You have started a Ketogenic diet and are interested in what type of foods to consume? See here a list of the best foods allowed for the keto diet.
The ketogenic diet is very popular today, and studies have found that this diet, which contains very few carbohydrates and fats, is very effective for weight loss, diabetes and epilepsy.
There is also evidence to show that keto could also be useful for certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases.
The ketogenic diet usually limits carbohydrates to 20 to 50 grams per day. Although this may seem challenging, many nutritious foods can easily fit into this way of eating.
Here’s a list of some healthy foods that are allowed to eat on the keto diet.
List of foods allowed on a ketogenic diet
Fish and shellfish are a very keto-friendly food. Salmon and other fish are rich in B vitamins, potassium and selenium, and are almost carb-free.
However, carbohydrates in different types of shells vary. For example, while shrimp and most crustaceans do not contain carbohydrates, other types of shellfish contain.
Although these shells can still be included in the ketogenic diet, it is important to take into account these carbohydrates when trying to stay in a narrow range.
Here are the number of carbohydrates for portions of 100 grams of some popular types of shellfish:
- seashells: 4 grams
- mussels: 4 grams
- octopus: 4 grams
- Oysters: 3 grams
- squids: 3 grams
Salmon, sardines, mackerel and other oily fish are very high in omega-3 fats, which have been found to lower insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity in people who are overweight and obese.
In addition, frequent intake of fish is associated with a reduced risk of disease and improved cognitive health.
It is recommended to consume 1 to 2 servings with seafood every week.
2. Low-carb vegetables
Non-hearted vegetables are low in calories and carbohydrates, but a lot of many nutrients, including vitamin C and several minerals.
Vegetables and other plants contain fiber that your body does not digest and does not absorb like other carbohydrates.
Therefore, look at their digestible (or net) number of carbohydrates, which is the total carbohydrates minus fiber. The term “net carbohydrates” simply refers to carbohydrates absorbed by the body.
A lot of vegetables contain very few net carbohydrates. However, eating one serving of “starchy” vegetables such as potatoes, pits or beetroot could exceed the entire carbohydrate limit for the day.
The net number of carbohydrates for starch-free vegetables ranges to less than 1 gram for 1 cup of raw spinach and up to 7 grams for 1 cup of boiled Brussels sprouts.
Vegetables also contain antioxidants that help protect against free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause cell damage.
Moreover, cruising vegetables such as kale, broccoli and cauliflower are associated with a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.
Low-carb vegetables excellently replace foods with higher carbohydrates, and are an extremely suitable food for a ketogenic diet.
- cauliflower can be used to imitate rice or mashed potatoes
- “zoodles” can be made from zucchini
- zucchini spaghetti is a natural substitute for spaghetti
Here are some examples of keto-friendly vegetables that need to be included in your diet plan.
List of keto vegetables:
- green beans
- peppers (especially green)
There are hundreds of kinds of cheese. Fortunately, most have very few carbohydrates and a lot of fat, which makes them excellent foods for the keto diet.
28 grams of cheddar cheese provide 1 gram of carbohydrates, 6.5 grams of protein and a good amount of calcium.
Cheese is rich in saturated fats, but it has not been proven to increase the risk of heart disease. In fact, some studies suggest that cheese can protect against heart disease.
The cheese also contains conjugated linoleic acid, a fat that is associated with loss of fat and an improvement in the body composition.
In addition, eating cheese regularly can reduce the loss of muscle mass and strengthoccurs with aging.
Here are some cheeses that have a permissible number of carbohydrates for the keto diet.
List of keto cheese:
- blue cheese
- fresh cheese
- cream cheese
- goat cheese
- stringed cheese
- Swiss cheese
The cheese is rich in proteins, calcium and beneficial fatty acids, and contains a minimum amount of carbohydrates.
Avocados are incredibly healthy; 100 grams or about half of medium-sized avocados contain 9 grams of carbohydrates.
However, 7 of them are fiber, so their net number of carbohydrates is only 2 grams.
Avocados contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, an important mineral that many people may not have enough of. Moreover, a higher intake of potassium can make it easier for you to switch to a ketogenic diet.
In addition, avocados can help improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
One study found that participants who ate one avocado a day had beneficial effects on their cardio-metabolic risk factors, including lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
5. Meat and poultry
Meat and poultry are considered the basic food on the keto diet.
Fresh meat and poultry do not contain carbohydrates, and are rich in B vitamins and several important minerals.
They are also an excellent source of high-quality proteins, which have been proven to help preserve muscle mass during a carbohydrate-free diet.
One study on older women found that the use of high-fat diets led to hdl (good) cholesterol levels that were 5% higher than on low-fat and carbohydrate diets.
It is best to choose meat fed with grass, if possible. This is because grass-eating animals produce meat with higher amounts of omega-3 fats, conjugated linoleic acid and antioxidants from the meat of animals fed with cereals.
Eggs are one of the healthiest and most versatile foods on the planet.
One large egg contains less than 1 gram of carbohydrates and about 6 grams of protein, which makes eggs an ideal food for a ketogenic lifestyle.
In addition, it has been proven that eggs trigger hormones that increase the feeling of satiety.
It is important to eat the whole egg, since most of the nutrients of the egg are found in the yolk. These include antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin that help protect eye health.
Although yolks have a lot of cholesterol, the consumption of them in most people does not raise blood cholesterol levels. In fact, eggs seem to change the size of LDL particles in a way that reduces the risk of heart disease.
7. Coconut oil
Coconut oil has unique properties, due to which it is a very suitable food for a ketogenic diet.
To begin with, it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). Unlike long-chain fats, MCT is directly taken by the liver and converted into ketones or used as a fast source of energy.
In fact, coconut oil is used to increase ketone levels in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders of the brain and nervous system.
The main fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid, a slightly longer chain of fat. It is suggested that a mixture of MCT and the lauric acid of coconut oil can stimulate sustainable levels of ketosis.
Moreover, coconut oil can help overweight adults to get rid of belly fat and weight.
In one study, men who ate 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of coconut oil per day lost an average of 2.5 cm from their waist without any other changes in their diet.
8. Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese
Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are healthy foods with a high protein content.
Although they contain some carbohydrates, they can nevertheless be moderately included in the ketogenic lifestyle.
Half a cup (105 grams) of ordinary Greek yogurt provides 4 grams of carbohydrates and 9 grams of protein. This amount of cottage cheese provides 5 grams of carbohydrates and 11 grams of protein.
It has been shown that both yogurt and cottage cheese help reduce appetite and promote a feeling of satiety.
Anyone can make a tasty bite on their own. However, both can also be combined with chopped nuts, cinnamon or other spices for a quick and easy keto treat.
9. Olive oil
Oliveo oil provides impressive benefits for your heart.
It is rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that has been found to reduce heart disease risk factors in many studies.
In addition, extra virgin olive oil contains a lot of antioxidants known as phenols. These compounds further protect heart health by reducing inflammation and improving arterial function.
As a pure source of fat, olive oil does not contain carbohydrates, and is an ideal food as the basis for salad dressings and healthy mayonnaise.
Since it is not as stable as saturated fats at high temperatures, it is best to use olive oil for cooking at a low temperature or add it to dishes after they are cooked.
10. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are healthy foods with a lot of fat and low in carbohydrates.
Frequent consumption of nuts is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, depression and other chronic diseases.
Furthermore, nuts and seeds contain a lot of fiber, which can help you feel full and absorb fewer calories as a whole.
Although all nuts and seeds contain few carbohydrates, the amount differs quite a bit between different types.
Here are the number of carbohydrates per 28 grams of some popular nuts and seeds:
- almonds: 2 grams of net carbohydrates (6 grams of carbohydrates in total)
- Brazil nuts: 1 gram of net carbohydrates (3 grams of total carbohydrates)
- cashew nut: 8 grams of net carbohydrates (9 grams of total carbohydrates)
- macadamia: 2 grams of net carbohydrates (4 grams of total carbohydrates)
- pecan nuts: 2 grams of net carbohydrates (4 grams of carbohydrates in total)
- Pistachios: 5 grams of net carbohydrates (8 grams of total carbohydrates)
- Nuts: 2 grams of net carbohydrates (4 grams of carbohydrates in total)
- chia seeds: 1 gram of net carbohydrates (12 grams of carbohydrates in total)
- linseed: 0 grams of net carbohydrates (8 grams of carbohydrates in total)
- pumpkin seeds: 3 grams of net carbohydrates (5 grams of carbohydrates in total)
- sesame seeds: 3 grams of net carbohydrates (7 grams of carbohydrates)
Most fruits have too many carbohydrates to be allowed for a ketogenic diet, but berries are an exception.
Berries contain little carbohydrates and a lot of fiber. In fact, raspberry and blackberry contain as much fiber as they do digestible carbohydrates.
This is a tiny fruit packed with antioxidants that are responsible for reducing inflammation and protecting against diseases.
Here are the number of carbohydrates for 100 grams of berries:
- blackberry: 11 grams of net carbohydrates (16 grams of carbohydrates in total)
- blueberries: 9 grams of net carbohydrates (12 grams of carbohydrates in total)
- Raspberry: 6 grams of net carbohydrates (a total of 12 grams of carbohydrates)
- strawberries: 7 grams of net carbohydrates (9 grams of total carbohydrates)
12. Butter and cream
Butter and cream are good fats that should be included in the ketogenic diet. Each of these foods contains only traces of carbohydrates per serving.
For many years it was believed that butter and cream cause or contribute to heart disease due to its high content of saturated fats. However, several large studies have shown that for most people saturated fats are not associated with heart disease.
In fact, some research suggests that moderate consumption of high-fat dairy products may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Like other fatty dairy products, butter and cream are rich in conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid that can promote fat loss.
Olives provide the same health benefits as olive oil, only in a solid form.
Oleuropein, the main antioxidant found in olives, has anti-inflammatory properties and can protect your cells from damage.
In addition, some studies suggest that olive consumption can prevent bone loss and reduce blood pressure, although no detailed studies are yet available.
Olives differ in carbohydrate content due to their size. However, half of their carbohydrates come from fiber, so their digestible carbohydrate content is very low.
Ten olives (34 grams) contain 2 grams of total carbohydrates and 1 gram of fiber. It cutsnet-number of carbohydrates of about 1 gram, depending on the size.
14. Unsweetened coffee and tea
Coffee and tea are healthy drinks without carbohydrates.
They contain caffeine, which speeds up your metabolism and can improve your body performance, alertness and mood.
Moreover, coffee and tea drinkers have been shown to have a significantly reduced risk of diabetes. In fact, people with the highest coffee intake have the lowest risk of developing diabetes.
Adding cream and whipped cream to coffee or tea is fine, but stay away from light coffees and tea lattes. They are usually produced with low-fat milk and contain aromas with a high carbohydrate content.
15. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
Dark chocolate and cocoa are delicious sources of antioxidants.
In fact, cocoa provides at least as much antioxidant action as any other fruit, including blueberries and acai berries.
Dark chocolate contains flavanols, which can reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and maintaining healthy arteries.
Somewhat surprisingly, chocolate can be part of a ketogenic diet. However, it is important to choose dark chocolate, which contains at least 70% solid cocoa ingredients, preferably more, and eat in moderation.
28 grams of unsweetened chocolate (100% cocoa) have 3 grams of net carbohydrates.
Consume foods suitable for keto nutrition
The ketogenic diet can be used to achieve weight loss, blood sugar management and other health goals.
Fortunately, it can include a wide variety of nutritious, tasty and versatile foods that allow you to stay in the daily range of carbohydrates.
To take advantage of all the health benefits of a ketogenic diet, regularly consume these permitted foods suitable for the keto diet.