Complete list of foods to eat and not to eat on a ketogenic diet to help you transform your body!
In today’s time ketogenic diet and weight loss have become synonyms and if anyone is thinking of weight loss or diet then definitely ketogenic diet tops their list!
With so much buzz around this diet with so many weight loss transformations, it is only natural for people to turn their attention on this diet!
Ketogenic diet has become the most popular diet out there today. But before you jump start on this diet it is important to understand the basics of this diet and what you can and can’t eat on a ketogenic diet for the best possible results.
Here in this article, we will explain a comprehensive list of what foods to eat and what to avoid while following a ketogenic diet and will also share with you a sample meal plan to help you get started.
Understanding the Ketogenic Diet
The basic idea of a ketogenic diet is to drastically cut down on carbs, prioritize your protein intake and eat high amounts of healthy fats.
So, you can say it’s a very low carb-moderate protein-high fat diet.
Here in ketogenic diet, your per day food consumption comprise of:
- Fats should amount to 75% of total calorie intake
- Protein should comprise of 10-30% per day
- And carbohydrates should be limited to 5% of total daily consumption or around 20-50grams of carbohydrate per day.
When you provide the body with food with above composition, the body goes in a process called ketosis. This means that now the body doesn’t get the required amount of carbs for it to burn into sugar for fuel for the body. So instead, the body uses excess fat as a form of energy.
The body burns fats to produce ketones which is used as a fuel to supply energy to the brain and body instead of glucose.
This process has shown more effective results for weight loss and other health benefits than the low-fat diets.
This is also because in ketogenic diet, high consumption of fats helps a person feeling full for longer times resulting in appetite reduction and a person feeling less hungry and more satisfied. Thus, helping in the weight loss process.
What to Eat While on a Keto Diet
Keto-friendly foods you should know in order to eat right:
Before you start the ketogenic diet, you should know which foods to include in your diet and which to avoid in order to gain the full benefit of the diet and avoid making mistakes.
Knowing your foods will also help you in planning on how to incorporate more fats in your diet.
When following a ketogenic diet, your meals should comprise of the foods listed below:
Fatty fish and shellfish:
Fatty fish like salmon, herring and mackerel and shellfish like shrimps and crabs can be included in your daily food intake on a ketogenic diet.
Eggs are undeniably the most versatile food which you can include in any part of your keto meal whether its breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner.
Chicken and turkey make for delicious and healthy keto meal rich in healthy proteins and very low in carbs.
Grass -fed red meat is one of the most loved keto foods which can be included in your daily diet. It helps incorporating healthy fats in your diet without adding additional carbs.
There are many different varieties of cheese available and fortunately most of them can be a part of your keto diet meals. They can be added to your meals or can be eaten by themselves as a tasty evening snack.
This includes your heavy cream, yogurt and butter. They form an extremely rich source of healthy fats and are helps you feel full for longer.
All non- starchy vegetables are low carb and hence can form a part of your daily keto plans. They are rich in fiber and helps make your meal complete.
A whole avocado on its own or in the form of a tasty guacamole dip or as toppings can add flavor to your keto meals.
Nuts and seeds:
Macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, etc. are a tasty add on to your keto meals. They also make for an amazing snack time munching to curb those hunger pangs.
Oils such as coconut use, avocado oil, olive oil, sesame oil and walnut oil can either be used for cooking your keto meals or as a dressing.
Natural nut butters like peanut butter, almond butter, etc. are a keto-friendly food option.
Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, mulberries, etc. are a tasty delight in your ketogenic meals.
These are an amazing substitute for regular noodles and pasta and are completely keto – friendly.
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder:
Chocolates containing 70% or higher content of cocoa is a good keto choice.
This includes salt, pepper, herbs, vinegar, etc.
What Not to Eat While on a Keto Diet
Foods to avoid in a ketogenic diet you should know about:
When on a ketogenic diet you should avoid every food that is high in carbohydrate content.
To help you, we have made this list of food that you should not eat while following a ketogenic diet;
Breads and baked foods
All kinds of breads including whole-wheat bread are to be avoided. All the baked goods are also not allowed like cookies, doughnuts, rolls, croissants, etc.
Sweets and sugary foods
All kinds of sugary and sweetened foods are a strict ‘NO-NO’.
This includes all kinds of syrups candies, ice- cream, cakes, jellies, sugars, etc.
All kinds of fruits except berries, avocado and olives are not to be eaten.
All kind of grains like oats, wheat, rice, etc. is not permissible as they contain high carb content.
Also, all products made from grains like breakfast cereals, tortillas, tacos, etc. should not be consumed.
All kinds of fruit juices, smoothies, sodas and also tea and coffee with sugar is not allowed.
Certain alcoholic beverages like beer, wine and sugary mixed drinks are to be avoided.
All vegetable which contains starch should be completely eliminated from the diet as they are high in carbs and can easily pull your body out of ketosis.
Starchy vegetables include potatoes, corn, peas, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, etc.
High carb Sauces
Many sauces are filled up with carbs making them unfit for a keto diet. Some of these sauces are barbecue sauce, honey mustard, tomato ketchup, teriyaki sauce, and most of the dipping sauces.
Low fat products and condiments.
All low-fat food items including low-fat mayonnaise is to be avoided as the goal is to consume high fats.
Also, many condiments and salad dressings containing sugar is to be avoided.
Beans and legumes
All beans and legumes like black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, peas, etc. are not to be allowed in a ketogenic diet.
Mayonnaise made from unhealthy oils and processed vegetable oils are considered as unhealthy fats among many others which are not to be included in your ketogenic diet.
Pasta and noodles
All types of pastas and noodles are high in carbs and hence to be avoided.
All diet foods and sugar free foods, sweeteners and desserts should be avoided.
All foods containing artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and sweeteners is not allowed.
All kinds of packaged foods and processed meats as well as fast foods are to be strictly avoided.
Beverages You Can have in a Ketogenic Diet
The idea for a ketogenic beverage is same as the ketogenic foods, i.e., high carb drinks should be avoided.
Most of the beverages consumed on a daily basis are sugar based like juices, sodas, iced tea and coffee, etc. therefore are not permissible on a ketogenic diet.
Keto- friendly beverages should be sugar -free and low in carbohydrate content.
Some of the keto friendly beverages include;
A ketogenic diet should include plenty of water consumption. It is very important o stay hydrated as much as possible.
To stay hydrated and feel refreshed you can add some refreshing keto friendly flavors to your water. Some fresh mint and lemon peel are an amazing choice to add to your water.
Unsweetened tea and coffee
If consumed without sugar, tea and coffee are healthy drinks and are free from carbs. Thus, making them ideal for ketogenic diet.
Tea and coffee contain caffeine which is shown to improve metabolic rate, physical and mental performance, mood and alertness.
In order to make them ideal for keto consumption you can opt for versions with heavy cream for a high fat variant.
Unsweetened green tea
Green tea is filled with antioxidants which boost immunity and metabolism.
It is one of the healthiest beverages and the good part is without sugar it is absolutely keto friendly.
Sparkling water is refreshing and can wonderfully work as a replacement to your regular soda.
Natural unsweetened almond milk is also a great keto friendly choice for a beverage.
Bone broth is nutrient rich liquid which is linked to a host of benefits.
Fortunately, you can liberally consume this amazing beverage on a ketogenic diet because of its high healthy fat content which will help you stay stronger and fuller for longer.
Healthy Ketogenic Snacks
Ketogenic diets being super filling meals, usually doesn’t require much of snack. But still if you are hungry between meals you can moderate your hunger by a tasty keto-friendly snack.
One may think there are no good snack options for ketogenic diet as the usual go-to snacks such as chips, crackers, granola bars or fruits like bananas are off limits.
Good news, we have prepared a list for you to keep handy for your untimely hunger pangs.
Here are some of the healthy keto snack options for you to binge on:
- Kale chips
- Coconut chips
- Celery and sliced bell pepper sticks dipped in herbed cream cheese
- Cheese slice
- Macadamia nuts
- Parmesan crisps
- Beef jerky or turkey jerky
- Greens with high fat dressing
- Hard boiled eggs
- Sunflower seeds
- Dried seaweed strips and cheddar cheese
- Meat based bar
- Plain, full fat yogurt topped with crushed pecans
- Smoothie made with almond milk, greens protein powder and almond butter
- Sliced cheese roll-ups
- Low carb veggies dipped in guacamole
- sliced salami
- avocado cocoa mousse
- smoothie made with coconut milk, avocado and cocoa
- 70% or higher dark chocolate
- Strawberries and cottage cheese
- Keto friendly snack bars
The bottom line is, whatever snack you pick it’s important to maintain your carb count for the day.
Your snacks should be high in fat and low in carbs. You can achieve this by increasing snacks with low carb veggies and high fat dipping sauces.
Ketogenic Staples to Stock Up
When on a ketogenic, the smart thing to do is to always stay stocked up on the staples of the diet.
For this, we have created a shopping list for you to guide you stock up on essentials; have a look:
- Meat: organic, grass-fed beef and pork
- Poultry: pasture-raised chicken and turkey
- Eggs: always stay stocked up on eggs whenever possible
- Cheese: choose your favorite keto friendly cheeses from the huge variety and stock up
- Fish: fatty fish like salmon, herring and mackerel are the ultimate keto staple
- Shellfish: shrimp and carbs are literally carb free, so go on a guilt free trip with these.
- Healthy oils: use healthy oils like coconut oil and olive oil for all your cooking and dressing requirements
- Avocados: you need this as an add on to the meal as a whole or in the form of tasty guacamole. So be sure to buy these in sufficient quantity to last.
- Nuts: macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts and pecans make for an excellent topping or as a snack
- Berries: blueberries, strawberries and blackberries serve as an excellent choice to add flavor to your meals
- Low carb veggies: they are a must-have for a ketogenic diet. So, ensure a full supply of mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, greens and tomatoes.
- Seeds: chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds make for a healthy and nutritious option.
- Condiments: you need these to make your meals a delight so fill in your cart with vinegars, spices and herbs.
Keeping your staples handy helps you follow the diet efficiently and avoid temptations.
Things you should keep in mind while Eating out on a ketogenic diet
While you are following a ketogenic diet, going out gets you worried. The immediate thought says what do I eat? How do I stay on the diet while I am out or I am travelling?
Stay calm, maintaining keto diet can be easier than you think.
Firstly, with the popularity of the diet, many restaurants have started with their own keto-friendly meals.
But if you are someplace where this is not an option then you can always make your meal keto friendly.
You just need to eat smart and keep these tips in mind;
Egg based meals:
You can always select an egg-based option such as an omelet or eggs and bacon
Go for bun-less burgers:
Bun- less burgers are a great option. You can also replace fries with vegetables and add extra eggs, cheese, avocado, mushrooms, bacon or meat.
Fish based dish:
Select your mains with a fish-based dish with extra veggies.
Load up on meat:
Order platters with loads of meat with a side of healthy dips.
Most of the Mexican food has high meat dishes with guacamole or salsa or sour cream, making them a keto fit meal plan. You can also add extra cheese to your meals.
Opt for a salad:
When in doubt, always go for a salad with non-starchy vegetables, cheese, avocado with an olive oil-based dressing.
For desserts, you can always go for berries heavy whipping cream or a mixed cheese board.
Following a ketogenic diet effectively, helps you achieve weight loss along with many other health benefits.
In order to reap all the benefits of the ketogenic diet to an optimum level, it is important to eat keto- friendly meals regularly and properly.
The good news is that keto meals can be fun as well as healthy. There are a variety of tasty, nutritious and versatile options to include in your keto meal plans.
Planning well and staying stocked up on staple will help you to stay focused on your goal.
Fortunately, With the popularity of the ketogenic diet, it has become easier to find keto friendly meals while going out.
Remember, the transition to the high fat-low carb diet is easier than you think.
Stay focused and make it a happy experience!