While starting a ketogenic diet, you might be wondering about the keto foods to consume.
Well! worry not. We have got you covered.
Ketogenic genic is getting immensely popular and it owes largely to its potential benefits for weight loss and blood sugar control.
Moreover, evidence also suggests that this low-carb, high-fat diet can also help to treat certain cancers.
Alzheimer’s and other conditions as well.
Still, higher quality of research can help to determine the effects, safety, and effectiveness of this diet.
During a keto diet, you need to limit the number of carbs to 20 to 50 grams per day. While you might the total carb intake on a keto diet, other individuals count net carbs.
Net carbs refer to the total carbs minus fiber. That is because fiber is indigestible, so your body cannot break it down and absorb it.
While this diet may seem challenging, it allows for many nutritious foods.
Keep on reading to learn more about keto foods you can eat while on a keto diet.
Animal protein consists of food sources that come from chicken, fish, or animals like a goat or buffalo.
Let’s discuss the sources as follows:
1# Sea Food
However, the carb count in shellfish varies by type.
While shrimp and most crabs do not have carbs, on the other hand, the octopus does.
You can still these foods on a keto diet, but it is important to carefully track these carbs within your range.
Additionally, salmon, sardines, mackerel, and other fatty fish are high in omega 3 fats that help to lower insulin levels.
Furthermore, frequent fish intake can help to improve brain health and decrease the risk of diseases.
According to the American Heart Association, eating 1 to 2 seafoods meals per week can help you in a number of ways.
2# Meat and Poultry
Meat and poultry are staple foods while on the keto diet.
Fresh meat and poultry contain no carb and are also rich in B vitamins and other important minerals.
Moreover, they are a great source of high-quality protein which can help to preserve muscle mass during a low-carb diet.
Therefore, it may be best to choose grass-fed meat as it has more omega 3 and conjugated linoleic acid, CLA than meat from grain-fed animals, according to studies.
They are an extremely healthy protein source and a great keto food as it contains less than 1 gram of carbs and about 6 grams of protein.
Additionally, they also help to trigger hormones that help to increase feelings of fullness.
Thus, it is important to eat whole eggs than egg whites as most of the nutrients are found in the yolk. This includes antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which protect eye health.
Though egg yolks are high in cholesterol they do not appear to increase your risk of heart disease.
Cheese is a dairy product and another keto food you can use while on a keto diet.
There are hundreds of types of cheese, most of which are low in carbs and high in fats, thus, making them a great fit for the keto diet.
Moreover, 1 ounce or 28 grams of cheddar cheese contains 1 gram of carbs, 6 grams of protein, and a good amount of calcium.
Cheese is high in saturated fat, however, it does not increase the risk of heart disease.
In fact, some studies suggest that it may help to protect against this condition.
Cheese also contains CLA which has also been linked to fat loss and improvements in body fat composition, according to studies.
In addition to it, eating cheese regularly can help may also help to reduce the loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs with aging.
According to a 12-week study in older adults, those who ate 7 ounces or 210 grams of ricotta per day experienced less loss of muscle mass and muscle strength than those who do not eat this amount.
You can take some of the following cheese that is lower in carbs for a keto diet:
Blue cheese, brie, camembert, cheddar, chevre, Colby jack, cottage cheese, feta, goat cheese, halloumi, Havarti, Limburger, manchego, mascarpone, mozzarella, and muenster.
Moreover, you can also take parmesan, pepper jack, provolone, romano, string cheese, and Swiss cheese.
Plain Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Cream, and half-and-half
Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are healthy, high-protein foods, while they also contain some carbs, and you can eat them in moderation on keto.
Both yogurt and cottage cheese can help to decrease appetite and promote feelings of fullness according to studies.
Either one makes a tasty snack on its own, however, you can combine them with chopped nuts, cinnamon, or other spices to make a quick keto diet.
On the other hand, the cream is composed of the fatty portion of fresh milk that is separated out during milk processing.
Half-and-half, is made of 50% cream and 50% whole milk.
Moreover, both of these dairy products are very low in carbs and high in fat, them making them an ideal keto food.
You might be thinking that both butter and cheese can cause heart disease due to their high saturated fat content.
However, a number of studies indicate that saturated fat is not linked to heart disease for most people.
In fact, some studies suggest that moderate intake of high-fat dairy may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Like other dairy products, butter and cream are rich in CLA which also helps to promote fat loss.
In fact, they are a popular choice for adding to coffee as keto alternatives to small amounts of milk in cooking.
Unsweetened Plant-based Milk
Different varieties of plant-based unsweetened milk are another option in keto foods.
Moreover, they are keto-friendly, including soy, almond, and coconut milk.
It is important to note that you should choose unsweetened versions, as sweetened options have too much sugar to be considered appropriate for keto.
Additionally, you should also avoid oat milk as even unsweetened oat milk is too high in carbs to be keto-friendly.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are extremely low in carbs, thus, making them excellent for keto.
They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
In particular, dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens are packed with vitamin K and iron.
Greens add bulk to your meals without increasing the carb amount.
Moreover, herbs like oregano and rosemary add ample flavor with almost no carbs.
The following are some keto-friendly leafy greens:
Salad Greens: These include lettuce, baby spinach, arugula, escarole, and frisee.
Cooking Greens: Includes bok choy, collard greens, mustard greens, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, and cabbage.
Herbs: You can use thyme, sage, mint, oregano, dill, parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary, and lemongrass.
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Peppers and Summer Squash
Different varieties of pepper exist all of which are keto foods.
While they are all fruits, many people treat them like vegetables in cooking.
Small hot peppers add spice to recipes and jalapenos are ideal for making keto-friendly appetizers.
Moreover, you can use larger, mild peppers like bell peppers and poblanos in a number of dishes or stuff them to make flavorful low-carb main dishes.
It is important to note that peppers are a rich source of vitamin C.
For example, one bell pepper provides 107% of the Daily Value for vitamin C.
On the other hand, summer squashes like yellow squash and zucchini are popular keto foods.
Using a spiralizer, you can make zucchini noodles which are an excellent substitute for pasta or noodles.
Moreover, you can also grate zucchini to make a rice alternative or add it to baked goods without affecting the flavor.
You can also thinly slice it using a mandoline, toss it in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and enjoy it as a cold salad.
While technically avocadoes and olives are both fruits, these are unique among vegetables that have high fat in them.
Moreover, they also contain fiber and are low in net carbs as well.
One of the main antioxidants in olives is Oleuropein, which has anti-inflammatory properties and may help to protect your cells from damage, according to studies.
Additionally, one study suggests that people who eat one avocado per day experienced improvements in heart failure risk factors.
Also includes lower levels of LDL or bad cholesterol.
Other NonStarchy Vegetables
Different other nonstarch vegetables are low in calories and carbs yet full of nutrients and antioxidants, thus, making them a good keto food.
What’s more, is that low-carb veggies make a great substitute for high-carb foods.
For example, you can easily turn low-carb cauliflower into cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower.
Spaghetti squash, on the other hand, serves as a natural alternative to spaghetti, and low car root veggies like jicama and turnips make a great substitute for roasted potatoes and french fries.
The following are some examples of keto-friendly vegetables:
Asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, cucumber, green beans, and eggplant.
Moreover, you can use tomatoes, spaghetti squash, jicama, radishes, turnips, Brussels sprouts, celery, and okra.
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Other Plant-based Foods
Some of the other plant-based keto foods are:
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are healthy, high in fat, and low in carbs, and frequent intake of them is linked to reducing the risk of heart disease.
Moreover, it aslo helps to reduce certain cancer, depression, and other chronic diseases, according to studies.
Furthermore, nuts and seeds are high in fiber, which can also help to feel full and naturally lower your calorie intake.
Though most nuts and seeds are low in net carbs, the amount varies widely by type. The lowest in carbs, and therefore, the best for keto are:
- macadamia nuts
- chia seeds
Most fruits are high in carbs to eat on a keto diet, however, berries are an exception.
Berries, especially raspberries and strawberries are low in carbs and high in fiber.
While blackberries and blueberries are lower in carbs than some other fruits, they may not fit into strict keto diets.
These tiny foods are loaded with antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and help protect against diseases, according to studies.
These noodles are a fantastic addition to keto food and they contain less than 1 gram of net carbs and only 15 calories per serving because they are mostly water.
Moreover, these noodles are made from a viscous fiber: glucomannan which offers a number of potential benefits, accroding to studies.
Viscous fiber forms gel that slows down the movement of food through your digestive tract.
It can help to reduce hunger and blood sugar spikes, which also aids in weight loss and diabetes management, according to studies.
Shirataki noodles come in a variety of shapes like rice, fettuccine, and linguine.
You can also swap them for regular noodles in almost all recipes.
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Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder
Dark chocolate and cocoa are delicious sources of antioxidants.
Moreover, dark chocolate contains flavanols, which can help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
it does so by lowering blood pressure, and keeping your arteries healthy, according to studies.
Surprisingly, you can eat chocolate on keto.
However, it is important to choose dark chocolate as it contains a minimum of 70% cocoa, preferably more, and make sure to eat in moderation.
Fats and Oils
The fats and oil that are a part of keto food are:
Olive oil provides impressive benefits for your heat. It is high in oleic acid, a monosaturated fat that helps to decrease heart disease risk factors, according to studies.
Additionally, extra virgin olive oil is high in polyphenol antioxidants, plant compounds that further protect heart health by decreasing inflammation and improving artery function, according to studies.
As a pure fat source, olive oil contains no carbs and is an ideal base for salads and healthy mayonnaise.
As it is not as stable at high temperatures as saturated fats, it is best to use olive oil for low heat cooking or add it to dishes after cooking them.
Other options are coconut oil and avocado oil.
Butter and Ghee
On the other hand, butter and ghee are good fats to include in the keto diet. Moreover, butter contains only trace amounts of carbs, and ghee is totally carb-free.
Ghee is clarified butter, that you can make by heating butter and removing the milk solids that rise to the top.
It has a concentrated buttery taste and is common in Indian cooking.
Like other types of full-fat dairy, butter and ghee do not appear to be as harmful as previously thought.
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Some of the beverages that are a part of keto foods are:
Unsweetened Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea are healthy, carb-free drinks. They contain caffeine which helps to increase metabolism and can help improve your physical performance, alertness, and mood.
What’s more interesting, coffee and tea drinkers show a significant reduction in risk of diabetes.
In fact, those with the highest coffee intake have the lowest risk, according to studies.
However, adding heavy cream to coffee or tea is fine, however, make sure to avoid “light” coffee and tea lattes.
Unsweetened Sparkling Water
In case you are looking for a keto-friendly alternative to soda, unsweetened sparkling water is a great choice.
Moreover, these refreshingly fizzy and may also be flavored but are free of sugar or sweeteners.
For that reason, they have no calories or carbs. Make sure to use check the label as extra carbs can add up quickly.
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Keto Diet may help with weight loss, blood sugar control, and other health goals. However, its low carb, the high-fat approach may only seem overly restrictive, especially at first.
Nonetheless, this eating pattern accommodates a wide variety of nutritious, tasty, and versatile foods that let you stay within your daily carb range.