You have heard about the keto diet, and you are thinking of giving it a try. However, you are unsure of what you need to eat when you are on a keto diet. This quick keto food list will make great reference as you start on this journey.
What Is a Keto Diet?
Keto diet is a diet which puts the body in the ketosis state. As a result, the body burns fat instead of glucose to meet its energy needs. The keto diet is applauded as a useful weight loss tool due to the dramatic decrease in carb intake.
Is the Keto Diet Effective?
Even though the weight loss results of the keto diet could be affected by unique body composition and insulin resistance, the diet has been associated with significant body fat and weight reduction in type 2 diabetes and obesity.
It is crucial to acknowledge the difficulty associated with being on any diet. Dieting is not among the most natural things you can do, notably, it can prove difficult to remember exactly what you can eat and what to avoid. I am here to offer a helping hand; I put together a keto diet list which will help you to make the right shopping and eating decisions.
The Best Keto Foods: What You Need to Eat
According to research, proteins are a necessity in your keto diet list. Remember, the trick here is to go for proteins that are low in carbs. Notably, animal protein has very minimal carbs. Feel free to consume them modestly to control your hunger. Settling for fattier cuts at the expense of leaner cuts is essential. For instance, if you must eat chicken, it is advisable that you go for its legs and thighs as opposed to its breasts as there is more fat in the thighs and legs.
Consider the following when making your protein selection.
- Fish – choose sardines, salmon, mackerel, flounder, bass, anchovies, trout, and tuna which contain 0 (zero) net carbs per five ounces.
- Cage-free egg yolks and eggs – each has one-gram net carb.
- Poultry – consider duck, goose, hen, pheasant, quail, chicken, and turkey with 0 (zero) net carbs in every five ounces.
- Organ meats – such organs as the liver contain up to 3 grams’ net carbs in every five ounces.
- Grass-fed beef – in addition to this, you might also consider other fatty meat cut types like venison, veal, goat, and lamb. I, however, recommend grass-fed beef which is rich in fat because of its high-quality omega-3 fatty acid content and its 0 (zero) net carbs in every five ounces.
For a detailed review of the quantity of protein on keto is recommended for consumption, follow the link here.
2. Healthy Fats
How often do you feed on healthy fats? Which are your most favorites? Well, a majority of healthy fats have zero net carbs and a host other nutritional benefits. To reap optimally from these healthy fats, ensure that you include them in high amounts in all meals each day.
What comprises of healthy fats?
- Ghee and butter – a tablespoon of either of these contain zero net carbs.
- MCT oil – consider cold-pressed coconut oil, olive oil, palm fruit, avocado oil, macadamia, and flaxseed oil. All these contain zero net carbs for every one tablespoon. [Editor's Note: We recommend MCT Oil from Barlean's and their coconut oil is delicious, especially the butter flavored one. Also, Lily of the Desert makes a coconut oil and Now Foods has a variety of cooking oils including Coconut, Olive, Flax and Avocado.]
- Duck fat, Chicken fat, or lard – any of these healthy fats contain zero net carbs for every one tablespoon.
3. Non-Starchy Veggies
You cannot talk about a keto diet without taking of non-starchy vegetables. The list here is long, but I will try to be as brief as can be. The following are the top recommended veggies for your keto diet.
- All leafy greens – these have a 0.5 to 5 net carbs in every cup serving. You should consider including chard, kales, spinach, sorrel, romaine, radicchio, arugula, escarole, turnip, fennel, endive, and chicory in your keto diet list.
- Fresh herbs – these contain about zero grams’ net carbs in every 1 or 2 tablespoons.
- Cruciferous veggies – these include cauliflower, sprouts, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli, and they contain between 3 and six grams’ net carbs in every 1 cup serving.
- Leeks, chives, zucchini, cucumber, and celery – these have around 2 to 4 grams’ net carbs in 1 cup.
- Veggies with a slightly higher carb count (which are still considered acceptable) – consider tomatoes, jicama, wax beans, sugar snap peas, green beans, asparagus, radishes, bean sprouts, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots. All these carry around 3 to 7 grams’ net carbs in 1 raw cup.
If you have any issues with the best keto vegetables, please refer to this article for a better understanding of your keto diet vegetable needs.
4. Fat-Based Fruit
Here, I keep it simple; all you need is avocado whose half a piece contains 3.7 grams’ net carbs.
If you are a lover of snacking, some of the best snacks for your keto diet include:
- Ground meat that is wrapped in lettuce – this contains a maximum of 1-gram net carbs.
- Extra veggies (cooked or raw) with your favorite homemade dressing – this contains a maximum of 5 grams’ net carbs.
- Hard-boiled eggs – each contains 1-gram net carbs.
- Turkey or beef jerky – this has zero grams’ net carbs.
- Protein powder or homemade bone broth – with zero grams’ net carbs.
Remember, the timing and frequency of snacking controls your weight loss.
You need to keep your body hydrated. Drinks a lot of water which has zero grams’ net carbs. You may also prefer to drink unsweetened coffee with the same carb amount. For coffee, you need to drink it in moderation to minimize effects related to unregulated blood sugar levels.
Equally, there are foods should never consume when you are on a keto diet. Read on to find out which foods they are!
The Keto Diet: Foods You Should Never Eat
1. Any Sugar Types
We all love sweet things. But for your keto diet, you must avoid any intake of sugars. Did you know that for every one teaspoon consumed, you ingest around 4 grams’ net carbs, while a single tablespoon contains around 12 grams? With this knowledge, avoid consuming:
- Confectioner’s, raw, cane, white, or brown sugar.
- Syrups including fruit, caramel, corn, carob, and maple.
- Agave and honey.
- Any lactose, dextrose, maltose, glucose, and fructose ingredient-based foods.
Remember, blood sugar absence will naturally force your body to burn fat for energy.
2. Any or All Grains
Even with their delicious taste, the keto diet works efficiently when you restrict your intake of grains. Think about this: a small grain serving like a single slice of bread may contain around 10 to 30 grams’ net carbs. Cooked grains and cereals, depending on their type, may equally contain between 15 and 35 of grams’ net carb for every a quarter cup.
Therefore, you must ensure that you avoid these grains:
- Corn and corn-based products like cornmeal, polenta, grits, tortillas, and popcorn.
- Pilaf, couscous, quinoa, oats, wheat, and all types of rice (jasmine, brown, white)
- Flour-based products including pasta, muffins, rolls, bagels, and bread.
3. Processed Foods
The problem with processed food is the tendency to incorporate high-carb ingredients to them. Be keen to avoid almost all processed foods, especially at night.
Particularly, do not feed on:
- Pretzels, chips, and crackers.
- Any candy type.
- All desserts including ice cream, pies, cakes, and cookies.
- Cereals and oatmeal.
- Foods with dyes and flavors.
4. Caloric and Sweetened Drinks
I saved this for the last for a purpose; I know how refreshing we find caloric and sweetened beverages. However, these drinks can significantly harm the effectiveness of your keto diet. If you are serious about being on a diet, then you must avoid fruit juices, dairy replacements and milk, sweetened coffee or tea, alcoholic drinks, and soda.
A single sweetened drink each day for a full year adds up to five pounds in weight, research says.
Switching to a keto diet gets a lot easier when you have the perfect keto diet food list. Follow the above do's and don’ts for a body with higher ability to burn fat instead of sugar and keto success.