Zero Carb Interview: Ryan Grippe

1. How long have you been eating a Zero Carb (No Plant Foods) diet?

For the better part of 7 years.

2. What motivated you to try this way of eating? Weight? Health?

Despite my healthy appearance in my late teens / early twenties, I was plagued with health problems. Chronic heartburn, IBS, and unexplained fatigue. I’ve had heartburn since I was around 12 years old! However, the most severe of my health issues were Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs). PVCs are essentially premature heart beats that cause the sensation of your heart beating erratically.

The PVCs got so bad that I was about to have a Cardiac Ablation procedure performed. I asked my Cardiologist if any lifestyle changes could be made to decrease PVC frequency. I really wanted to avoid having an invasive procedure. He offered prescriptions, typical.

When I adopted a very low carb diet, I noticed my PVCs went away 100%. I found this instantaneous symptom abatement so puzzling, but I was incredibly grateful.

In order to see if my new Zero Carb diet was the cure, I went on a 100% vegan diet. What better way to test than to eat exactly the opposite of Zero Carb? This was a terrible mistake. After a few days the PVCs got so bad I ended up in the Emergency Room. While hooked up to the EKG machine we found my heartbeat was comprised of over 35% premature beats. They gave me an intravenous beta blocker to reduce the PVCs. All my labs appeared normal despite the dramatic onset of PVCs.

I have tested my theory of carbs causing PVCs a few more times over the years and I end up with PVCs in a matter of a day. I’m not foolish enough to go vegan anymore for these experiments though!

I’ve informed my cardiologist of this phenomenon. He is admittedly puzzled but open-minded. We cannot pinpoint the exact biological cause. I feel it’s either a downstream effect of systemic inflammation, symptom of histamine intolerance, irritation of the vagus nerve, or an undiagnosed hiatal hernia exacerbated by bloating do to maldigested carbohydrates.

I’ve grown to care less about the exact cause. All I care about is how great I feel and how grateful I am for this diet.

3. How long did it take you to adapt to a Zero Carb diet, both physically and psychologically?

Physically the adaption phase for me was unpleasant but short lasting. I had insomnia and low blood volume due to the diuretic effects of first entering ketosis. If only I had known how helpful sodium supplementation would have been! The “keto flu” as people call it lasted about two weeks.

Psychologically the transition into Zero Carb was more about shaking all the misinformation we have been brainwashed into believing for so many decades about nutrition. Every fat-rich meal I ate at the beginning of the transition made me feel guilty. Those of you starting this type of diet in 2019+ should be grateful for the plentiful research and media support these diets have garnered over the past few years. Seven years ago, when I started this diet I was really going against the grain of conventional wisdom.

4. What books or people were most influential in guiding you to this way of eating?

While in early college I was a silly vegan and was dealing with a host of health issues. I soon found myself in a place of open-mindedness to change. I stumbled upon Mark Sissons blog (marksdailyapple) and it changed my views on the proper human diet almost overnight. As a result of this I went very low carb.

I now follow Dr. Shawn Baker, Mikhaila Peterson, and Dr. Paul Saladino on social media. Their content is great.

But honestly, I feel that after a certain amount of time on this diet you don’t really need help convincing yourself that what you’re doing is right through books or low carb health educators. You’ll soon have symptom improvement, better labs, maybe even some weight loss. No amount of fear mongering from vegans or misinformed physicians will make you change your mind.

5. Do you eat only meat, or do you include eggs, cheese, and cream in your diet?

I eat beef, lamb, chicken, seafood, butter, and eggs. I react terribly to pork so I avoid it like the plague.

Pork is honestly in my opinion trash meat. Most pigs eat garbage food and are filthy. Their meat is full of histamine and terrible polyunsaturated fat ratios. Don’t take my word for it though. Eat nothing but beef for a few days, then eat nothing but pork for a few days. See if you notice a difference. Most people will find that pork is suboptimal at best and utter garbage at worst.

6. What percentage of your diet is beef verses other types of meats?

70% beef I would say. I would eat more lamb and other ruminant animals if they were more widely available. The lack of availability of other meats is such a shame. I absolutely love lamb. The gamey taste of deer is like spiritual experience as well. I toss in chicken or seafood from time to time just to change things up. Ruminant meat is by far the most satiating.

7. When you eat beef, do you cook it rare, medium, or well done?

Depends on the cut. Ribeyes and NY Strip get a light sear in a cast iron pan and nothing more. Beef short ribs and brisket get cooked low and slow (well done). I live in Texas so I eat my fair share of fatty beef brisket!

8. Do you add extra fat to your meat? (i.e. butter, lard, tallow)

I add lots of butter when the meat is lean. I also add butter to the pan when making eggs.

9. Do you limit your meat consumption, or do you eat until satisfied?

I eat until satisfied. I see no reason to limit myself.

10. Do you eat liver or other organ meats? If so, how often?

I occasionally take some beef liver capsules. They’re probably unnecessary.

11. Do you consume bone broth? If so, how often?

Not really. I’m not a fan of stews or liquid meals. I prefer grilled meats. I do have some collagen powder on a regular basis though which provides some of the nutrients that bone broth typically would.

12. How many meals do you eat per day on average?

Two. Usually a light lunch and a bigger dinner.

13. How much meat do you eat per day on average?

Not that much! I focus on fatty cuts because I prefer the taste, so I get satiated quickly. I’d say I eat about 1.5lbs a day.

14. Do you eat grass-fed/pasture-raised meat, or regular commercially produced meat?

I do try to eat grassfed meats when I can, but I eat both.

15. Do you drink any beverages besides water? (i.e. coffee, tea)

I have one cup of black coffee every morning. I find tea useless and underwhelming, so I don’t bother. I also enjoy sparkling water.

16. Do you use salt?

Yes!!!!! I find salting liberally necessary to keep my blood volume up and feeling great. I use pink salt. If I feel dehydrated, I’ll chug a glass of water with a teaspoon of salt in it and I’ll feel fantastic in a minute.

17. Do you use spices?

Kinda. With beef generally no. Beef has so much flavor that I just find spices distracting and unnecessary. Fish and chicken (which I eat rarely) I generally add some basic spices.

18. Do you take any supplements?

Just some electrolytes. Magnesium, Potassium, high quality salt. Occasionally collagen powder but I consider that more of a food.

19. How much money do you spend on food each month?

Too much. But I like to eat the higher quality cuts of meat: prime ribeyes etc. This diet doesn’t need to be expensive though. Grassfed ground beef and eggs can be the pillar of this diet and both are very affordable.

20. Do you have any tips for making this diet more affordable?

Fresh ground meats and eggs. I wouldn’t buy almost expired meats to save money though. Older meat is higher in histamine and may be problematic for some people.

21. Do you exercise regularly? If so, how often and how vigorously?

Absolutely not. I maintain around 8% bodyfat with no effort and I’m super busy with my career. I just can’t find the time or desire to do so. I do go on long walks with my girlfriend though if one considers that exercise. Exercise may very well be essential for some people to thrive so don’t let this answer talk you out of exercise if it’s essential for you.

22. What benefits have you experienced since beginning a Zero Carb diet? (i.e. recovery from illness, overall health, body composition, exercise performance, hormonal, mental or psychological, etc.)

The benefits I’ve noticed are seemingly endless. Describing symptom abatement doesn’t do the Zero Carb diet justice. This diet has made me feel like I’m living life on an entirely higher plane. However, I’ve outlined some specific health improvements below.

• Much higher energy levels.

• Cured my chronic Heartburn.

• Cured my IBS.

• Cured my Premature Ventricular Contractions.

• My face used to be very bloated looking all the time. This has gone away.

23. What do you enjoy most about eating a Zero Carb diet?

I enjoy my heart not beating erratically and throwing up after almost every meal due to my esophagus being on fire from stomach acid! I also enjoy the simplicity. The diet component of life can really be as simple as drinking water and eating meat.

24. Do you have any advice for someone who is just beginning a Zero Carb diet?

Please avoid over complicating this. This diet is ridiculously simple. Eat meat until your satisfied and live your life. Up your salt intake to combat the “keto flu”. Be cautious with pork and dairy. Give them a try only after trying ruminate meats only first.

25. Are your friends and family supportive of your Zero Carb lifestyle? If not, how do you handle this?

People are incredibly supportive! Many years ago everyone thought I was crazy for eating only meat. However, since the Paleo/Keto craze started people have been more open to meat-based diets. Ironically the most outspoken critics of my diet have been fat people.

My old primary care physician was actually the least supportive person. Every marker of my health after adopting a Zero Carb diet was perfect. Labs were perfect, body mass index perfect, all my old health problems were gone, yet he focused on my slightly elevated LDL and suggested a statin. He has since been fired!

I suggest finding a doctor that stays current with medical science. Many of these goofballs open a practice with the mentality that their schooling is over. Wrong!! There are a ton of fantastic doctors out there. Take some time to find a good one.

26. Is there anything you would like share about this way of eating that I have not already asked you?

Absolutely! I’ve found that a lot of people have trouble coming to terms with carnivory being the natural human diet. Much of this is due to our INSANE disconnection from nature. People think that Frankenfoods like soy burgers are healthy and a steak is an atrocity to health. A helpful exercise many people can take part in is to simply go on a weekend camping trip.

While on your camping trip go on long hikes. During these hikes be conscious of what you see. Birds, bunnies, deer, frogs? Maybe you even find a bird nest with some eggs? Maybe you see a pond; surely there is fish in the pond?

What about what you didn’t see? Did you find any bread by chance? What about a mill to make grass seeds edible? Did you find some chocolate chip cookies? A soybean burger with spouted lentils? What about “healthy” 5 grain gluten free pancake mix?

The environment you see during your camping trip was the environment of our ancestors. This is how we spent millions of years of our evolution. Base your diet on these realities and you will be rewarded.

Editor’s note: Not everyone benefits from salt on a zero carb diet. Please read my page on this subject for more information. https://zerocarbzen.com/salt/

If you wish to connect with others eating a zero carb diet, please join us in the Facebook group Principia Carnivora.

 

22 thoughts on “Zero Carb Interview: Ryan Grippe

  1. Great interview. Thank you Ryan. This may encourage some others to overcome their seemingly incurable health problems by trying meat only. I can identify with all you said but couldn’t have put it so well. I started eating just meat close on 5 years ago . By then there was a bit more support through Facebook groups like ZIOH which I found most helpful. I’ve never looked back.

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  2. Hello, Thank you for this interesting and inspiring interview!

    I have some question and will appreciate your response.

    I’m 63 and suffer for many years for some unexplained symptoms that are distracting my well being. I tried so many things and diets.

    I want to give this eat meat drink water a chance but I’m afraid! Why?

    1/ I’m underweight and worried about loosing more weight. I have a quick metabolism and was always thin but now even more.

    2/ My blood type is A+ and I read that too much meat is harmful for my type – BTW what is your blood type? (I believe all the benefits you have but may be it isn’t beneficial for every one?)

    3/ Isn’t too much meat with no vegies and fibers causing constipation?

    Thank You and have a Great Weekend!

    Rachel

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    • Hi Rachel –

      The key to maintaining your weigh is eating enough calories. There is no reason you should not be able to eat the same amount of calories on a zero carb diet compared to any other diet. The majority of calories on a zero carb diet need to come from fat, not protein. So by choosing fatty meat, you should not experience any unwanted weight loss.

      I am very familiar with Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s work on blood type and diet. In fact, I was a personal patient of his back in the early 1990s. He is a brilliant man in my opinion. I agree with his ideas on certain lectins in foods being harmful for people with certain blood types; however, I don’t agree with his overall dietary recommendations for specific blood types. These are two completely different subjects and quite independent of one another and need to be evaluated separately. By adopting a zero carb diet, you will virtually eliminate all lectins from your diet. All meat from ruminants is completely free of lectins. I strongly suspect that this is one of the main reasons so many people benefit from a zero carb diet, especially when they eat primarily beef, lamb, and other meats from grass-grazing animals. Many many people with type A blood have adopted a zero carb diet and benefited. I know this because it is a frequently asked question in our Facebook group Principia Carnivora.

      Believe it or not, fiber is more responsible for causing constipation than preventing it. There is usually a transition period of a few weeks after a person adopts a zero carbs diet. Some people can be initially constipated while the remaining plant foods are still being eliminated from their bowels. But more often than not, people experience the opposite: diarrhea. A lot depends on the health of your gall bladder and how much bile you produce in response to eating fat. The more fat you eat, the bile you should produce. Bile is naturally laxative. If you go to our Facebook group Principia Carnivora and read the “Announcements,” the issue of constipation is addressed. Again, this is a frequently asked question.

      The only way to truly know how a zero carb will affect you personally is to try it. I would encourage you to try it for 90 days and see how you feel at that point.

      Best wishes,
      Esmée

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  3. Thank you Ryan.
    Can you please tell us how much salt/sodium & Mg & potassium you take daily?
    I’ve been ZC for nearly 3 years & can’t seem to shake (get off) all 3 of these supplements but I am making progress in that direction. I don’t think it a bad thing to supplement with these three, but I read that most long term ZC’rs do not supplement at all & so if that is the case then I ought to be able to. Not that I hate supplementing, nor trying to fit in with others , just 1 less thing in my life to do is my ONLY reason trying to eliminate them.
    My issue is I get muscle cramps if I don’t supplement.
    Many have written (paraphrasing) : ” I supplemented for months or years & eventually discovered it was just complicating the whole adaptation process”. I agree, if I had to start over I would not supplement & struggle just a week or 3 & be done with it, which is the direction I’m heading in now , I just have to go gradually & find a good time to eliminate all of them for that 1-3 weeks.
    Until then, I do find it helpful to hear how others are supplementing. Can you please tell us how much salt/sodium & Mg & potassium you take daily?

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    • Hi Lou –

      I will respond with my two cents for what it’s worth. I have discovered that BOTH increasing AND decreasing the amount of any of these electrolyte minerals can result in temporary muscle cramps for me. Once I stopped everything completely, I had no more cramps after 3 days. If you choose to supplement them, I would encourage you to be extremely consistent with the amounts you take and the time of day you take them and not vary it. I will also share that meat high in histamines can also cause muscle cramps for reasons that I do not understand. I have also experienced this from kefir and bone marrow as well which are both very high in histamines. Just another variable to be aware of as you attempt to fine-tune your zero carb diet.

      Best Wishes,
      Esmée

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    • Ryan here. Daily I take about 400mg magnesium and about about 400mg potassium. I use sea salt liberally on all my meats and drink some water with a teaspoon of sea salt in it when I feel particularly thirsty. I do respect that everyone’s needs vary in this area. This is just what I have found to be beneficial for me.

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  4. I enjoy this site and all the interviews very much! I have learned lots but ha e questions. I have been zero carb now for 6 months was keto for 1.5 years due to years of digestive ailments and sensitivities. It did not fully help plus I lost a lot of muscle and fat. I went from 97lbs to 82 lbs. I am 5 ft and 59 yo. I also come from a very calorie restricted background; anorexia and bulimia. I am trying to eat to satiety but am a little concerned with how much I can put away. I am eating about 3 lbs per day; loosely aiming for a 2:1 fat to protein ratio and fat is indeed what I crave. But it’s hard to let go of the restrict your protein mindset. I run 3 days a week and do light weight training 3 days.. Will my appetite stabilise? I am not so concerned about weight gain but prefer to be in a ketotic state as it seems to manage inflammation better. I really dont see any evidence that I am in ketosis now by using the urine sticks. But I hesitate to limit protein given how I wasted away the last year. Any input would be great.
    Thank you!

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    • Three pounds is a lot for someone your size. Is your 2:1 ratio measured in calories or grams? Can you tell me your total calories and total fat versus protein in grams? The longer you are in ketosis, the better you get burning ketones. Urine only shows the ketones you done use, so it’s not the best way to determine if you are actually in ketosis or not. You would need a blood ketone meter to get a more accurate picture.

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      • I used to do the blood tests but they are expensive. And when I went ZC everything I read seemed to say measuring was not necessary but I want those ketosis benefits. I am going roughly by the paleo medicina protocol of 35 grams of raw fat by weight for every 100 grams of raw meat. I aim for 2 meals a day but am hungrier some days. I rarely crave lean over the fat. My D.O. says I am basically recovering from a level of starvation which is why I am so hungry and that I will have to work through this until my body is in a better place healing and weight wise but he is not really on board w the carnivore diet so not much help there. A typical meal 2 or 3 or even 4 times a day is 200 grams of beef raw weight at 4 calories a gram and 70 grams of raw fat a 9 calories a gram. So calorie wise that’s about 2800 calories if I eat that 2x. I read lots of people are very hungry at the beginning. But most people are not recovering from a weight and muscle loss deficit like this. I am otherwise healthy other than digestive issues and a total colectomy done last year from which I fully recovered.
        Thank you so very much for the reply!!

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        • Did you test your ketones yourself, or have a blood test through a doctor? There are ketone meters, like glucose meters, that you can use at home.

          *Beef, separable fat, raw* per Cronometer does not have 1 gm of fat per 1 gm of weight. Part of the weight is protein and connective tissue and water. So, 70 gm of raw beef fat has 50 gm of actual fat, as well as 5 gm of protein. The calories are 472. Do you eat it raw or cook it? If you cook it, you will likely lose some of the fat in the pan unless you pour it back over your meat and eat all of it.

          Lean portion is also not just protein. What cut do you use for your lean? Some cuts will have more fat than other cuts. Round has about 25% fat by calories, while sirloin, chuck, and ribeye all have have 50-60% fat by calories in the lean parts. A piece of sirloin weighing 200 gm will have 60 gm of protein and 9 gm of fat. The calories are 320.

          One meal of 200 gm of lean sirloin and 70 gm of fat would give you 65 gm of protein and 60 gm of fat. So you are eating a 1:1 ratio of fat to protein with a total of 775 calories in this one meal.

          So, I think you are underestimating your total caloric intake, primarily because you are over estimating the amount of fat you are eating. I would suggest that you try doubling your fat intake without increasing your lean portion and see how you feel.

          Please let me know if this help.

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          • Thank you for the clarification! I ordered some more test strips; as I had used them successfully in the past.

            I will try your suggestion and let you know.

            One thing that is worrisome is my latest labs (got results last night) show greatly increased bun and creatine. My doctor is in a tizzy over what he says is decreased kidney function and wants me to see a specialist. My kidneys have never been an issue. Isn’t this common on a carnivore diet and no threat in a healthy person?

            Sorry for all the questions you have been very generous with your replies.

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          • I cannot answer your question about the increased creatine and BUN on carnivore. I do know that a carnivore diet does not harm healthy kidneys. If your doctor truly feels that your kidneys are not working properly, then he should refer you to a nephrologist for further testing and evaluation. You might try reaching out to Shawn Baker MD, Jason Fung MD, and Paul Mabry MD, all doctors in the Carnivore or Ketogenic community, with this question.

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      • I measure raw weight with probably bit more in fat because it is what my body seems hungriest for. I eat basically the same meals every day. I make a blended ground beef fat cream soup out of 2kg of meat and 400 -500 grams of fat trimmings. This is easy for me to digest. To that I add about a 200 gram portion of raw lean beef ground to a tartare (I also have issues chewing) and 70 grams raw weight fat plus a 114 gram raw weight ground beef patty (73/37) fried in beef tallow (I eat the drippings too. Plus 4 raw egg yolks. If I had a strenuous workout/extra hungry I will add a couple of roasted marrow bones.
        This gets me to satiety. But I get signs of hunger 4-6 hours later.
        I considered trying to fast until lunch doing 2x a day but am more concerned about healing and resetting my satiety switch from literally decades of severe calorie restriction.
        The good news is I love this woe, am gaining weight and muscle.
        Sorry if this is TMI and I really appreciate the feedback.

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        • I don’t want the grams of lean and fat by weight. I want the actual grams of protein and fat in the meat and fat you are eating. For example, one kg of lean sirloin steak (all visible fat removed) by weight has 1600 calories, 1200 (300) gm) from protein and 400 (45 gm) from fat. While 1/2 kg by weight of separable fat has 1695 calories, 80 (20 gm) from protein and 1600 (180) from fat. How much protein is in the lean portion will depend on what cut you are using. Sirloin is particularly lean. Chuck roast, on the other had will have less protein and more fat percentage wise. I use Cronometer to find the numbers I’m looking for.

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          • I find this very confusing. I only use lean cuts of beef so I can weigh and add the fat separately. I haven’t found a chronometer that makes any sense to me. But thank you for your help. I guess I will just wait and see if my appetite regulates

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          • The difference between grams in weight and grams in calories confuses a lot of people. You’re not the only one. But it’s extremely important to understand the difference if you want to know exactly how many grams of protein and fat you are actually eating. I strongly suspect that you are eating too much protein and not enough fat based on what you have told me so far. Too much protein can make you both hungry and thirsty. And if you would were eating enough fat, it’d highly unlikely that you could eat as much meat as you are eating. Fat causes satiety. However, that being said, your history of an eating disorder might have damaged your satiety signaling, or your body might have been so deprived for so long that it is still trying to fill up. It’s hard to know. Either way, it behooves you to try an understand what I explained above in my earlier comment, so you can get a real sense of how many grams of protein and fat you are eating. It worth the trouble and effort. You shouldn’t need more than 120 grams of protein. If you add 1 gram of fat for every gram of protein, you will be eating a ratio of 65% fat to 35% protein by calories. If you add 1.5 gram of fat for every gram of protein, you will be eating 75% fat and 25% protein by calories. If you add 2 grams of fat for every gram of protein, you will be eating 80% fat and 20% protein by calories. So basically, if you want to eat a highly ketosis diet, you need to eat 2 grams of fat for every 1 gram of protein. Kid doing the ketogenic diet for epilepsy are usually prescribed a ratio of 3 grams of fat to 1 gram of protein which is over 85% fat and only 15% protein by calories. I hope this makes more sense.

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  5. Hi Ryan,
    Thanks so much for this post. Is there any chance I could chat with you in more detail about this? I have the exact problem with PVCs and can’t believe I found your post. I’m around your age as well. I would love to have a conversation with you if possible 🙏

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  6. Great website and interviews. Husband and I are zero carb since 12/13/19. He has some weight to lose and is satisfied on about a pound or so a day. I come from an anorexic and calorie restricted background and am crrently about 10 lbs underweight; I eat almost 3lbs a day. Will my appetite regulate down soon? I also no longer turn the keto urine sticks pink at all. Am I in ketosis? Does it matter? I am still having rosacea ibs and gerd relief. I have trouble getting enough blood to get a reading on my monitor so don’t bother anymore the strips are too $$$
    Thanks for this great resource.

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