive system is the production of a highly beneficial fatty acid called Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

Fatty cuts like ribeye and New York strip provide an abundance of CLA, which is associated with health benefits, including

  • Reduced body fat, increased lean muscle mass
  • Reduced risk of atherosclerosis
  • Improved immune response
  • Reduced symptoms of diabetes
  • Increased bone density

The human body cannot manufacture CLA on its own, which means that you need to get it through dietary sources–steak on keto is a prime source. 

A four-ounce serving of grass-fed ribeye steak contains up to 430 mcg of  CLA.  

Stearic and Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

Steak provides other beneficial fats, including stearic acid and monounsaturated fatty acid. 

Stearic acid is one of the most prevalent saturated fats in steak. Studies have associated stearic acid with improved mitochondrial function and weight loss.

Another fatty acid that makes up nearly half the fat in a ribeye steak is called monounsaturated fatty acid. 

Monounsaturated fat has been shown to

  • Reduce inflammation
  • reduce bad cholesterol
  • increase good cholesterol
  • Potentially reduce the risk of heart disease

Micronutrients in Steak 

In addition to an abundance of beneficial fats, steak on keto provides numerous vital nutrients, some of which are only found in meat. 

  • Carnitine: Show to significantly improve male fertility. Protects against anemia.   Promotes mitochondrial function and increases insulin sensitivity for people with type 2 diabetes. Reduces risk of heart disease.
  • Carnosine:  Cardioprotective. Prevents cell and tissue damage caused by sugar intake.  Provides anti-aging antioxidant effects that neutralize free radicals and protect telomeres.
  • Creatine: Supports cognitive function. Enhances athletic performance. Low levels of creatine are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Supports cardiovascular health and regulates blood sugar.
  • Taurine: A powerful antioxidant that reduces glycation, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Found to have anti-depressive effects in animal studies. 
  • Zinc: Supports immune function and heart health. A key factor in insulin formation. Increases glycemic control for people with diabetes. [19]. The zinc in steak is 400% more bioavailable than the zinc you get in breakfast cereals. [15] Acts as an anti-depressant. In men, low levels of zinc are associated with lower sperm count and erectile dysfunction.
  • Vitamin B12: Only found in animal products. Essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system, the synthesis of DNA, and the production of red blood cells. Deficiency in B12 is associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. [21] A powerful natural antidepressant.
  • Heme Iron: Found only in meat. Critical to proper immune function, cognition, and energy metabolism.

Beef Organ Meats


Though you can thrive on a carnivore diet without organ meats, forgoing these natural multivitamins would be selling your nutrition short. 

Studies on traditional hunter-gather cultures reveal that they prized organ meats for their robust health benefits. 

The revival of nose-to-tail eating has thrust these overlooked morsels into the limelight. Now, it’s fairly easy to find high-quality beef liver loaded with vital nutrients, including vitamin A (retinol), E, K2, vitamin D, and even vitamin C

Beef liver is so remarkably high in vitamin A that you can only enjoy it a few times a week or you’ll risk vitamin A toxicity. 

Other nutritionally potent and surprisingly delicious beef organ meats to incorporate into your carnivore diet include

If sourcing and cooking organ meats is too intimidating, beef organ meat supplements may be a good option. 

Here’s a peek under the hood of beef liver to see what makes it so nutritionally powerful. 

Beef Liver
Based on 100 grams
Net Carbs3.9g
Vitamins%Daily Value
Vitamin A   

Vitamin B6  

Vitamin B12  






Vitamin C  

Vitamin D   

Vitamin K  























Iron Magnesium


















Carnivore Diet Bone Broth

Bone Broth Bouillon in Metal Pan. Organic Food.

Though not exactly steak, beef bone broth is a staple of many carnivore diets

It can be especially helpful for boosting electrolytes and staying hydrated when transitioning from a high-carb standard diet. =

Bone broth is also high in a particularly beneficial amino acid called glycine. Glycine helps your body produce the bile it needs to break down the increased fat load that is part of the carnivore lifestyle. This can help alleviate constipation and diarrhea. 

Beef Tallow

Beef dripping or Tallow a rendered form of beef or mutton fat used in cooking or as a traditional shortening

Beef tallow is fat rendered from beef. It’s high in saturated fatty acids, making it resistant to oxidation and great for high-heat cooking. 

When Dr. Kiltz enjoys a treat day, he makes homemade tallow-fried french fries. 

Tallow is also a good way to increase the fat ratio when eating leaner cuts of steak. 

Grass-Fed Steak on Carnivore

Agro, agriculture and man on farm with cattle or livestock on field for diary, milk or beef meat. Sustainability, farming and male farmer with cows checking grass health on countryside land outdoors

Though conventional steak is certainly a healthy whole food that will provide your nutrient needs on carnivore, grass-fed steak is even more nutritious. 

Grass-fed steak provides higher concentrations of 

  • thiamine (B1)
  • riboflavin (B2)
  • fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • heme iron 
  • Up to 500% more omega-3 fatty acids.
  • 200% more CLA than grain-fed beef.
  • Much higher in vitamin E, which offers antioxidant protection of cell membranes.
  • Higher levels of various other antioxidants.

Best Steak for the Carnivore Diet: The Takeaway

All cuts of steak are excellent nutritionally abundant cornerstones of a carnivore diet. However, ribeye steak provides the greatest abundance of nutrients in near-perfect ratios for our physiological needs. In fact, ribeye is among the healthiest foods to eat in the world

Ribeye and other cuts of fatty steak provide essential fats and protein and an array of essential micronutrients in formats that are easy for your body to absorb and use. 

If you’re in a pinch, a rule of thumb is to choose the fattiest cut of steak available. 

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