The keto diet has become one of the more popular ways to lose weight but its strict rules leave many dieters wondering what they can eat. It’s not just the Keto Diet.
All diets are hard. Be it a standard low-calorie diet or something more complicated, such as the Paleo Diet, there are generally major lifestyle changes involved.
In reality, the keto diet is actually a form of low-carb diet. It just takes things further. By doing so it causes a pretty interesting metabolic shift.
However, although some famous celebrities, including Halle Berry and Megan Fox, are known to be fans of the diet, it remains a controversial way to lose weight and is generally considered a fad.
How Does the Keto Diet Work?
The Keto diet is an ultra-low-carb diet. It differs from other diets of this type because people who do it have to eat a lot of fat.
Protein is allowed too but only in moderate quantities.
It’s not really a case of what types of food you can eat on the Keto Diet. It’s more to do with the ratio of nutrients they provide.
Keto Dieters need to eat a diet that consists of the following nutrients and percentages:
- Fat 75%
- Protein 20%
- Carbs 5%
What to Eat on the Keto Diet – Main Concept
The body gets energy and nutrients from food. In a normal, healthy diet, most of the body’s energy comes from carbs.
The Keto Diet turns things on their head by forcing the body to exist on a diet that is no more than 5% carbs.
By systematically depriving their bodies of carbs in the way that they do, Keto Dieters force their bodies into a metabolic condition known as ketosis.
During this state, the liver begins manufacturing ketones. It makes them from fat.
During ketosis, these ketones become the body’s main source of energy. They essentially replace the glucose carbohydrate provides.
There is evidence to suggest the Keto Diet works, but any results obtained may not be sustainable or long-term.
Unfortunately, there is research that shows the dietary restrictions involved may also have undesirable outcomes.
A lot of people are aware the Keto Diet causes bad breath. Some of the other side effects are less desirable.
Research shows this type of low-carb diet may also disrupt normal electrolyte levels, cause dehydration, and a low-blood sugar condition called hypoglycemia.
Some Good Foods to Eat on the Keto Diet
Certain foods are better than others when it comes to providing the necessary low levels of carbs and high quantities of fat.
People who are serious about losing weight would normally have to be very careful about eating too much cheese.
Not so with the Keto Diet. Cheese is a very good option. It contains no carbs and is very high in fat. The fat content of many cheeses is 30% or more.
Cheese is also a source of protein and calcium. It provides fat-soluble vitamins as well.
However, although eating lots of cheese may sit well with the restraints imposed by the Keto Diet eating a lot of saturated fats is not the best thing for your heart.
Avocado is a high-fat fruit. Fortunately, unlike cheese, the fats avocado provides are mostly the monounsaturated kind.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Those are the good kind of fats that are gentle on your heart. (https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000747.htm)
Brazil nuts and pecans are good sources of these healthy types of fat. As are Chia and sunflower seeds.
Eggs used to get a bad rep but people are wising up and realizing these hard-case nutritional powerhouses are too good to do without.
They are also a versatile food that’s quick and easy to prepare.
Eggs are slightly higher in protein than they are in fat, but the level of carbohydrate they provide is negligible so they are still a good food to eat on the Keto diet.
Plain Greek Yogurt
Plain Greek yogurt is a good source of protein. It provides calcium too. Apart from being good for the bones, calcium appears to encourage fat burning. Better still.
Research suggests the calcium from food works better than the calcium in supplements. (https://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20000417/calcium-low-fat-diet#1)
Greek yogurt is so thick and creamy it’s a good stomach filler as well and, with only 6 g of carbs per 170 g pot, it’s a good food to eat during a keto diet
Cottage Cheese is also low in carbs and high in protein and it’s around 4.3% fat.
That’s not as much fat as some other keto-friendly food options but cottage cheese is still a good addition to a keto diet and you can always make up your fat content elsewhere.
Low-Carb Green Vegetables
Non-starchy green vegetables like spinach are also keto-friendly foods. Broccoli is too.
These are just a few good low-carb options you can enjoy in moderation without risking coming out of ketosis.
Apart from being low in carbs, all three options are also packed full of vitamins and minerals.
They are also rich in antioxidants that prevent oxidative stress and fight the signs of aging.
Meat and Poultry
Eating dishes that contain fresh meat and poultry is a good way to ensure your protein levels are okay for the day, but moderation will be required.
Some cuts of red meat can also provide you with quite a lot of fat, but it’s the saturated kind so you may want to go for leaner cuts and make up your fat requirements elsewhere.
Either way, when you are eating meat, you don’t need to worry about overloading on carbs. It doesn’t have any.
Fish and other types of seafood can also be good foods choices for the Keto Diet. It provides protein but has no carbs.
Some types of fish provide omega-3 fatty acids as well and can be very good for helping you reach your Keto Diet fat requirement in a healthy kind of way. Good options include mackerel, salmon, and sardines.
Hopefully, you will avoid the temptation to snack. Doing so on any kind of diet can be counterproductive.
However, if you are going to snack of the Keto Diet you need to be looking at keto-friendly options.
Dark chocolate is a good option for a keto-friendly snack but it needs to be at least 70% cacao solids.
According to figures provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, each 100 g serving of dark chocolate (70-85% cacao solids) provides 42.6 g of fat and nearly 7.8 g of protein.
Pork scratchings is an obvious choice for a keto-friendly snack.
A 100 g serving is 31% fat and 61% protein and has no carbohydrate at all.
It’ not the best choice for anyone who has fragile teeth but if your chewing tackle is up to the job pork scratchings is will work with your keto diet instead of against it.
Olives are a popular snack in Spain. You often get a free helping when you order a beer.
Green olives are the best option for a quick keto-friendly snack. A 100 g serving provides 15.3 g of fat, 1.03 g of protein, and only 3.84 g of carbs.
Foods You Need to Avoid/Limit on the Keto Diet
There are plenty of foods you can combine successfully and eat on the Keto Diet.
However, there are also a lot you need to avoid. Ketosis is a delicate state that needs to be nurtured.
Eating high carb foods is a surefire way to blow thing out of the water.
Foods you shouldn’t eat on the Keto Diet include:
- Fruits that are high in sugar
- Grains and wholemeal products
- Potatoes and similar starchy vegetables
- Yogurt that contains sweeteners of high-sugar fruit
- Rice and dishes that contain it
- Maple syrup, honey, and treacle
- Cakes and similar baked goods
- Popcorn potato chips, crackers, and all other high-carb snacks
Picking Keto-Friendly Drink Options
If you are on the Keto Diet, alcohol in all its forms is bad, but beer is the worst. Alcohol is the enemy of any diet though.
It provides seven calories per gram. Options like wine and beer contain carbs as well.
The governments in most countries of the world urge people to drink responsibly. It becomes even more important when you are trying to lose weight. Especially on the Keto Diet.
Sugar-laden drinks are also a big no-no. Water is okay, of course, and beverages such as green tea and black coffee can be better still if you forgo the sugar and milk.
Both options also have the ability to boost metabolism and improve fat burning capabilities.
What about fruit juices and smoothies. In many ways, they seem like a healthy option and they are certainly nutritious.
Unfortunately, the fructose and other natural sugars are not ketone friendly at all. It can also cause a battle between blood glucose and insulin that may bring on cravings for extra carbs and sugar.
What Can I Eat on the Keto Diet – Final Conclusion
As with any other diet, doing the keto diet will involve watching what you eat. The problem is it can be more restrictive than most. The recommended high-fat diet is also controversial.
Can you lose weight by doing the keto diet? Plenty of people are saying you can, but that doesn’t make it a healthy option.
The US Choose My Plate initiative suggests eating a diet that’s half fruit and vegetables and focuses on whole fruits.
It also stresses the importance of whole grains and eating less saturated fat. (https://www.choosemyplate.gov/dietary-guidelines)
Choose my plate is not just for people who wish to lose weight. It’s meant to support good health.
The governments in other countries have similar initiatives, all of which can be used as a basis for a low-calorie weight loss diet.
This article provides a list of foods you can eat on the Keto Diet and there are plenty of options.
Far more than are listed here. The purpose of the article is to help people to find the information they seek and make correct, keto-friendly food choices.
However, the article does not endorse the Ketone Diet as being healthy or a particularly good way to lose weight.
Many experts say the Keto diet is a fad and not without good reason.
The best diets involve making healthy and sustainable dietary changes. The Keto Diet does not.
Eating any kind of high-fat diet cannot be seen as a lasting change for the better.