What to Eat on the Keto Diet
If you’re on a keto diet to shed pounds, get healthy or improve your overall wellbeing, it is essential that you eat the correct foods.
The good news is that there are plenty of low carb foods to fit into this diet plan. However, if you want to ensure that you’re getting all the essential nutrients and fiber your body requires, there are some foods you should steer clear of.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are an ideal addition to your keto diet as they provide many important nutrients, like fiber, protein, healthy fats and vitamins/minerals. Furthermore, they help you feel full between meals, regulate blood sugars levels and prevent energy dips.
These healthy treats may reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity, as well as improve heart health factors. But before you stock up your pantry with these delectable treats, be aware that they are high in calories and should only be consumed occasionally.
When following a keto diet, the ideal nuts to consume are those low in net carbs (total carbs minus fiber). They provide protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and essential antioxidants which can help you stay healthy during your fasted state.
Top keto-friendly nuts include pecans, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds. These five have the lowest net carbs per serving so you don’t have to worry about your carb intake getting out of hand.
These high-fat, low-carb nuts can satisfy your hunger and curb cravings between meals. Plus, they’re packed with essential fatty acids as well as vitamins E, D and K.
Almonds are an excellent plant-based source of plant-based protein with six grams per 28-gram serving. Furthermore, they provide essential minerals like magnesium, iron, vitamin E and potassium that can help you feel energized as well as lower oxidized LDL cholesterol levels. These essential nutrients will improve heart health markers like LDL cholesterol levels.
Other keto-friendly nuts to consider include macadamia nuts, pistachios, peanuts, pine nuts and cashews. These high-fat nuts can be enjoyed alone or added to dishes and snacks. Furthermore, these high-fat nuts contain omega 3s which may help protect against heart disease and inflammation.
One of the best plant-based fat sources for keto dieters is olive oil. It’s high in oleic acid, which may reduce heart disease and inflammation risks. Furthermore, olive oil contains polyphenols with anti-inflammatory properties which could potentially help protect against certain cancers as well.
Olive oil has a high temperature stability that makes it a great option for cooking and frying. Not only that, but olive oil also makes an excellent base for salad dressings and healthy mayonnaise.
When selecting a keto-friendly oil, it’s essential to opt for quality that is free from chemical additives and has an authentic flavor. Extra virgin olive oil is the most dependable option here – be sure to taste it first!
Though more expensive than some brands, investing in quality olive oil with fewer health risks is worth the extra money. Reputable and trustworthy brands of olive oil include California Olive Ranch, Cobram Estate, Lucini, McEvoy Ranch Organic and Lucero (Ascolano).
Other effective choices for keto include butter, ghee, coconut oil and avocado oil. Though high in saturated fat, these contain medium-chain triglycerides which may aid in increasing ketone production.
These are packed with fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients, making them a nutritious addition to the keto diet. Furthermore, they’re highly versatile; you can use them in many recipes with ease.
When making a keto meal, it’s essential to choose the appropriate spices to enhance its flavors. Spices such as cinnamon and cloves are great for this purpose, while you can add smoked paprika for an even more intensely savory bite.
Berries can be a great addition to your keto diet, but be sure to enjoy them in moderation. Enjoy them raw or sprinkle them into dishes for low carb meals while still getting plenty of antioxidant-rich fruit.
According to the USDA, a serving of blackberries contains just over two grams of carbohydrates and plenty of fiber. Plus, they’re low in sugar so you can enjoy a handful or two as an energy-packed snack.
They’re also an excellent source of vitamins C and E, which have antioxidant effects that may help combat cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Furthermore, they contain other micronutrients like magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
Fresh figs are an ideal keto fruit. A half cup of these tasty gems has less than 6.5 grams of carbohydrates and plenty of antioxidants and fiber; they’re delicious on their own or blended into a keto shake for extra nutrition.
Though dried berries can be a healthy choice, eating too many of them may disrupt your ketosis and cause inflammation. Since dried berries tend to be high in sugar content, opt for fresh berries instead for your morning pick-me-up.
It’s essential to avoid all forms of sugar, so steer clear from fruit juice and canned fruits that have been sweetened. These items often contain additives and preservatives which may trigger inflammation and knock you out of ketosis.
Lemons are an ideal choice for those on the keto diet, as they contain less than 1 gram of net carbohydrates per teaspoon. Furthermore, lemons provide a great source of vitamin C and calcium.
It is essential to remember that most fruits contain too many carbohydrates for a keto diet. Therefore, limit your fruit consumption to several small servings throughout the day.
The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat eating plan designed to aid weight loss and improved health by encouraging people to consume fats rather than carbohydrates. By adhering to the diet, your body produces ketosis – an enzyme which burns off body fat instead of glucose for energy production.
Dairy is an excellent source of fat and protein for those on the keto diet. In addition to dairy, you should also incorporate nuts and seeds into your meals; these are packed with fiber and antioxidants which may help prevent chronic inflammation linked to heart disease or type 2 diabetes.
If you want to incorporate dairy into your keto diet, opt for natural yogurt and cottage cheese, which contain fewer carbs than most commercially available varieties. Be wary of flavored or sweetened varieties which often add extra carbohydrates into the equation.
Dried fruit is not recommended for a keto diet as they tend to pack sugar into smaller serving sizes. For instance, one pitted Medjool date (24 grams) contains 18 grams of carbs, while mixed dried fruit contains 31 grams per 1/4 cup (40 grams).
Other foods to avoid when on the keto diet include processed meats, which can add extra sodium and raise your blood pressure. Alcohol should also be limited; if you want a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage, opt for one that’s decaffeinated or only has a small amount of alcohol. Doing this helps you stick to your carb allotment for the day and prevents overindulging in sugar.
Oils can be a challenge for those new to the keto diet, but they provide healthy fats that will fill you up without adding any net carbohydrates.
For optimal keto success, you should use olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil. These cooking oils are low in carbs and free from artificial trans fats.
Olive oil, also known as extra-virgin olive oil, has been linked to reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke. It contains monounsaturated fats which provide essential antioxidants and other essential nutrients.
Avocado oil is an ideal oil to use on the keto diet, as it contains high levels of oleic acid and has a mild flavor. You can substitute other oils in dressings, marinades and sautes with this one and incorporate it into many favorite keto recipes.
Coconut oil is an ideal fat to use on the keto diet, as it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are quickly converted to ketones in the liver and help you reach ketosis quickly. Plus, coconut oil contains anti-oxidants which make it ideal for use in dressings, dips and cooking while adhering to the keto diet.
Walnut oil, made from walnuts, has a delicious nutty taste that pairs perfectly with meats and vegetables. Furthermore, it provides essential omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E and potassium – making it a nutritious addition to keto-friendly dishes.
Butter, ghee and lard are all animal fats that can be added to recipes on the keto diet. While they contain more fat than vegetable oils, they have lower amounts of carbohydrates and sodium.