What To Eat While On The Ketogenic Diet!
A ketogenic diet typically limits carbs to 20–50 grams per day.
The options of foods to eat while on keto are truly endless!
Fish and shellfish are very keto-friendly! Salmon and many other types of fish are rich in B vitamins, potassium and selenium, and as an added bonus, are carb-free! The carbs in different types of shellfish vary. Shrimp and crab legs typically do not contain any carbs; however, other types of shellfish do.
Clams: 5 grams
Mussels: 7 grams
Octopus: 4 grams
Oysters: 4 grams
Squid: 3 grams
Although it is ok to include these types of seafood in your keto diet, be mindful of the carb intake and plan your carb allowance accordingly.
2. Low-Carb Vegetables
Non-starchy vegetables are low in carbs, plus they are high in nutrients, including vitamin C and several minerals. They also contain fiber which will keep you full longer. When considering the carbs contained in your vegetables, count the net carbs, which is the total grams of carbs minus the grams of fiber.
Potatoes, yams and beets are very high in carbs and including them in your diet could take up your entire carb limit for the day. Corn and peas also contain a high amount of carbs.
Low-carb veggies like cauliflower and zucchini make great substitutes for higher-carb foods like potatoes and rice. Cauliflower can be used to create “rice”, “risotto” and “mashed potatoes”! Zuchinni and Spaghetti Squash are a really good low-carb nutrient packed “noodle”.
If you are a cheese lover, you are in luck! Cheese is not only yummy delicious, it is also super nutritious, rich in protein, calcium and beneficial fatty acids, yet contains a minimal amount of carbs making it very keto friendly!
Your cheese options are almost limitless. Fortunately, almost all of them are very low in carbs and high in
fat, which makes them a great addition to a ketogenic diet.
Avocados are incredibly heart healthy and are very high in potassium which is an important mineral that most people do not get enough of. Including a high amount of potassium should help make the transition to a ketogenic diet much easier. 3.5 ounces of avocado which is about half of a medium avocado contains approximately 9 grams of carbs and 7 grams of fiber, giving them a very low net carb value of only 2 carbs.
5. Meat and Poultry
Meat and poultry are a great source of high-quality protein. Of course, fresh grass-fed meat is the healthiest choice. Meat and poultry do not contain any carbs yet these ketogenic staples are rich in Vitamin B and several other minerals including potassium, selenium and zinc. The protein will also help to preserve muscle mass.
Eggs have many health benefits and are an ideal food to include while living the ketogenic lifestyle. One large egg contains less than 1 gram of carbs and fewer than 6 grams of protein. Eggs also have been shown to keep blood sugar levels stable while triggering hormones that increase the feeling of fullness, resulting in a lower caloric intake for up to 24 hours.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs fats enter the liver directly and are converted into ketones and used as a rapid energy source. Another added benefit of coconut oil is that it may help to your increase metabolic rate and promote the loss of weight and belly fat.
8. Plain Greek Yogurt and Cottage Cheese
While plain greek yogurt and cottage cheese contain some carbs they are healthy, high-protein foods that can be included in a ketogenic diet. Typically 5 ounces of plain greek yogurt contains 5 grams of carbs and 11 grams of protein. 5 ounces of cottage cheese contains 5 grams of carbs and 18 grams of protein. The amount of protein will help to decrease appetite and help you feel full longer.
9. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a pure fat source and contains no carbs! As an added benefit extra-virgin olive oil is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants that help to decrease inflammation and improve artery function.
Olive oil isn’t ideal for high temperature cooking and it is best to be used for low-heat cooking. Olive oil is a great choice to be used as a base for salad dressings, healthy mayonnaise or adding it to foods that have already been cooked.
10. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great choice for a healthy high-fat low-carb food addition to your ketogenic journey. They are high in fiber, which can help to decrease your appetite, make you feel full longer and cause fewer calorie absorption.
The amount of carbs in nuts and seeds vary greatly. The following is a list of some of the most popular nuts and seeds along with their carb counts for 1 ounce per serving.
Almonds: 3 grams net carbs (6 grams total carbs)
Brazil nuts: 1 gram net carbs (3 grams total carbs)
Cashews: 8 grams net carbs (9 grams total carbs)
Macadamia nuts: 2 grams net carbs (4 grams total carbs)
Pecans: 1 gram net carbs (4 grams total carbs)
Pistachios: 5 grams net carbs (8 grams total carbs)
Walnuts: 2 grams net carbs (4 grams total carbs)
Chia seeds: 1 gram net carbs (12 grams total carbs)
Flaxseeds: 0 grams net carbs (8 grams total carbs)
Pumpkin seeds: 4 grams net carbs (5 grams total carbs)
Sesame seeds: 3 grams net carbs (7 grams total carbs)
When it comes to fruit, berries are you best bet. Most fruits are extremely high in carbs and sugar and will kick you out of ketosis. Berries are high in fiber and low in carbs, plus are filled with nutrients to help you have well-balanced meals and snacks. Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries all have 6 grams of carbs for a single serving, which is about a handful of berries. They are great to add to your summer salads, have as a snack, or eat when you want something sweet without added sugars. Blueberries are also relatively low, but at about 12 grams of carbs per serving, aren’t the best option unless you are having less than a full serving of them.
12. Butter and Cream
Adding butter and cream was the hardest adjustment that I had to make during my ketogenic transition phase. Butter and cream have always been believed to cause weight gain and to contribute to heart disease due to their high saturated fat contents. However studies now show that for most people, saturated fat isn’t linked to heart disease when consumed in moderation.
Butter and cream are good fats to include on a ketogenic diet. Each contains only trace amounts of carbs per serving. Butter and cream are rich in conjugated linoleic acid, which is the fatty acid that has been shown promote fat loss, especially when used properly on the ketogenic diet.
13. Unsweetened Coffee and Tea
Unsweetened coffee and tea contain no carbs and can help boost your metabolic rate, as well as physical performance, mental clarity while acting as a mood enhancer.
Feel free to add heavy cream to coffee or tea; however, it is best to stay away from “light” coffee and tea lattes. considering they are typically made with non-fat milk and contain high-carb flavorings. Adding bulletproof coffee to your morning routine can be very beneficial for triggering weight loss by way of ketosis.
BONUS! You can have CHOCOLATE!
14. Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder
Most people are pleasantly surprised when they find out that dark chocolate can be a part of the ketogenic diet. Cocoa has been called the “super fruit” due to the fact that it provides as much antioxidant activity as blueberries and acai berries! One ounce of unsweetened chocolate (100% cocoa) has 3 grams of net carbs.
Following a low-carb high-fat ketogenic diet can help achieve weight loss, blood sugar control and many other health-related goals. The ketogenic diet includes a large variety of nutritious, delicious and versatile keto friendly foods that allow you to remain in the state of ketosis. For a printer friendly list of ketogenic foods click here. The ketogenic diet may be slightly challenging to beginners who are unsure what to eat. Click here to download your FREE Keto Food Checklist that will help you make the right choices and stay on the right track to ketogenic success!