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.
Sitting on a diet is not the easiest thing in the world, and even more so when you don’t know exactly what you can eat. So let’s first go over some of the food categories that people typically consume on the Keto diet:
Fats. Mostly fats come from meat, fish, nuts, and oils. In turn, avoid trans fats like margarine from your diet.
Proteins. Basically, it is worth consuming animal proteins, because they completely lack carbohydrates and you can not limit yourself either in quantity or in the choice of products. However, consuming too much protein can negatively affect your health, so don’t overuse 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. Overall, dairy products fit perfectly into the keto diet. Just make sure they are not fat-free and low in carbohydrates.
Nuts and seeds. The wide range and variety of flavors make this food category a major source of inspiration in keto cooking.
The 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 dive deeper into each product category and go into more detail.
Fats and oils
On a ketogenic diet, most of your calories should come from fat. It is a vital nutrient in the diet, but the right sources of fat should be chosen:
– Saturated fat. Must be consumed. They are found in meat, dairy products, eggs and some vegetable oils (coconut, olive, sunflower, etc.)
– Monounsaturated fat. They also need to be included in the diet. The main sources of these fats are unrefined oils, nuts and some meats.
– Polyunsaturated fats: Omega-3 and Omega-6. Required, but in the correct proportions. The optimal ratio between Omega-3 and Omega-6 is 1 in 3 or 1 in 4. The main source of these fatty acids is fish, in particular fish oil. Also vegetable oils. Linseed oil, unlike the others, has the most correct ratio of OMEGA-3 and OMEGA-6.
– Trans fats. Exclude completely. These are processed fats that have been chemically altered (hydrogenated) to improve shelf life. Avoid all hydrogenated fats like margarine as they are linked to heart disease!
We recommend using “cold-pressed” vegetable oils, while coconut oil is best for cooking 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 from farm products, grain-fed meats, and wild fish. Pay attention to the fat content of foods – ideally, it should not exceed 20%.
Also important is the amount of protein consumed. Too much protein in your diet can put you out of ketosis. our body can convert amino acids into glucose. Of course, this is a complex process, but it all takes place.
Typical Protein Sources for the Keto Diet:
– Fish. Give preference to wild fish, i.e. not farmed: cod, pollock, salmon family, tuna, etc.
– Seafood. Shrimp, oysters, scallops, crab meat, etc.
– Eggs. Buy farm eggs whenever possible.
– Beef. Your choice is a moderate fat grain feed.
– Pork. Buy farm pork if you can to avoid consuming hormone-fed pork.
– Bird. Chicken, turkey, duck and any other game.
– By-products. Liver, heart, tongue, etc. is a great source of beneficial micronutrients!
– Other meat. Lamb, rabbit and so on are excellent choices, as such meat is most often grown without the use of hormones and grain-fed.
– Bacon, sausages and more. Check labels. The products should not contain sugar, an abundance of flavor enhancers and preservatives.
– Nut oils. Choose natural oils without added sugar. Also, do not overuse peanut butter. it contains too much OMEGA-6.
Supplement protein foods with fatty side dishes and sauces. So, you will be more well-fed, and the dishes will turn out to be much tastier.
Vegetables and fruits
The main rule is that the more carbohydrates a particular vegetable or fruit contains, the less it can be eaten.
Vegetables are a complete part of a healthy keto diet, but often people are not guided by the nutrient content and make the wrong choice.
The base should be green vegetables, because they are full of vitamins and minerals, and very few carbohydrates. Basically, they contain fiber, which is good for digestion and does not contradict the principles of the diet.
Try to add vegetables and fruits to almost every meal, but be vigilant with the following:
– High carbohydrate vegetables. These include onions, parsnips, pumpkin, etc.
– Solanaceae: eggplant, tomato and bell peppers.
– Berries: raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
– Citrus fruits: lemons, limes, oranges, etc.
Avoid starchy vegetables and fruits like potatoes and bananas entirely.
Dairy products are often part of the keto diet, but should be consumed in moderation. milk contains lactose – usually from 2-5 g per 100 g. Also, do not choose low-fat dairy products.
A few 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 keto cooking ideas.
Although nuts and seeds are excellent sources of healthy fats, you should be careful about how much you consume. they also contain protein, carbohydrates and an abundance of OMEGA-6, which can upset the balance of fatty acids. When choosing types of nuts, be guided by the following types:
– Fatty, low-carb nuts. Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts and pecans are the best sources of fat.
– Fatty, moderate in carbohydrates. Walnuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts, Peanuts, and Pine nuts should be used sparingly, mainly as an additive and flavoring to food.
– Nuts are high in carbohydrates. Pistachios and Cashews should be eaten rarely or avoided altogether, as, for example, 2 handfuls of Cashews contain almost a daily amount of carbohydrates.
Nut and seed flour can easily replace regular flour. It is this flour that is most often used on the keto diet when preparing baked goods and desserts. In particular, almond or flaxseed flour is a great choice.
Moreover, you can use a mixture of different types of flour to achieve the perfect texture and meet your carbohydrate intake without denying yourself your favorite foods.
Besides baking, you can use flour as a breading (like coconut) or even make pizza dough!
If you are allergic to nuts, you can substitute seed flour for almond flour, but keep in mind that it is higher in omega-6 fatty acids.
Our bodies are at least two-thirds water, so the general recommendation is to drink plenty of fluids. Aim to drink more than 2 liters of water a day. This will help you stay hydrated and maintain the correct electrolyte balance in your body.
Some examples of typical keto drinks include:
– Water. Plain, mineral, carbonated.
– Broths. Full of vitamins, minerals and beneficial nutrients.
– Coffee. Improves mood, invigorates, helps focus and promotes weight loss, if relevant.
– Tea. Has a similar effect to coffee.
– Coconut and almond milk. An excellent low-carb alternative to regular milk.
– Diet soda. Generally acceptable, but may contribute to sugar cravings, so don’t get carried away.
– Alcohol. Choose strong drinks as beer and wine contain too many carbohydrates.
The ketogenic diet has a natural diuretic effect, so dehydration is common for most beginners. If you are susceptible to diseases of the urinary tract, you must 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.
– Low fat products. They tend to have more carbohydrates than regular foods – read the labels.
In general, give preference to complete foods over convenience foods, and carefully study the ingredients and nutrients of what you buy. Unfortunately, many manufacturers now add sugar to even the most harmless and healthy foods.