Keto Diet Foods: What You Can and Can’t Eat

Susy WulfFebruary 25, 20227 mins read

Keto diet followers say that fast weight loss and consuming almost unlimited amounts of fat is possible. The keto diet is a popular high-fat, low carb meal plan that claims to clear the mind and lower the weight. It’s important that you consider what foods you enjoy before you start the diet. If you are a fan of high-carb foods such as fruits, this might not be the right diet. There are many Keto-friendly foods that will leave you feeling satisfied and full, perhaps even like royalty. The Keto diet can look like a day of nuts, avocados and beef. There are also delicious vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. If you aren’t sure what you can eat while on Keto, keep reading.

The Keto diet is used for treating epilepsy in children and diabetes. However, it’s not known if there are any long-term effects on the health.

The biggest question is: How can eating keto diet foods help you lose weight when you eat bacon, butter, or cheese? It all comes down to changing how your body processes food, based on the foods you give it. Continue reading to find out which foods are allowed and what you shouldn’t. Keto: What foods can you eat?

Carbohydrate (5-10% of calories).

Based on a 2,000-calorie diet, 40 grams per day is the approximate amount of carbohydrate intake

Your body’s insulin secretions are reduced by limiting glucose intake, which is the main energy source for your cells. Low glucose levels are causing the body to use what it has stored in the liver, and then in the muscles,” Rania Batayneh MPH, author of The One One Diet: The Simple 1:11 Formula for Sustainable Weight Loss. All of the glucose stored in the body is exhausted after three to four days.

Your liver will convert fat into ketones which are then released into your bloodstream to be used by your cells as energy. Your brain and muscles will be fueled primarily by fat, rather than carbohydrates,” Michelle Hyman MS, RD. CDN, a registered dietitian at Simple Solutions weight loss.

You’ll feel full and your body will go back to glucose-burning mode if you eat noodles and other high-carb food. Too much and your energy levels will drop. To maintain ketosis, most keto dieters aim for between 20 and 50 grams of carbs daily.

To naturally increase hydration, you should try to get your carbs from high-fiber and water-rich vegetables. Are you unsure if a particular produce is low in carbs. Look for vegetables that are grown above ground (leafy greens and peppers) rather than those that are below ground (root vegetables like potatoes, carrots and parsnips). They typically have fewer carbs.

Here are some examples of good carb keto diet foods

  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Green Beans
  • Cucumber
  • Bell peppers
  • Kale
  • Zucchini
  • Celery
  • Brussels sprouts

Protein (10-20% of calories).

Based on a 2,000-calorie meal plan, 70 grams per day is the average amount of carbs.

Protein is vital to build muscle and burn calories. You can’t eat too much of it or not enough to achieve your goals on the keto diet.

For example, in the absence of carbs or protein, if you stick to keto’s very low-carb quota and eat more fat and less protein than suggested, your body will use muscle tissue for fuel. This will result in a decrease in muscle mass and a reduction of calories burned at rest.

You’ll strain your kidneys if you overeat protein (as per this macronutrient breakdown it would be anything greater than a six-ounce steak or a four-ounce chicken breast). Your body will also convert excess protein into carbohydrates to fuel. This is the exact opposite of what the keto diet aims to do.

Try to consume around 15% of your calories from high-fat proteins like the ones below. Greek yogurt, eggs, cheese, and other high-fat protein sources like milk, offer important vitamins that will keep your hair, eyes, skin, and immune system healthy.

Hyman states that although processed meats such as bacon and sausage are technically allowed on the keto diet, Hyman recommends limiting their consumption since they are high in sodium.

Here are some good examples of keto-friendly protein foods

  • Chicken, dark meat if possible
  • Turkey, dark meat if possible
  • Venison
  • Beef
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Shrimp
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Eggs
  • Natural cheeses
  • Plain Greek yogurt made with whole milk plain Greek yogurt, unsweetened
  • Whole milk ricotta cheese
  • Whole milk cottage cheese

*If possible, opt for organic, pasture-raised and grass-fed meats and poultry

Fat (70-80% calories)

Based on a 2,000-calorie diet, there are 165 grams of carbs daily.

This is where you should be consuming the majority of your calories. Numerous studies have shown that eating a high-fat diet can decrease cravings as well as levels of the appetite-stimulating hormones, ghrelin, and insulin.

Full-fat is the best option when you are assembling keto diet food. According to a study published by The Journal of Nutrition, don’t worry about the dietary cholesterol content. This is a function of how much animal protein your diet eats. Instead, you should eat more unsaturated fats like flaxseeds, olive oil, nuts, and less saturated fats like red meat, palm oils, butter.

You are likely to consume a large amount of calories from fat so it is important to choose fuel options that are less likely clog your arteries or increase your risk of developing cancer.

Here are some good examples of keto-fat diet foods

  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Olives
  • Avocados
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Hemp hearts
  • Coconuts
  • Nuts
  • Nut butters made from natural, unsweetened nuts

What to Avoid

Hyman suggests that you avoid these foods to make it easier to adhere to the macronutrient guidelines of the keto diet.

  • Beans, peas and lentils.
  • Grains such as oatmeal, pasta, rice and pasta are all grains.
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Sugars and sweeteners added
  • Sugary drinks, such as juice and soda
  • Snack foods such as potato chips and pretzels are traditional, including crackers, pretzels, or potato chips.
  • Except for tomatoes, lemons, limes and small amounts of berries, most fruits are edible, with the exception of some berries.
  • Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, and peas
  • Trans fats such as margarine and other hydrogenated fats
  • Most alcohols, including wine and beer, as well as sweetened cocktails, are safe

Possible side effects

People who switch to the keto diet will experience a variety of side effects. A New York Times article explains that some people may experience stomach problems and gastrointestinal distress as a result of a drastic diet change. The “keto flu” can also occur, which is characterized by dizziness and fatigue. It can be experienced within a few days, if dieters don’t take care to replenish their sodium and fluids. A halitosis, also known as “keto” or “keto breath”, can occur in some people due to increased production of Acetone — one ketone body.

Experts stated that the keto diet’s weight loss benefits may diminish after 12 months. According to Carol F. Kirkpatrick of Idaho State University’s Wellness Center, keto should be considered a “kickstart diet” that can be used to transition to a more sustainable carb diet.

Many health experts warn dieters that the keto diet can have long-term side effects on the cardiovascular system. There are currently no long-term studies that examine the effects of the keto diet on the body. Some doctors worry about the adverse effect excess fat can have on bad cholesterol.

Susy Wulf

Susy Wulf is a journalist, copywriter, editor and journalist. She has a BA degree in English from Monmouth University, and a MA in Global Communications (American University of Paris).


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