Not sure what to eat on a ketogenic diet?
We offer you a comprehensive overview of what you can eat. Scroll down the page to learn more about each section.
Dieting is not the easiest thing in the world, and even more so when you don’t know exactly what you can eat. Therefore, let’s first go over some categories of foods that people typically consume on the Keto diet :
- Fats:- Mostly fats come from meat, fish, nuts, and oils. In turn, trans fats, such as margarine, should be excluded from the diet.
- Proteins:- Basically, it is worth consuming proteins of animal origin, because carbohydrates are completely absent in them and you can not limit yourself either in quantity or in the choice of products. However, excessive consumption of protein can negatively affect your health, so do not abuse it.
- Vegetables and fruits:- Fresh or frozen – doesn’t really matter. The main thing is that 90% of vegetables should be green: any kind of cabbage, cucumbers, etc.
- Dairy products:- In general, dairy products fit perfectly into the keto diet. Make sure that they are low-fat and low in carbohydrates.
- Nuts and seeds:- A wide range and variety of flavors make this category of products the main source of inspiration in keto cooking.
- Drinks:- The main rule is the almost complete absence of carbohydrates in drinks. If you still want something sweet, you can use various sweeteners, such as stevia.
Now let’s delve into each category of products and understand in more detail.
Fats And Oils
On a ketogenic diet, most calories should come from fats. This is a vital nutrient in the diet, but you should choose the right sources of fat:
- Saturated fats. Must be consumed. They are found in meat, dairy products, eggs and some vegetable oils (coconut, olive, sunflower, etc.)
- Monounsaturated fats. They also need to be included in the diet. The main source of such fats is unrefined oils, nuts and certain types of meat.
- Polyunsaturated fats: Omega-3 and Omega-6. Mandatory, but in the right proportions. The optimal ratio between Omega-3 and Omega-6 is 1 to 3 or 1 to 4. The main source of such fatty acids is fish, in particular fish oil. Also vegetable oils. Flaxseed oil, unlike the others, has the most correct ratio of OMEGA-3 and OMEGA-6.
- Trans fats. Exclude completely. These are processed fats that are chemically modified (hydrogenated) to improve shelf life. Avoid all hydrogenated fats, such as margarine, as they are associated with heart disease!
We recommend using cold-pressed vegetable oils, and coconut oil is best for preparing hot dishes. it does not oxidize at high temperatures.
First of all, you should pay attention to the quality of protein foods. Try to choose farm products, grain-fed meat and wild fish. Pay attention to the fat content of the products – ideally, it should not exceed 20%.
Also important is the amount of protein consumed. Too much protein in your diet can get you out of ketosis, as our body can turn amino acids into glucose. Of course, this is a complex process, but it all the way takes place.
Typical sources of protein for the Keto diet:
Fish. Prefer wild fish, i.e. not farmed: cod, pollock, salmon family, tuna, etc.
- Seafood. Shrimp, oysters, scallops, crab meat, etc.
- The eggs. If possible, buy farm eggs.
- Beef. Your choice is moderate-fat grain.
- Pork. If you can, buy farm pork to avoid eating hormone-fed pork.
- The bird. Chicken, turkey, duck, and any other game.
- Offal. Liver, heart, tongue, etc. – an excellent source of useful micronutrients!
- Other meat. Lamb, rabbit meat and more – an excellent choice, because such meat is most often grown without the use of hormones and grain fattening.
- Bacon, sausages, and more. Check the labels. The products should not have sugar, an abundance of flavor enhancers and preservatives.
- Nut butter. Choose natural oils without added sugar. Also do not abuse peanut butter, as it contains too much OMEGA-6.
Supplement protein foods with greasy side dishes and sauces. So, you will be more full, and the dishes will turn out much tastier.
Vegetables And Fruits
The main rule – the more carbohydrates in the composition of a vegetable or fruit, the less it can be eaten.
Vegetables are a full-fledged part of a healthy Keto diet, but often people do not navigate the nutrient content and make the wrong choice.
The basis should be green vegetables, as they are full of vitamins and minerals, and very few carbohydrates. Basically, they contain fiber, which is useful for digestion and does not contradict the principles of the diet.
Try to add vegetables and fruits to almost every meal, but be careful with the following:
- High-carb vegetables. These include onions, parsnips, pumpkin, etc ..
- Solanaceous: eggplant, tomato, and bell peppers.
- Berries: raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
- Citrus fruits: lemons, limes, oranges, and more.
Completely eliminate starchy vegetables and fruits such as potatoes and bananas.
Dairy products are often part of the keto diet, but their consumption should be moderate, as milk contains lactose – usually from 2-5 g per 100 g. You should also not choose low-fat dairy products.
Some typical dairy products for the keto diet:
- Greek yogurt,
- Cottage cheese, sour cream, curd cheese,
- Soft cheeses such as Mozzarella, Brie, goat and blue cheeses,
- Hard cheeses: Cheddar, Parmesan, etc.
When adding dairy products to your diet, pay attention to the total amount of carbohydrates and proteins coming from them.
Nuts And Seeds
Fatty nuts and seeds are a great snack option and a typical base for many culinary ideas on a keto diet.
Despite the fact that nuts and seeds are an excellent source of healthy fats, you should carefully consider their consumption, as they also contain protein, carbohydrates and an abundance of OMEGA-6, which can upset the balance of fatty acids.
When choosing the types of nuts, be guided by the following types:
- Fatty, low-carb nuts. Brazil nuts, Macadamia and Pecans are the best source of fat.
- Fatty, with moderate carbohydrate content. Walnuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts, Peanuts and Pine Nuts should be used sparingly, mainly as an additive to dishes and to give them additional shades of taste.
- Nuts high in carbohydrates. Pistachios and Cashews should be eaten rarely or completely avoided, because, for example, 2 handfuls of Cashew nuts contain an almost daily norm of carbohydrates.
Flour made from nuts and seeds can easily replace regular flour. It is this kind of flour that is most often used on a keto diet in the preparation of pastries and desserts. In particular, almond or linseed flour is an excellent choice.
Moreover, you can use a mixture of different types of flour to achieve the perfect texture and meet the norm of carbohydrate intake, without denying yourself your favorite dishes.
In addition to baking, you can use flour as a breading (for example, coconut) or even make pizza dough!
If you are allergic to nuts, you can replace almond flour with seed flour, but keep in mind that it contains higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids.
At least two-thirds of our bodies are water, so the general recommendation is to drink plenty of water. Try to drink more than 2 liters of water per day. So you will avoid dehydration and maintain the correct balance of electrolytes in the body.
Some examples of drinks typical of a keto diet are:
- Water. Normal, mineral, carbonated.
- Broths. Full of vitamins, minerals and healthy nutrients.
- Coffee. It improves mood, invigorates, helps to focus and contributes to weight loss, if relevant.
- Tea. Has a similar effect to coffee.
- Coconut and almond milk. A great low-carb alternative to regular milk.
- Diet soda. Generally acceptable, but can contribute to a craving for sweets, so don’t get carried away.
- Alcohol. Choose strong drinks as beer and wine contain too many carbohydrates.
A ketogenic diet has a natural diuretic effect, so dehydration is typical for most beginners. If you are prone to diseases of the urinary tract, you should be especially careful.
Foods to Avoid
Now, you should have a pretty good idea of what you can and should eat on a ketogenic diet. Below, you will find a list of what to avoid:
- Sugar. Exclude completely.
- Cereals. Bakery products, cakes, pasta, etc. – only keto analogues.
- Starch. All starchy vegetables and root vegetables.
- Trans fats. Margarine and everything where it is contained.
- Fruits. Large and sweet fruits such as bananas, oranges, sweet apples, etc.
- Fat-free products. As a rule, they have more carbohydrates than conventional products – read the data on the packages.
In general, give preference to high-grade foods rather than convenience foods, and carefully study the formulations and nutrients of what you are buying. Unfortunately, now many manufacturers add sugar even to the most harmless and healthy products.