You may have asked this question at one time. How can you consider yourself to be healthy if you’re not getting the nutrients you need from fruits and vegetables. The very thought that all the essential vitamins and minerals a body needs could be found in just meat is often a leap too far for people to make.

But it’s true.

According to the Harvard Medical School, there are 14 Vitamins and 16 Minerals that are essential to the human body.https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/listing_of_vitamins

RETINOIDS AND CAROTENE (vitamin A; includes retinol, retinal, retinyl esters, and retinoic acid and are also referred to as “preformed” vitamin A. Beta-carotene can easily be converted to vitamin A as needed.)

Essential for vision Lycopene may lower prostate cancer risk. Keeps tissues and skin healthy. Plays an important role in bone growth and in the immune system. Diets rich in the carotenoids alpha-carotene and lycopene seem to lower lung cancer risk. Carotenoids act as antioxidants. Foods rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against cataracts

Many people get too much preformed vitamin A from food and supplements. Large amounts of supplemental vitamin A (but not beta-carotene) can be harmful to bones.

THIAMIN (vitamin B1)

Helps convert food into energy. Needed for healthy skin, hair, muscles, and brain and is critical for nerve function.

Most nutritious foods have some thiamin.

RIBOFLAVIN (vitamin B2)

Helps convert food into energy. Needed for healthy skin, hair, blood, and brain

Most Americans get enough of this nutrient.

NIACIN (vitamin B3, nicotinic acid)

Helps convert food into energy. Essential for healthy skin, blood cells, brain, and nervous system

Niacin occurs naturally in food and can also be made by your body from the amino acid tryptophan, with the help of B6.


Helps convert food into energy. Helps make lipids (fats), neurotransmitters, steroid hormones, and hemoglobin

Deficiency causes burning feet and other neurologic symptoms.

PYRIDOXINE (vitamin B6, pyridoxal, pyridoxine, pyridoxamine)

Aids in lowering homocysteine levels and may reduce the risk of heart disease helps convert tryptophan to niacin and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays key roles in sleep, appetite, and moods. Helps make red blood cells Influences cognitive abilities and immune function

Many people don’t get enough of this nutrient.

COBALAMIN (vitamin B12)

Aids in lowering homocysteine levels and may lower the risk of heart disease. Assists in making new cells and breaking down some fatty acids and amino acids. Protects nerve cells and encourages their normal growth Helps make red blood cells and DNA

Some people, particularly older adults, are deficient in vitamin B12 because they have trouble absorbing this vitamin from food. Those on a vegan or vegetarian diet often don’t get enough B12as it’s mostly found in animal products. They may need to take supplements. A lack of vitamin B12 can cause memory loss, dementia, and numbness in the arms and legs.


Helps convert food into energy and synthesize glucose. Helps make and break down some fatty acids. Needed for healthy bones and hair

Some is made by bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. However, it’s not clear how much of this the body absorbs.


Foods rich in vitamin C may lower the risk for some cancers, including those of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and breast. Long-term use of supplemental vitamin C may protect against cataracts. Helps make collagen, a connective tissue that knits together wounds and supports blood vessel walls. Helps make the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Bolsters the immune system

Evidence that vitamin C helps reduce colds has not been convincing.


Helps make and release the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which aids in many nerve and brain activities. Plays a role in metabolizing and transporting fats

Normally the body makes small amounts of choline. But experts don’t know whether this amount is enough at certain ages.

CALCIFEROL (vitamin D)

Helps maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, which strengthen bones. Helps form teeth and bones. Supplements can reduce the number of non-spinal fractures

Many people don’t get enough of this nutrient. While the body uses sunlight to make vitamin D, it cannot make enough if you live in northern climates or don’t spend much time in the sun.


Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Protects vitamin A and certain lipids from damage. Diets rich in vitamin E may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin E does not prevent wrinkles or slow other aging processes.

FOLIC ACID (vitamin B9, folate, folacin)

Vital for new cell creation helps prevent brain and spine birth defects when taken early in pregnancy; should be taken regularly by all women of child-bearing age since women may not know they are pregnant in the first weeks of pregnancy. Can lower levels of homocysteine and may reduce heart disease risk May reduce risk for colon cancer. Offsets breast cancer risk among women who consume alcohol

Many people don’t get enough of this nutrient. Occasionally, folic acid masks a B12 deficiency, which can lead to severe neurological complications. That’s not a reason to avoid folic acid; just be sure to get enough B12.


Activates proteins and calcium essential to blood clotting. May help prevent hip fractures

Intestinal bacteria make a form of vitamin K that accounts for half your requirements. If you take an anticoagulant, keep your vitamin K intake consistent.


Builds and protects bones and teeth. Helps with muscle contractions and relaxation, blood clotting, and nerve impulse transmission. Plays a role in hormone secretion and enzyme activation. Helps maintain healthy blood pressure

Adults absorb roughly 30% of calcium ingested, but this can vary depending on the source. Diets very high in calcium may increase the risk of prostate cancer.


Balances fluids in the body. A component of stomach acid, essential to digestion

New recommendations (DRIs) for chloride are under development by the Institute of Medicine.


Enhances the activity of insulin, helps maintain normal blood glucose levels, and is needed to free energy from glucose

Unrefined foods such as brewer’s yeast, nuts, and cheeses are the best sources of chromium, but brewer’s yeast can sometimes cause bloating and nausea, so you may choose to get chromium from other food sources.


Plays an important role in iron metabolism and immune system. Helps make red blood cells

More than half of the copper in foods is absorbed.


Encourages strong bone formation. Keeps dental cavities from starting or worsening

Harmful to children in excessive amounts.


Part of thyroid hormone, which helps set body temperature and influences nerve and muscle function, reproduction, and growth. Prevents goiter and a congenital thyroid disorder

To prevent iodine deficiencies, some countries add iodine to salt, bread, or drinking water.


Helps hemoglobin in red blood cells and myoglobin in muscle cells ferry oxygen throughout the body. Needed for chemical reactions in the body and for making amino acids, collagen, neurotransmitters, and hormones

Many women of childbearing age don’t get enough iron. Women who do not menstruate probably need the same amount of iron as men. Because iron is harder to absorb from plants, experts suggest vegetarians get twice the recommended amount (assuming the source is food).


Needed for many chemical reactions in the body Works with calcium in muscle contraction, blood clotting, and regulation of blood pressure. Helps build bones and teeth

The majority of magnesium in the body is found in bones. If your blood levels are low, your body may tap into these reserves to correct the problem.


Helps form bones. Helps metabolize amino acids, cholesterol, and carbohydrates

If you take supplements or have manganese in your drinking water, be careful not to exceed the upper limit. Those with liver damage or whose diets supply abundant manganese should be especially vigilant.


Part of several enzymes, one of which helps ward off a form of severe neurological damage in infants that can lead to early death

Molybdenum deficiencies are rare.


Helps build and protect bones and teeth. Part of DNA and RNA. Helps convert food into energy. Part of phospholipids, which carry lipids in blood and help shuttle nutrients into and out of cells

Certain drugs bind with phosphorus, making it unavailable and causing bone loss, weakness, and pain.


Balances fluids in the body. Helps maintain steady heartbeat and send nerve impulses. Needed for muscle contractions. A diet rich in potassium seems to lower blood pressure. Getting enough potassium from your diet may benefit bones

Food sources do not cause toxicity, but high-dose supplements might.


Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Helps regulate thyroid hormone activity

Researchers are investigating whether selenium may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, but with mixed results.


Balances fluids in the body. Helps send nerve impulses. Needed for muscle contractions. Impacts blood pressure; even modest reductions in salt consumption can lower blood pressure

While experts recommend that people limit sodium intake to 2,300 mg, most Americans consume 4,000–6,000 mg a day.


Helps form bridges that shape and stabilize some protein structures. Needed for healthy hair, skin, and nails

Sulfur is a component of thiamin and certain amino acids. There is no recommended amount for sulfur. Deficiencies occur only with a severe lack of protein.


Helps form many enzymes and proteins and create new cells. Frees vitamin A from storage in the liver. Needed for immune system, taste, smell, and wound healing. When taken with certain antioxidants, zinc may delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration

Because vegetarians absorb less zinc, experts suggest that they get twice the recommended requirement of zinc from plant foods.

What’s missing?

30 vitamins and minerals in all. Did you know that all but 5 are found in meat, fish, and eggs?


Seriously! Out of the 5 things we don’t get from animal products, 2 we don’t need anyway. 1 needs supplementation regardless of what diet you choose, and the other 2 we could use less of in most cases.

Check it out.


Not needed in nearly as much quantity as we’ve been told as long as no carbohydrates are being consumed.

CALCIFEROL (vitamin D)

Supplementation is usually required regardless of diet choice.


Supplementation with salt is needed on a whole food, zero carb diet. Recommended 3-5mg per day


Plenty of current debate about whether we need as much as we are getting now.



Supplementation with salt is needed on a whole food, zero carb diet. Recommended 3-5mg per day


Each of these can be found at different levels in various meats and animal products. It’s important to realize is that the recommendations (RDA or Recommended Daily Allowance) for each of these vitamins and minerals are based on the Standard American Diet. This means the recommended amounts are based on a high carb diet, with plant-based foods providing a large percentage of the nutrients.

Playing it safe

If you are going Zero Carb and you want to play it safe, then eat organ meats or supplements made from them. Beef liver, in particular, has the highest levels, per ounce, of most of the 30 essential vitamins and minerals.

If you aren’t a fan of cooking and eating liver you can get powdered beef liver pills at most vitamins or supplement stores.


I have not seen any information that leads me to believe removing vegetables will cause any reduction in micronutrients that would pose a health risk, short or long term.

To the contrary, I have talked to and can refer to hundreds if not thousands of people that do not eat vegetables and have no health issues to show for it.

In the 1930’s two men ate nothing but meat for a year, under medical supervision and went through with flying colors. https://borntoeatmeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Steffanson-Bellvue-Experiment.pdf Summary on page 666 and 667.

There is nothing definitive

Until more research is done on how the human body works without carbs, I’m not sure we will ever truly know the answer to this question.

Old knowledge is hard to break, and new information takes time to verify and make popular.

Right now, the only real data that exists is the history (past and current) we have of whole races of people that have persisted with meat-only diets, and the testimonies of thousands of people all over the world who are doing it now with amazing stories of healing and improved quality of life.

You make up your own mind.


Here’s a great visual of the benefits of meat vs. plants. Meat is more bio-available and much more nutrient dense than most plants.

Copyright © Ultimate Ketogenic Fitness. All Rights Reserved. Results may vary from person to person based on individual participation, adherence to the program, or other personal factors. Privacy Policy