Not All Carbs Are Created Equal
Carbs come in different forms.
Simple carbs consist of easy to digest sugars. Refined and processed carbs, such as white sugar and white flour, are simple carbs.
People who are starting on a low-carb diet need to think about reducing their intake of refined and processed carbs. Avoiding these carbs will be beneficial for reaching an ideal weight and for health in general.
However, not all simple carbs are created equal. Fruits include fructose, which is a simple carb, but eating fruit is recommended in a low-carb diet, as it is loaded with nutrients and is a whole-food source of carbs.
Complex carbs take longer to digest than simple carbs, as they need to be broken down into a simpler form. Complex carbs are found in more nutrient-rich foods, such as beans, whole-grains, and fiber-rich fruits, such as bananas.
Complex carbs also have the added benefit of making a person feel full faster, which might prevent them from overeating. Complex carbs also make people feel full for longer, which might help them avoid snacking between meals.
Foods To Eat During Keto Diet
Keto diet follows 70%-75% fat, 20% protein, and 5%-10% carbohydrates. Some people may eat only 20 grams of carbs a day to achieve maximum ketosis. Anything containing carbohydrates and sugars is off-limits. All kinds of meat and poultry are naturally devoid of carbs, making them ideal for keto diet plans. Here are a few keto-friendly foods and some snacks you can enjoy every once in a while.
Dried Fruit Or Trail Mix
When fruit is dried, its sugar is concentrated into smaller serving sizes.
For example, a single pitted Medjool date has 18 grams of carbs, 2 of which are dietary fiber .
While dates are nutritional powerhouses, they concentrate too much sugar to reasonably be part of a keto diet.
Similarly, mixed dried fruit packs 31 grams of carbs per 1/4 cup , which can easily put an end to ketosis .
These are often blended into trail mix, which also often includes chocolate chips, candies, or sugar-coated nuts. This is another food to avoid, as it can easily put you over your carb allotment for the day.
Instead, aim for fresh berries to satisfy your sweet tooth. These are fairly low carb, with less than 4 grams of carbs per 1/4 cup (
If youre craving starchy vegetables, try lightly grating them onto a salad or bowl rather than making them the main feature of a dish.
You can also swap these for small or moderate portions of jicama, which is naturally slightly lower in carbs, at less than 3 grams of carbs per 1/4 cup .
Mashed or riced cauliflower can also be a good substitute for starchy potato-centered recipes.
As a rule of thumb, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumber, and celery are generally better suited for your keto goals.
Also Check: Mediterranean Diet Crock Pot Recipes
Complete Keto Food List: What To Eat On Keto
Reviewed by Emily Gonzalez, ND for Scientific Accuracy
- Need help figuring out what to eat on the ketogenic diet? Use this list of keto-friendly foods to guide your meal plan.
- On the keto diet, you want to eat quality fats, moderate protein and minimal carbohydrates. Steak? Check. Bulletproof Coffee? Double check. But what about other foods?
- This beginner keto food list shows you the best ones to eat and which to stay away from. Plus, youll learn how to pick quality foods to fill your plate with whole food nutrition.
Not sure what to eat on the ketogenic diet? This keto food list for beginners will get you started. To get into ketosis and stay there, your diet needs to support fat-burning. That means eating more quality fats and cutting out the carbs found in foods like bread and pasta.
Fortunately, you have plenty of delicious options when it comes to your keto meal plan. And once you get the hang of it, keto is packed with benefits like sustained energy, fewer cravings and more brain power.
Take the guesswork out of eating keto and use this complete keto food chart to get started.
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A word about onions: while they grow below ground and are higher carb, they can be added to foods as a seasoning because you generally wont eat too many at once.
Be careful of caramelized or sautéed onions, as these are easier to consume in larger amounts. Green onions, or scallions, can be used to top salads or other dishes in modest amounts.
Also Check: Paleo Diet Food List Not Allowed
What I Ate Yesterday
Until 5:30 pm, the only thing I ate was that coffee, water, another coffee with cream, and a macchiato at the airport . Then, just before I started cooking, it was chocolate time.
The Hachez Premier Cru 88% chocolate, is superb. Not only is it delicious, its 61% fat and just 16% carbs. I ate a few pieces more than I normally do totally awesome.1
For dinner, I made chicken liver with a little onion, some spinach, and lots of bacon, butter and sour cream. I added salt and pepper, and boiled a little broccoli as a side . Delicious.
In the evening, I had about 150 grams of cheese, followed by raspberries with cream .
What You Can Eat On A Keto Diet:
Get ready for a whole lot of fat, some protein, and just about zero carbs throughout your day. Keto-approved fridges and pantries include plenty of meat, seafood, dairy, eggs, nuts, fats and oils, and some veggies that grow above ground.
- Plenty of meats: Chicken, pork, steak, ground beef, lamb, bacon, turkey, ham, and sausage .
- Fatty seafood: Salmon, snapper, tuna, halibut, cod, trout, catfish, scallops.
- Shellfish: Crab, clams, oysters, lobster, mussels.
- Most fats and oils: Eggs, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, lard, avocado oil , mayonnaise.
- High-fat dairy: Heavy cream, soft and hard cheeses, cream cheese, and sour cream.
- A selection of vegetables: Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, asparagus, cucumber, onion, mushroom, spinach, lettuce, and olives.
- Most nuts: Almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, as well as their retrospective butters .
- A selection of berries: Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, all in moderation.
- Some of your favorite beverages: Unsweetened coffee and black tea is OK. Dry wine, champagne, and hard liquor should be enjoyed sparingly.
- All spices and some sweeteners: Enjoy stevia and sucralose every once in a while.
Also Check: Who Has Diet Dr Pepper On Sale This Week
Low Sugar Fruits List
While fruit is typically referred to as a high carb food, it is entirely possible to enjoy some types of fruit without going over your daily carb limit. Especially when you are counting net carbs. The trick is to use portion control and include small amounts of low sugar options.
Fruit is a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber!
Fruit can vary on the scale of less sweet to more sweet, depending on its sugar content. Typically the lowest sugar fruits tend to be melons, berries, and some tropical fruits.
Here’s your list of low carb fruits to try:
- Unsweetened Açaí Puree
Soda Isnt Allowed On Keto But Unsweetened Sparkling Water Is A Great Choice
The keto diet often marks a drastic shift in eating habits. If you are a soda drinker, youll have to get it out of your diet completely, says Herrmann. It may be tough to do at first, but these are packed with sugar, and eating less of the sweet stuff will benefit your health, regardless of whether youre on keto, he says. In fact, drinking soda has been associated with greater odds of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to a Circulation. Ultimately, youre making a march toward a healthier pattern of eating, so working with a registered dietitian whos knowledgeable in the keto diet can help you figure out how to cut back and replace it in your diet.
Because its carb-free, diet soda is technically an okay option. But sparkling water is an even better choice when you want that fizz, since it doesnt even contain the artificial sweeteners present in diet drinks. These sweeteners may stimulate appetite and increase the risk for weight gain, per a study published in March 2014 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Choose naturally flavored but unsweetened versions of sparkling water, like those from brands LaCroix or Waterloo. Both have zero grams of carbs.
Keto Food Guide: What To Eat And What To Avoid
Keto Food Guide: What to Eat and What to Avoid
Posted 2 years ago
When youre new to the Keto diet, the grocery store can feel like enemy territory, with hidden carbs everywhere just waiting to make their way into your cart and throw you out of ketosis.
If youve read our Ultimate Guide to the Keto Diet, then you already know the basics: limit carbs, get adequate protein, eat plenty of healthy fats, and avoid processed junk.
But what does that look like in practice?
Rest assured that after a few weeks, this will all seem like second nature. But in the meantime, weve put together this printable Keto food list to save you hours of staring at labels on your next shopping trip.
And remember — if you do come across an item in the grocery store that youre unsure of, weve got you covered. Just open the Carb Manager app on your mobile device, and use our barcode scanner to quickly determine the Keto grade for any food item.
Keto Foods And Foods To Avoid
The following table lists the foods that are allowed in the keto diet and the ones that are forbidden.
10 cashew nuts 2 tablespoons coconut chips + 10 strawberries
Eggs fried in butter + rennet cheese
Scrambled eggs with oregano and grated Parmesan
It is important to remember that the keto diet should be prescribed by a nutritionist.
Keto Diet Lunch And Dinner Recipes
When it comes to lunch and dinner, aim for plenty of quality protein foods and non-starchy veggies to keep you feeling satisfied, and then add healthy fats to support ketosis and provide massive flavor.
Curb cravings and hit your macro goals with this delicious low carb chicken parm recipe.
Make your standard lettuce wraps more exciting and high protein with these chicken guacatillo wraps.
Indulge without the carbs when you make this decadent cauliflower mac and cheese recipe.
Get plenty of good fat and quality protein with these tasty salmon cakes, served with a zesty chimichurri sauce.
You can keep your snacks simple with staple choices like plain almonds, string cheese, or jerky, or take things up a notch with these protein packed matcha fat bombs.
Ketosis: The Mechanism Behind Keto Diet
Your body enters a metabolic state by following a keto diet. Instead of carbohydrates, the body burns and breaks down fat as a daily energy source. When you limit carbohydrate consumption, the blood glucose levels begin to fall. That is because fatty acids are released from adipose tissue converted into ketone bodies. These ketone bodies produced from fats prioritise body fuel rather than glucose. In simple terms, when you deprive the body of carbohydrates, it begins to search elsewhere for energy. In this case, fats burn. And this is what helps you to lose weight.
Good Examples Of Carb Keto Diet Foods:
- Approximate grams of carbs per day based on a 2,000-calorie diet: 70
Protein is essential to build muscle cells and burn calories. As a result, if you eat too little protein on the keto diet , then your body will turn to muscle tissue as fuel. This, in turn, will lower your overall muscle mass and the number of calories you burn at rest. Likewise, eating too much protein puts undue strain on your kidneys. Plus, your body will convert the excess protein to carbohydrates for fuel, and that’s the exact opposite goal of the keto diet.
Experts say to shoot for around 15% of calories from high-fat protein sources like those below. Some protein sources also provide important vitamins to keep your hair, eyes, and immune system strong, while others should only be consumed in small doses. “While processed meats like sausage and bacon are technically permitted on the keto diet, I’d recommend limiting them since they’re high in sodium,” Hyman says. Instead, opt for organic, pasture-raised, and grass-fed meat and poultry, if possible.
Foods To Avoid On The Keto Diet
The keto diet is an extremely low carb, high fat diet.
The goal is to achieve a metabolic state of ketosis, in which your body burns mostly fat instead of carbs for energy .
While controversial and not for everyone, the keto diet has been linked to weight loss and potential short-term health benefits like improved blood pressure .
If youre looking to begin or maintain ketosis, there are some foods to avoid specifically, foods that are too high in carbs.
The structure of carb molecules is simple, making them easy for your body to break down. Thus, theyre an efficient source of energy. If your body is provided a lot of carbs, especially at once, it will do whats most efficient: use carbs instead of fat for energy .
On the keto diet, carbs are typically restricted to 2050 grams per day. Generally, this total doesnt tally the portion of carbs made up of dietary fiber, as these arent digested by your body .
On a 2,000-calorie diet, a keto diet will typically be composed of 5560% fat, 3035% protein, and 510% carbs .
Here are 16 foods to avoid or limit on the keto diet, some of which might surprise you.
Eating refined high carb foods like white bread, pasta, rice, and pastries could prevent a ketogenic state if you end up getting more than your daily carb allowance.
Heres the carb count per portion of these starchy foods (
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|1 drink||36 grams|
Whats The Difference Between Ketosis And Diabetic Ketoacidosis
For people with diabetes, rapidly rising ketone levels can signal a health crisis that requires immediate medical attention. When there is an absence or not enough of the hormone insulin , the body cannot use glucose for fuel. Insulin helps ferry glucose to our cells and muscles for energy. Instead, in this case, the body resorts to burning stored fat for energy through the process of ketosis, leading to a buildup of ketones in the body.
What To Eat On The Standard Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is not a commercial meal plan, so there are no costs or membership fees associated with starting this diet. But, depending on your current eating habits, this eating approach may increase your food bill.
Because many processed foods are not considered ketogenic diet friendly, a switch to buying more whole, unprocessed foods may seem expensive, especially with the emphasis on high-fat and protein-rich foods.
In-season, fresh produce, along with frozen vegetables, which can be just as healthy as their fresh counterparts, will help reduce your costs. Although nuts, seeds, and animal proteins such as beef can drive up the grocery bill, bulk buying can help you save on these items as well.
Legumes Nuts And Seeds
Although excellent sources of fat, nuts add up quickly in protein and carbs. Snack on fattier nuts such as walnuts, macadamia nuts and pecans, but limit those high in inflammatory omega-6s, like peanuts and sunflower seeds. Foods to avoid on keto include high-carb nuts like pistachios and chestnuts, and pass on most beans, too.
Use nut milks and nut flours in moderation, and check your labelsmacronutrients can vary widely between brands. Youll want a product with fewer carb counts per serving and no extra additives, sugar, starches or binders.
More Diet Tips From Bulletproof
Other Keto Approved Ingredients
Cooking most of your meals at home is one of the easiest ways to control your ingredients and portion sizes, ensuring you are sticking to your ketogenic diet goals. But you’ll want to understand which sauces, seasonings, and added ingredients fit your keto lifestyle.
There is a growing abundance of keto approved sauces, sweeteners, mixes, and low carb substitutes available to make preparing your own carb conscious meals easier than ever.
Here are some of the most popular keto ingredients to look for that can help curb cravings and won’t mess with your overall nutrition.
Dark Chocolate And Cocoa Powder
Check the label on these, as the amount of carbs depends on the type and how much you consume. Cocoa has been called a “superfruit” because it is rich in antioxidants, and dark chocolate contains flavanols, which may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and keeping arteries healthy.
Coffee And Tea Without Sugar
These benefits are found for both caffeinated and decaffeinated versions, so if youre sensitive to caffeine or its late in the day, choose a decaf option.