People all over the world have found weight loss success on a ketogenic diet and seen their overall health improve. Are you ready to get start on your own keto journey? Here are the keto diet foods you need to know about to get started.
The keto diet has become hugely popular recently, and it’s easy to see why.
As well as being packed with health benefits, it helps people to burn more fat without feeling hungry.
All around the world, people are using it to lose weight, decrease their blood sugar levels, and lower their cholesterol. This includes all body types and lifestyles, from professional athletes to obese patients and everyone in between.
Before you start, you need to do your research. This means finding out exactly what you can eat on a keto diet, how much, and how often.
In this post, we’ve got everything you need. Read on to learn all about keto diet foods and how to use them in your diet.
Keto Diet Foods to Include in Your Meal Plan
Read on to find out what the best ketosis foods are and how to use them to get the results you’re looking for.
Fats and Oils
Fats are a hugely important part of any keto meal plan.
In fact, between 60 and 75% of calories in a keto diet should come from fats. This means that you need to be well-versed in all the different sources, as well as how to use them in your diet.
You can’t just eat any old fatty product, you need to make sure you’re getting the right types. Avoid hydrogenated fats and trans fats. Instead, go for healthy sources of saturated fats. Here are some of the best ones:
- Coconut oil
- Cocoa butter
- Olive oil
- Grass-fed butter
- Coconut cream
Meat, Fish, and Eggs
A keto diet is described as having moderate levels of protein.
If you’re used to having a high protein intake, you may be worried that the keto diet will cause you to lose muscle mass. This isn’t the case. Instead, you’ll add lean muscle mass and shred body fat.
Consuming too much protein can take you out of ketosis, having a negative effect on your results. This is because some proteins contain gluconeogenic amino acids, which the body converts into glucose.
For this reason, only around 20% of a keto diet is protein.
When shopping for meat, seek out organic, grass-fed varieties. Of course, you’ll need to avoid processed meats when you can, as they’ll contain extra sugar and carbs.
Here are some great sources of protein for keto:
- Red meat
- Fatty fish
If you’re a vegetarian, you can still get plenty of protein on a keto diet. You can eat plenty of tofu, tempeh, seitan and vegan ‘mock meats’, like veggie hotdogs and burgers.
Beans and legumes are usually great sources of protein for vegetarians. On the keto diet, that’s not the case. This is because they can be high in carbs, kicking your body out of ketosis.
Black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans are highest in carbs, and should be avoided altogether. It can be hard to adjust to a vegetarian keto diet, so if you struggle to get enough protein, you should consider supplementing with a protein powder.
Fruits and Vegetables
The best vegetables for a keto diet are the ones that grow above the ground. This means that potatoes, yams, and other root vegetables are mostly off the table.
You can use them in moderation, such as by adding half an onion to a dish for flavor, but you have to be careful. Just make sure you look at the carb levels of your vegetables before you eat them.
The most keto friendly vegetables are cruciferous ones, like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. The darker and leafier, the better, so spinach and kale will be staples in your diet, too.
You don’t always need to have fresh vegetables at hand. Frozen ones are fine to eat, too.
When it comes to fruit, some of the same rules apply. Again, you have to avoid the starchiest varieties. This includes bananas and dried fruits.
Fruits are packed with sugar, and since you need to limit your carbohydrate intake, you need to limit the amount of fruit you eat. However, you can keep your body in ketosis by choosing the right ones.
One of the best fruits for a keto diet is avocado. It’s low in carbs and high in fat, so you can expect to be eating a lot of it!
Any type of berries, such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries, is also good. Just make sure you have them in small portions.
Here are some other fruits you can eat on a keto diet:
On a keto diet, only around 5% of food intake consists of carbohydrates. Usually, it’s limited to 20-30g per day.
When levels of carbohydrates are this low, cells are forced to burn fat and ketones for fuel. This also helps to lower triglyceride levels, as the liver stops focusing on producing triglycerides for storage and instead starts to create ketones.
Pasta, chips, bread, rice, and cereals will need to be removed from your diet. Instead, your carbs should come mainly from fruits and vegetables.
Dairy products are great for providing high amounts of fat with low amounts of carbs.
However, that doesn’t mean you can eat as many of them as you want. Dairy consumption should be kept at a moderate level. Avoid the most processed varieties, as they’re likely to contain more carbohydrates.
While many other diets will require you to choose low-fat or fat-free options, keto is the opposite. It’s always best to go for the full-fat varieties, as they’ll keep you fuller for longer while helping you reach your optimum fat intake.
Here are the best dairy products for keto:
- Greek yogurt
- Heavy whipping cream
- Cream cheese
- Sour cream
- Nuts and Seeds
Seeds and nuts make great snacks on a keto diet.
They’re excellent sources of protein and fats, and do a great job of curbing your cravings and keeping you satiated between meals.
However, it’s important to avoid peanuts. Peanuts are considered a legume, and consumption of legumes needs to be kept at a minimum on a keto diet.
Instead, here are some other nuts and seeds you can eat:
- Brazil nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds
Whichever you choose, make sure you go for the unsalted variety. Many nuts and seeds come pre-salted, so check the packaging before you buy.
With any diet, you’ll have to use a variety of spices and condiments to flavor your food and keep it interesting. However, you need to be careful.
If possible, it’s best to make your own. That way, you can control the amount of sugar that goes into your food. Still, there are plenty of condiments available in stores that won’t throw you off your keto diet.
Here are some of the best low-carb condiments to add to your dishes:
- Soy sauce
- Worchestire sauce
- Hot sauce
- Yellow mustard
- Sugar-free ketchup
- Ranch dressing
- Marinara sauce
Spice and seasonings contain carbs, so you need to monitor your intake. Good choices include garlic powder, cumin, parsley, oregano, and chili powder.
The keto diet is known to have a diuretic effect, which can cause the body to lose electrolytes quickly. This means you’ll have to take extra care to make sure you stay hydrated.
Try to drink around a gallon of water a day, if possible. Flavored water and carbonated water are fine, but sodas and fruit juices are no-nos. Drinks like these are far too high in sugar.
You can drink coffee and tea on a keto diet, but it’s best to limit yourself to 2 cups a day. Otherwise, the extra caffeine could stop you from losing weight.
You don’t have to completely cut alcohol out of your diet if you don’t want to. However, if you do choose to drink, go for hard liquors instead of beer or wine to avoid the extra carbs.
Ideally, you should steer clear of any sweet-tasting foods on a keto diet. However, that’s not always possible. From time to time, you’ll need something to keep your cravings at bay.
You can add certain types of sweeteners to your food. Liquid versions are best, as other versions contain extra binding substances, which add carbs.
Stevia, sucralose, monkfruit, and Splenda are all fine. Xylitol can also be used in moderation, as it has a higher glycemic impact. Still, it’s much better than sugar.
You may also find products that contain various blends of these sweeteners. If you do, check the ingredient labels for maltodextrin and dextrose. If you see these filler products listed, put it back on the shelf.
Boost Your Results with Supplements
When you’re following a diet or meal plan, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right vitamins and minerals.
It can be hard to get everything you need from food. That’s why you should consider taking supplements.
As well as keeping you healthy, they’ll also give you better results. To find out more, read our post on supplements to increase ketosis.