Health

What Can You Eat on a Keto Diet?

Keep this handy if you're going to try the latest health craze!

A keto diet requires you to maintain a low-carb, low-sugar diet. Anything that is heavy on carbohydrates or sugar like fruits, sweets, rice, wheat (bread, pasta, cereal), potatoes should drastically be reduced or outright eliminated from your diet. Instead, you should eat foods that are high on fats and protein.

And if you’re wondering “What Can I Drink On A Keto Diet?”, the answer preferably no alcohol, and absolutely no sugary drinks. Water is your best friend.

What Is Ketosis And How Does It Work?

Your body will usually burn sugar to operate and maintain itself. However, by switching to a keto diet plan, you can coax your body go into a metabolic state called ketosis. This is where your body produces ketones, which burns through fat instead of sugar.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A Keto Diet?

Going on a keto diet can help you drastically with weight loss as your body burns a lot of fat during ketosis. The diet is also recommended for those with diabetes, as it reduces the amount of sugar you consume on a daily basis. There are also some studies that suggest that having a low-carb diet can help deal with high blood pressure.

How Do I Know If The Keto Diet Is Working?

The most accurate way to tell if the keto diet is working is by undergoing a blood test, but these can become quite expensive in the long run. Instead, you can use keto strips to figure out whether or not you’re in ketosis.

Why Do I Feel Sick After Transitioning To A Ketogenic Diet?

If you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms such as headaches, fatigues, nausea right after switching to the keto diet, you may be having what is known as a “keto flu”. Don’t worry too much as it’s not contagious nor is dangerous. It’s just a symptom of your body trying to adjust to a keto diet, as your body isn’t used to burning fats. Just keep up your sugar and salt intake, refrain from too much physical activity, and make sure not to starve yourself. If symptoms persist for more than a week, please consult your doctor.

The Simple Keto Food List

Going on any kind of diet means that you have to exclude certain types of food from your snacks and meals. This simple food list can help you spot out what you should and shouldn’t eat and help you prepare your keto shopping list.

What Should You Eat On A Keto Diet?

Red and White Meat

This is one of the main protein staples of keto meals. Pork, chicken and beef are all recommended, as they contain almost zero carbs and are full of vitamins and minerals.

When shopping for meat, opt for fattier cuts like chicken thighs or pork belly.

keto diet
Eat meat! (Credit: Getty)

Fish and Seafood

Fish and seafood are protein alternatives if you don’t like eating red and white meat. They’re nutritious and healthy and are rich in fatty acids like Omega-3.

Be careful when picking seafood as some of them naturally have small amounts of carbs in them.

keto diet fish
(Credit: Getty)

Eggs

Cheap and fulfilling; eggs are a great ingredient that can go with almost any dish. Each egg only has 1 gram of carb, so snacking on them is a great alternative to the usual junk food you might consider.

eggs paleo
Fill up on eggs! (Credit: Getty)

Oils

Oils don’t have any carbs in them, so they’re safe to eat with while on a keto diet. They add flavour to dishes and come in a variety of types. Mixing and matching them with other ingredients can add different flavours to your dishes, which will add variety to your keto diet.

Non-root veggies

Learn to love your greens! Leafy vegetables such as cabbages and celery are full of nutritious vitamins and are packed with fibre. They also provide texture to your dishes. For those looking for a rice substitute, you can blend and mash non-starchy vegetables such as cauliflower. Mushrooms are also keto friendly and can be used as a meat substitute if you’re looking for vegetarian-friendly alternatives.

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(Credit: Getty)

High fat dairy

When on the keto diet, Butter, cheese and yogurt are now some of your new best friends. Butter is full of fat and is lactose-free, making it an ideal ingredient for any keto dish. Cheese is full of protein and fat, and contains a variety of vitamins. Yogurt, while not be as fatty as butter and cheese, is a great alternative for snacking and also aids in digestion.

high fat dairy
(Credit: Getty)

Nuts

Nuts are mostly low on carbs but are rich in fat and protein. This makes nuts a staple of the ketogenic diet. There are some exceptions to this: Cashews and pistachio nuts have higher carbs compared to other kinds of nuts; Chestnuts are usually very starchy, which means they have a lot of carbs, so it’s best to avoid them.

paleo nuts

Berries and avocado

Going on a keto diet is tough, especially if you have a sweet toot. Berries are recommended for those looking for some fruit in their diet. Like other keto foods, they’re low in carbs and have high fibre contents. They also contain antioxidants which help protect your body against diseases and inflammation. Avocados are the one large fruit keto experts recommend as they’re full of fibre and other vitamins which your body needs.

berries avocado

What You Shouldn’t Eat On A Keto Diet

Sugar

The whole point of a keto diet is to drastically reduce your body’s reliance on sugar so that your body can undergo ketosis. You’ll have to cut out soft drinks, candies, sweeteners, chocolates and the like.

Starch

These foods are full of carbohydrates, which you’re trying to limit. Examples include wheat, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes and corn.

Most fruits

Most fruits are loaded with sugar, so you’ll have to keep clear of them if you want to maintain your keto diet.

So On The Keto Diet, What Can I Eat? A 3-day Ketogenic Diet Sample

Going on a keto diet isn’t an easy task. Forcing your body to shift to a keto meal plan will always cause you to crave your old diet, especially in keto since you’re cutting out almost all of the sugar you used to eat. Here’s a simple keto diet for beginners, which should help you have an idea of what a keto diet looks like. It should also help you get a good idea of what kind of food you should shop for.

Day 1

Breakfast: The Classic Bacon and Eggs
Lunch: Pan-fried Garlic Chicken
Snacks: Cup of Yogurt
Dinner: Beef Burger with keto-friendly buns

Day 2

Breakfast: Mushroom omelette
Lunch: Fried Salmon with Vegetables
Snacks: Assorted Nuts
Dinner: Cheese Meatballs

Day 3

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Avocados on the side
Lunch: Ground Beef with Beans
Snacks: Dark Chocolate
Dinner: Steamed Fish with leafy vegetables flavoured with oil

RELATED: I Tried the Keto Diet and Here’s What Happened

Keto Cooking Tips And Tricks

Use different kinds of oil and cheese to your advantage. Change them up frequently so each dish tastes differently!

Herbs and spices are some of your best friends. You can unlock new flavours by trying out different combinations.

Need quick keto snacks? Celery dipped in oil can help you get those hunger pangs away. The classic soft-boiled egg is also cheap and nutritious, and can easily be paired with cheeses.

Don’t fear the butter. Buttery food used to be feared in popular diets. However, keto embraces butter. You’d be surprised how a lot of popular keto diet recipes use butter.

Some Final Tips And Conclusions

Ketosis is a great way to lose body weight fast, and help you become healthier overall. While there are a lot of challenges transitioning towards a keto diet, those who are able to do so report being much more energetic. Remember that on keto you’ll want to have a balance of 70-80% fats, 10-15% protein and up to 5% carbohydrates. Don’t be afraid to use a diet calculator to meet your daily diet goals. And, of course, if you have any complications, please consult your doctor.

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