Ketogenic diet is a low carb and high fat diet. It is also known as keto diet. On keto diet you need to eat keto friendly foods which will help in maintaining ketosis. Keto diet is effective in weight loss, diabetes and in treatment of epilepsy.
Still a great research is required to understand the efficacy of ketogenic diet and to know if it is harmful in long term or not.
What to Eat On Ketogenic Diet
The following are the list of foods you can enjoy on keto diet. These foods are called as keto friendly foods.
- Low carb vegetables
- Fish and seafood
- Meat and poultry
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese
- Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
- Nuts and seeds
- Cream and butter
- Unsweetened coffee and tea.
Low Carb Vegetables
On a keto diet you have to opt for low carb vegetables i.e. nonstarchy veggies. Such nonstarchy veggies are high in nutrients, minerals and vitamins like vitamin C. Low carb vegetables also contain antioxidants which are helpful in repairing cell damages and fight against free radicals. If you are on keto then you should opt for the following vegetables:
Broccoli, cucumber, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, egg plant, lettuce, kale, green capsicum, asparagus, zucchini, spinach, tomatoes, and Brussel sprouts.
Fish and Seafood
You can eat fish e.g salmon and tuna on keto diet along with other seafood like lobsters, squid, crabs, clams, oysters and mussels. Most fish and shellfish are keto friendly foods but is better to take them in a certain amount of serving so that your net carb intake remains low. Fish and shellfish are also some good sources of vitamins, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids e.g. fish like salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Almost all fish and shellfish are carb free or low carb foods.
Avocado is considered as one of the healthiest food you can have on keto diet. If we breakdown to the carb content in avocado you will be surprised to know that per 100 grams serving of avocado contains about 9 grams of carbs of which 7 are fiber. This means that the net carb you gain from avocado is only 2 grams.
It is not only low in carb but also contain enough amount of potassium. So if you are looking for potassium on keto then do eat avocado.
Cheese is very low in carbs and high in fats thus it is considered as a keto friendly food on a ketogenic diet. There are many different types of cheese which you can take on a keto diet. As an example, one ounce of cheddar cheese (28 grams) provides 6.5 grams of protein, 1 gram of carb and some good amount of calcium. Following is the list of different types of cheese you can enjoy on keto diet:
Cheddar, cream cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, cottage cheese, brie, blue cheese, feta, goat cheese, manchego, Havarti, chevre, camembert, Limburger, Swiss, string cheese, provolone, pepper jack, romano and much more.
On a ketogenic diet as you have to take low carbs so opting eggs is one of the best choice on keto. One egg contains 1 gram of carbs and 6 grams of proteins. The yolk of egg contains some good and healthy fats and cholesterol. For your breakfast you can have this high protein food and it will give you a feeling of fullness. You can have an egg in any form you like.
Meat and poultry
On a keto diet meat and poultry are considered as staple foods. If you opt for fresh meat and poultry then it contains no carbs and are rich in B vitamins and other important minerals. A high amount of protein is also present in meat and poultry which is important for muscle mass especially when you are on a low carb diet.
When on low carb diet it is better to choose grass-fed meat if you have a choice. Animals fed on grass contains large amount of omega 3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid and some antioxidants than those animals which are fed on grain feed.
When on keto you can use extra-virgin olive oil as it is not only healthy for your heart but also contain almost no carbs. You can use it in cooking while cooking low heating foods, and also in salad dressings.
Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCT) which are considered helpful on a ketogenic diet. It promotes ketosis by increasing ketone production. Coconut oil also helps in weight loss as consuming coconut oil 2 tablespoon a day increases the metabolic rate. It also helps in reducing belly fat.
Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese
Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese contains some amount of carbs but they can be added to ketogenic diet with some moderation if want.
Both of them are healthy to eat but keeping in mind the amount of carb in half cup (105 grams) of both i.e. 4 grams of carb in Greek yogurt, and 5 grams of carb in cottage cheese, you can use them in your keto diet. They contain some good amount of protein which will give you a feeling of fullness. You can enjoy them on their own and in combination with some nuts and cinnamon and other spices if you like.
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
Surprisingly, dark chocolate and cocoa powder can be taken on a ketogenic diet but in moderation.
Both of these are high in antioxidants and lower the risk of heart diseases. When on keto it is better to choose dark chocolate only.
One ounce (28 grams) of unsweetened dark chocolate (100% of cocoa) contains about 3 grams of net carbs.
Fruits contains natural sugars thus they have large amount of carbs but with berries there is an exception.
Berries like, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are low in carbs and high in fiber. They also contain large amount of antioxidants which are helpful in reducing inflammation and protect against diseases.
Nuts and seeds
A keto dieter can enjoy nuts and seeds on a ketogenic diet. Nuts and seeds are healthy, contain high fat and fiber and low carbs. They usually give a feeling of fullness too.
The best nuts and seed to take on keto diet is flax seeds, chia seeds, pecan, walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts and almonds.
Cream and Butter
Cream and butter are fat rich foods with almost no carbs. They should be taken in moderate amounts but are healthy to eat as they contain conjugated linoleic acid (the fatty acid which promote fat loss).
Unsweetened coffee and tea
Coffee and tea should be taken without any sugar.
They both are carb free drinks and are high in caffeine which increases your metabolism and increase alertness. It also helps in improving mood.
Hope these Keto friendly foods give a boost to your keto diet.
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Dietdoctor: Low carb, “keto foods”.
Eatingwell: Article, “291245”.
Everydayhealth: Diet nutrition, “Ketogenic diet”.