The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that's becoming increasingly popular. But it can take a lot of work to figure out what to eat in this diet, specially if you're new to it.
It involves eating high-fat foods and very few carbohydrates and proteins. Sticking to the keto diet food list will likely make you lose weight.
If you've been on the keto diet, tracking what's allowed and what isn't on the keto food list can be tricky. Luckily, we've got some guidance for you!
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about eating on the ketogenic diet: which foods are allowed and which aren't, how much of each food group you should eat per day, and some tips on how to get started with keto.
What is the Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate protein and low-carb diet that can help you lose weight and improve your health. It promotes the use of fats as fuel instead of carbohydrates.
Following a keto diet can lead to weight loss and other health benefits, including lowering blood sugar levels, decreasing inflammation, improving body composition, reducing risk factors for chronic diseases, and helping manage diabetes.
The keto diet food list is based on the idea that eating a lot of fat can help you lose weight and maintain an active lifestyle. It's not meant to be a long-term diet plan or a quick fix. Instead, consider this if you've had trouble losing weight or maintaining an active lifestyle.
The ketogenic diet aims to reach nutritional ketosis by taking less than 5% of their calories from carbohydrates, 20% from protein, and 75% from fat daily. This results in a physiological state known as ketosis—a state where the body burns fat instead of glucose as its primary fuel source.
Foods to Keep on the Keto Diet Food List
Low-carbohydrate, high-fat keto diet food list that will help you stay in ketosis.
- Sea Food
- Spices and Sweeteners
- Dairy products
- Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
Meat and poultry are an essential part of the keto diet. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and provide high-quality protein necessary for muscle maintenance and growth. The fats in meat have been shown to help reduce inflammation, which can lead to weight loss.
For those following the keto diet, here are some tips for eating meat.
- Make sure you're getting enough protein in your diet.
- Eat lean cuts of meat.
- Buy organic whenever possible
- Avoid processed meats like bacon, sausage, and hot dogs.
Fish and seafood are a staple of the ketogenic diet. They have negligible carbohydrates and are high in protein, which is vital for keto dieters because of the low amount of carbohydrates they eat.
Fish and seafood are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help keep your cholesterol levels low, improve your heart health, and boost your brain function.
Fish and seafood provide the body with essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Some fish and seafood can be high in mercury, so it's important to choose low-mercury fish on a regular basis.
Eggs are a great source of protein for keto dieters. They also contain vitamins and fats that help you feel full. They're also an incredible source of high-quality protein and critical nutrients like vitamin B12, choline, selenium, and lutein.
Eggs are one of the most versatile foods on the planet, and they can be used for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even dessert. Eggs are also easy to prepare and cook quickly.
If you're not sure how to incorporate eggs into your diet while on the keto plan, there are several ways you can do so:
- Eggs can be scrambled with other low-carbohydrate foods.
- Hard-boiled eggs are an easy way to get in some extra protein at breakfast time.
Dairy products are controversial in the keto world, but some are more acceptable than others. Most dairy is not allowed on the keto diet due to its high carbohydrate content. However, some dairy products have fewer carbohydrates than others and can be okay on a modified keto diet. Plain Greek yogurt, unsweetened plant-based milk, and certain cheese varieties are good choices for your keto diet.
Plain Greek yogurt is high in protein and a good source of calcium and probiotics. Unsweetened plant-based milk such as almond or cashew milk contains fewer carbohydrates than regular cow's milk, and so can be enjoyed on a low-carb diet like the ketogenic diet.
Cheese is also a great addition to your diet because it contains healthy fats that help you feel satisfied longer than other foods do. Some types of cheese have more carbohydrates than others, so check the label before buying.
Butter and ghee are both allowed on the ketogenic diet, as they are high in fat and low in carbohydrates. Both can be used in cooking and baking, but butter has a higher melting point, which makes it better for sautéing than ghee.
The benefits of dairy on a keto diet include:
- It's high in protein, calcium, and other nutrients essential to a healthy diet
- It has a high satiety factor, so you feel full for longer
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder can be a delicious way to boost your keto diet, but remember that dark chocolate should contain at least 70 percent cacao solids—and eat only moderate amounts.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are high in nutrients and low in calories and fibre, which helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. This makes them ideal for weight loss and maintenance diets.
Green leafy vegetables are a great source of nutrients for the keto diet. They are an excellent source of vitamins A and K, folate, and magnesium. They also contain vitamins C and E, which are antioxidants that help protect your body from free radical damage.
People who follow the ketogenic diet often eat lots of green leafy vegetables because they can be prepared in many ways without adding too many calories.
Nuts and seeds are an essential part of a keto diet food list. They can be used to add flavour and crunch to your meals and increase fat intake.
While most nuts and seeds are low in net carbohydrates, the amount varies widely depending on the type. Almonds, macadamia nuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts are among those with the lowest carbohydrate count—and therefore make great choices for ketogenic diets.
There are many benefits to eating nuts and seeds while following the ketogenic diet. Some of these include:
- They're high in fat and low in carbohydrates, which makes them an ideal snack for people who follow this diet.
- They're rich in fibre, which helps you feel full longer and regulates your digestive system.
- They're packed with antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation in your body.
The most important part of staying hydrated on a keto diet is drinking enough water, but sometimes, you want something more exciting or flavourful. These beverages are all perfectly acceptable on the keto diet food list:
- Coffee -A cup of black coffee can be part of your keto diet as long as you don't add milk or sugar!
- Tea - Green tea contains antioxidants that boost metabolism and reduce inflammation. You can find green tea in different flavours, so there's bound to be one that suits your taste buds!
Spices and Sweeteners
Spices are more than just a flavouring— they contain antioxidants and have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the best keto-friendly spices and herbs include cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, oregano, basil, and coriander.
Unlike sugar, certain sweeteners like Stevia leaf extract (stevia), erythritol and allulose don't affect blood sugar levels like most other sweeteners. So they're great for keto dieters but in moderation.
Foods to Avoid on the Keto Diet Food List
Here is a list of foods you should avoid on the ketogenic diet.
- Sugar in any form
- Sweet treats
- Baked foods
Fruits are high in sugar and carbohydrates, a strict no-no on the ketogenic diet.
While you may not be able to eat fruits on the ketogenic diet, there are still plenty of other options. Below are some of the best ones:
- Berries: Blueberries and raspberries are good options as they are low in carbohydrates and fibre. They also have antioxidants that help with digestion and weight loss.
- Avocado and Olives: These fruits are rich in fibre and healthy fats that can keep you feeling full for longer. They also help regulate blood sugar levels, which is important when losing weight.
- Coconut: Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which support the use fat as a prime energy source, increasing fat metabolism. They have been shown to boost metabolism.
Tip: Try replacing high-carbohydrate fruits with low-carb vegetables such as cucumbers or bell peppers instead.
Avoid grains on the keto diet food list. The most common grains that people consume are wheat, rice, oats, and corn.
Grains are a food you should avoid on the ketogenic diet because they contain high amounts of carbohydrates, which can knock you out of ketosis, and they often have sugar as well.
Grains should be avoided entirely, but if you're looking for alternatives go for shirataki noodles, almond flour, spiralled vegetables.
Starch is a carbohydrate that is found in many foods, such as breads, potatoes, pasta, cereal, peas, rice, etc. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate protein, and low-carb approach to eating.
Because starches raise blood sugar and insulin levels, they can trigger a fat-storing response. Thus, avoiding starches is one of the best ways to maintain ketosis on a low-carb diet like keto.
Low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet limit legumes and beans because they are high in carbohydrates, which can hinder your progress on ketosis.
They're also high in fibre, which can cause gastrointestinal distress when eaten in large quantities. So, while you can eat them sparingly if you're following a ketogenic diet (and maybe even enjoy them), it's best to avoid them altogether.
Sugar in Any Form
When on the ketogenic diet, avoid sugar and all its forms—including honey, syrup, and other sweeteners that list “sugar” among their ingredients.
Sugar is a carbohydrate that has little nutritional value and causes blood sugar levels to spike. It can lead to fatigue and cravings for more carbs.
When you’re in ketosis and following the keto diet food list you need to avoid foods that contain carbohydrates because they will kick you out of ketosis.
Alcohol is not a good choice when you're on the ketogenic diet. Alcohol generally contains sugar, carbs, and calories, which will disrupt ketosis.
Additionally, your body needs to eliminate alcohol first before it can focus on burning fat.
The liver needs to process alcohol before it can be eliminated from your body, so your body will have to do some extra work that it doesn't need to do when you're not drinking alcohol.
If you choose to drink alcohol on the ketogenic diet, limit yourself to drinking low-carb, pure liquors like vodka, wine, or gin, not beer.
Do so only rarely.
Baked and gluten-free baked goods should be avoided on the ketogenic diet.
One serving of gluten-free baked goods contains between 15 and 25 grams of carbohydrates. This is too many carbohydrates for someone trying to lose weight or maintain weight by following a low-carbohydrate diet such as the ketogenic diet.
Pros of a Ketogenic Diet
The keto diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. It's not new, but it's recently been getting much attention because it can help effectively lose weight.
The ketogenic diet is similar to the Atkins diet in its focus on cutting carbohydrates, but there are some key differences. While both diets restrict carbohydrates, the Atkins diet allows you to eat more carbs gradually while maintaining ketosis (the fat-burning state that kicks in when carbohydrate consumption drops). The keto diet requires you first to get your body into a ketose state by drastically lowering carb intake—and then keep it at this low level of carbohydrates for extended periods.
The ketogenic diet has been shown to improve blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes. It may also help with metabolic syndrome symptoms like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and excess body fat around the abdomen and neurological diseases such as epilepsy.
Cons of a Ketogenic Diet
While this diet has many pros, there are also some cons you should be aware of before starting it.
- The keto diet is very restrictive: It can be difficult to follow long-term because it is high in fat and low in carbohydrates. This can make it hard for some people to stick with the diet for extended periods of time.
- A ketogenic diet requires planning and preparation: You must carefully calculate and track your macronutrients. You need to ensure that you are getting enough vitamins and minerals.
- The ketogenic diet can cause some health problems: People who followed a high-fat, low-carb diet were more likely to have heart attacks or strokes than those on standard diets. There is a possibility that the ketogenic diet could put stress on your kidneys and cause you to develop kidney stones. A Keto diet may cause side effects such as fatigue, bad breath, and constipation.
Ketogenic Diet food list—25 top choices
Animal Protein Sources
1) Chicken thighs
2) Pork chop
3) Sirloin steak
7) Greek yoghurt
8) Buffalo Mozzarella
9) Cheddar cheese
16) Iceberg lettuce
Fats and Oils
24) Olive oil
The keto diet food list is an eating plan focusing on high fat, moderate protein, and low carb intake. It's been proven to be effective in weight loss and improving health. And while it may seem like a difficult diet to follow at first, once you get used to it, it can be pretty easy and enjoyable.
For people following a ketogenic diet who worry about getting enough protein and muscle recovery, Wheylo and MCT Oil by Steadfast Nutrition are the perfect solutions. Wheylo an easily digestible, keto-friendly whey concentrate that promotes muscle growth and helps speed up post-workout recovery time. MCT Oil supports ketosis, helping the body burn fat, supporting weight management. It also boosts energy levels, supports heart health, and improves immunity and cognitive functioning.