The keto diet has been one of the most discussed diet plans in the last couple of years. This low carb fat-rich diet induces a state of ketosis in our body, creating ketones that burn fat rather than sugar, which has been converted from carbohydrates. In other words, the keto diet forces our body to burn the fat instead of the sugar (glucose), which can lead to potential weight loss. This boosts energy levels without reducing calories or eating tasteless, boring meals.
Just like all other diets, Keto has both pros and cons. Although this popular diet is highly controversial among dietitians and nutritionists, there are many reports of successful weight loss across the board.
So, which foods can we eat, and which ones should we avoid? If you’re interested in trying the keto diet, read through this complete guide on the Ketogenic Diet.
Why Follow a Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is high in fat. Keto is a type of diet where we eat fat to reduce fat.
By massively limiting carb intake, which is our body’s primary fuel source, our body begins to burn the fat reserves for fuel instead. The result? The production of ketones.
This state of high ketones in the bloodstream is called ketosis. This is where the term ketogenic diet is derived from.
The other advantages of the Keto Diet, in addition to weight loss, are:
- Supports skin health
- Improved Cognitive function
- Hormonal balance
How Much Fat Do We Need on the Ketogenic Diet?
On the keto diet, we’ll be eating a small amount of protein and very few carbs. That leaves the rest of our 60-75% micronutrient consumption to fats.
There are different types of keto diets you can follow. All types include fat and low carb. The only difference will be in the ratio distribution of macronutrient.
The SKD (Standard Ketogenic Diet) is the most famous version of the keto diet. The SKD recommends 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs.
The other one is the High Protein Keto Diet, which is best advised for extremely active people or athletes.
High Protein Keto Diet suggests 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs
If we are following the keto diet to lose weight, we shouldn’t eat more than 20-25 grams of carbs per day.
Highly active people are the exemption, since they require more energy. The macronutrient ratios of your keto meals can vary depending on your personal needs.
Regardless, the fat ratio must always be significantly higher than carb and protein intake.
What Kind of Fats Are Ok?
Since fats make up 75% of dietary macros, they’re a vital aspect of the ketogenic diet.
There are four types of ketogenic-approved fats:
- Saturated fats
- Polyunsaturated fats
- Monounsaturated fats
- Naturally occurring trans fats
More recent research has shown that there is no direct link between saturated fats and cardiovascular health (as experts previously believed) and these fats can be beneficial for the body.
The Medium-Chain-Triglycerides (MCTs) which are commonly found in coconut oil and MCT oil, are also present in some saturated fats, which our body converts into energy. That helps in improving physical performance and accelerating fat loss.
Now, let’s explore those foods that we can we eat and those one should avoid in order to properly follow the ketogenic diet meal plan.
Keto Food List
The keto diet offers an abundance of variety in food choices. You’ll quickly realize that it’s nearly impossible to go hungry on a keto diet, because fat is the most satiating macronutrient aspect.
Plus, there are no calorie restrictions! The rule is, we can eat whatever we want, as long as we stay in Ketosis.
Below are some of the keto-friendly foods that should be included in a standard Ketogenic Diet plan.
Healthy Fats and Non-Starchy Vegetables:
75% of our diet should be healthy fats & non-starchy veggies.
- Healthy fats include: flaxseed oil, MCT oil, coconut oil, olives, olive oil, organ meats, tallow, omega–3 egg yolks, macadamia nuts, walnuts nut butter, avocado oil and almonds.
- Veggies: leafy greens, broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, white mushrooms, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, asparagus.
- Nuts and seeds: pecans, cashews, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, brazil nuts, sugar-free nut, seed butter.
- Full-fat dairy products: organic sour cream, cottage cheese, no sugar cream cheese & heavy cream.
- Animal fats:
Fish: salmon, halibut, and mackerel,
Organ meats: liver, bone marrow, tongue, bacon,
Shellfish: crab, lobster, shrimp, ghee
Other healthy fats include pure dark organic cocoa powder, spirulina, almond flour, mineral water, sugarless tea or coffee, sugarless nut milk such as almond milk, hemp milk and coconut milk.
20% of your diet should contain protein.
- Animal protein:
grass-fed meat chicken
- Bone broth
- Collagen and gelatin powdered supplements
5% of Your Diet is consists of carbs.
- Berries: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries
- Legumes: green peas and beans
Foods to avoid in Keto Diet
- Flour & corn tortillas
- Sandwich wraps
- Fruit Juices
- Dried fruits such as raisins, dates, and dried mango
- Fruit smoothies (carb count will vary by fruits used)
- All fruit juices (excluding lemon and lime juice)
- Sweet potatoes
- Baked potatoes
- Cassava (Yuca)
- Baked beans
- Lima beans
- Pinto beans
- Black beans
- Black-eyed peas
- Green peas
- Kidney beans
- Cannellini beans
- Great Northern beans
- Lima beans
- Navy beans
- Most milk
- Condensed milk
- Creamed cottage cheese
- Fat-free or low-fat yogurt
- Bacon with added sugar
- Breaded meats
- Other processed meats that may contain hidden carbs
- Hot Chocolate
- Ginger Ale
- Grape Soda
- Root Beer
- Tonic Water (Not sugar-free)
- Energy Drinks (Not sugar-free)
- Sports Drinks
- Vitamin Water
- Fruit juices
- Sweetened iced tea
- Non-light beers
- Cocktails such as margaritas, screwdrivers, and piña coladas
Disadvantages of Ketogenic Diet
Like most of the diet plans, Keto also has some side effects, which are listed below.
- “Keto Flu”
- Reduced athletic
- Weight regains
- Less muscle mass
- Decreased metabolism
- Risk of heart disease
- Risk of Diabetes
Still thinking of ways to lose weight? Head to our menu section and choose the best meal plan for you, or make your own freestyle plan and have healthy meals from Fitness Kitchen delivered right to your door.