Ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high fat diet where the body turns fat into ketones for use as energy. It induces a state of ketosis in the body, thus by creating ketones burning fat instead of the glucose converted from the carbohydrates.
The ketogenic diet has been one of the most talked-about health trends in the past year. It works for such a high percentage of people because it targets several key, underlying causes of weight gain — including hormonal imbalances, especially insulin resistance coupled with high blood sugar levels, and the cycle of restricting and “binging” on empty calories due to hunger that so many dieters struggle with.
So what can be included in your diet? If you’re curious about trying the keto diet, read below the list of food that you can opt for:
Try to choose the darker meat where possible with poultry, as it is much fattier than white meat. Eating fatty fish is a great way to get omega 3’s in as well. One thing you do need to be careful of when dealing with meat is your protein intake. Too much protein on a ketogenic diet can lead to lower levels of ketone production and increased production of glucose. Below mentioned are the ideal proteins to be consumed while following a keto diet:
- Chicken breast
- Pork chops
- Rib eye steak
- Shell fish
- Fatty fish
- Chicken thigh
- Ground beef
- Ground lamb
Fats and Oils
Fats will be the majority of your daily calorie intake when you are on a ketogenic diet, so choices should be made accordingly. They can be combined in different ways to add to your meals – sauces, dressings, or just simply topping off a piece of meat.
Fats are vital to our bodies, but they can also be dangerous if you are consuming too much of the wrong types of fats. There are a few different types of fat that are involved in a ketogenic diet. Different foods usually have various combinations of fats, but the unhealthy fats are easy to avoid. Below mentioned are the ideal fats to be consumed while following a keto diet:
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- Duck fat
- Peanut butter
Vegetables are a paramount part of a healthy keto diet, but sometimes we’re stuck with decisions we might regret later. Some vegetables are high in sugar and don’t cut it nutritionally – so we need to weed them out.
The best type of vegetables for a ketogenic diet are high in nutrients and low in carbohydrates. These, as most of you can guess, are dark and leafy. Anything that resembles spinach or kale will fall into this category and will be the best thing to include in anything you can. Below are the vegetable that you can in consume while on a keto diet:
- Bell peppers
Fruit has been marketed as healthy for many years and generally has a positive stigma behind it. While some fruit can be healthy in moderation, on a ketogenic diet we aim to keep our carbohydrates restricted to fewer than 30g per day. In most cases, one piece of fruit would be the majority of the carbohydrate intake for the day.
Since fruits are packed with natural sugars (fructose), we have to carefully watch the amount of low carb fruit that we intake each day. Check out below the list of fruits to be consumed while following a keto diet:
Dairy is commonly consumed in tandem with meals on keto. Try to keep your dairy consumption to a moderate level. Most of your meals should be coming from protein, vegetables, and added fats/cooking oils.
Raw and organic dairy products are preferred here, if available. Make sure to choose full fat products over fat-free or low-fat as they will have significantly more carbs and less “filling” effects. Check below for the keto diet dairy products:
- Hard cheese like Parmesan, Swiss, Cheddar and Feta
- Soft cheese like mozzarella, jack brie and Monterey
- Cream cheese
- Cottage cheese
Nuts and Seeds
Typically raw nuts can be used to add flavorings or texture to meals. Some people choose to consume them as snacks – which can be rewarding but may work against weight loss goals. Snacking, in general, will raise insulin levels and lead to slower weight loss in the long term.
Nuts can be a great source of fats, but you always have to remember that they do have carbohydrate counts that can add up quickly. It’s also particularly important to note that they do contain protein as well. Nut flours especially can add up in protein rather fast – so be wary of the amount you use. Check the list below:
- Nut butter
- Pine nuts
- Fox nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Flax seeds
- Muskmelon seeds
Grains and Carbs
One thing you do need to be careful of when consuming grains is your carbohydrate intake. Too much carbs will lead to lower levels of ketone production and increased production of glucose. You want to aim for nutritional ketosis, so you must not over-consume on carbs. Below are the list of food that should be consumed while following a keto diet:
- Almond flour
- Coconut flour
- Brown rice
Food that should be strictly avoided
Most of the cravings that we get are caused by sugar. Sugar, at the end of the day, is an industry that’s run on addiction. There have been numerous studies showing that sugar stimulates the reward centers of the brain.
When we constantly consume sugar, we release dopamine in our brain – creating an addiction and an increased tolerance. Over time you will have to eat larger and larger amounts of sugar to continue the dopamine secretion. Once our body is dependent on a chemical reaction in the brain, we can find that we’re craving things even when we’re not hungry. Below are the list of food to be avoided strictly:
- Aerated drinks
- Breakfast cereal