A ketogenic diet offers a positive impact on health.
According to a study in Korea, obese and diabetic keto dieters were able to successfully lose weight within a short period.
This keto diet is also beneficial for those with cardiovascular problems as it can regulate blood sugar and reduce triglyceride levels.
But, what should be the keto diet foods to eat and avoid?
Read on to learn more of these!
Keto Diet Foods – The Ones To Eat Or Avoid
Foods to Eat on a Keto Diet
Being on a keto diet means consuming foods low in carbs.
However, not all low-carb foods are suitable for this diet type. There are some restrictions, especially for keto dieters who want to achieve weight loss.
In this section, some of the foods you can eat will be listed and discussed.
1) Meat and poultry substitutes
If you are on a keto diet, you should always consider meats and poultry of all kinds.
However, to keep these net carbs lower, you should choose items that come with no added sugars, starches, and breading.
These additives are high-carb foods that may ruin your diet.
One of the best moderate protein meat substitutes you can consider is tempeh. In a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the protein tempeh can increase muscle mass and promote weight loss for those who are on a keto diet.
Aside from tempeh, you can also try beef, deli meats, game, lamb, organ meats, pork, sausages, and tofu.
Some of the deli meats are sliced chicken, corned beef, ham, pancetta, pastrami, roast beef, and turkey.
In case you eat processed meats, make sure that the net carbs or the total carbs minus fiber they contain are less than 20 grams.
If you wish to cook these meats, you should use olive oil for healthier consumption. Remember, olive oil is a carb-free oil.
2) Fish and sea foods can help you lose weight
Even if you consume these types of foods, you get assured that you are still helping your body achieve a healthy weight loss.
In a study from the United States, it was reported that consuming these keto foods can reduce the frequency of seizures, increase energy levels, and promote weight loss.
Fish and sea foods are keto-friendly foods that are filled with polyunsaturated fats.
Some of these foods include salmon, anchovies, crab, lobster, shrimp, squid, tuna, sardines, mackerel, herring, cod, and trout.
These low in carbs foods also prevent Crohn’s Disease and reduce your risk of inflammatory bowel disorders.
Again, if you are going to get these processed, make sure that they contain no added sugars and saturated fats.
On the other hand, if you want to cook these foods, you should use avocado oil, coconut oil, or olive oil.
These oils are healthier compared to other regular cooking oils that contain high fat.
3) Eggs for a low-carb diet
Those who are on a keto diet should always consider eggs. They are the ones that come with fewer carbs and offer healthy fat.
One great thing about these eggs is that they are portable and easy to cook. They are also vegan-friendly! You can eat them boiled or fried.
They are inexpensive low carb foods as they contain low to no cholesterol.
When you cook these eggs, you can cook them using olive oil or coconut oil.
In a study from Boston, vegan, low-carb, keto foods such as eggs can promote weight loss, reduce blood sugar, regulate blood pressure, and prevent diabetes.
4) Keto-friendly vegetables
Those who are on a keto diet can also consider vegetables! These are low-carb foods that are very nutritious.
If you want to make sure that you are eating keto foods without high fat, these leafy greens might be a great choice!
Some of these leafy greens include cucumber, celery, radishes, cauliflower, cabbage, avocado or avocado oil, spinach, asparagus, green beans, bell peppers, sprouts, broccoli, and kale.
In a study from Kentucky, it was reported that to eat keto means supporting not just your weight but also your immune function and gut health.
In this study, it was reported that consuming keto-friendly vegetables such as bell peppers, can balance gut microbiomes.
Furthermore, although these veggies are low in carbs, they are rich in nutrients, minerals, and vitamins!
5) Fruit and berries
If you love to enjoy your keto diet sweetly, you can consider fruit and berries. These foods are healthier than other sweet keto products as they are organic.
Some of these include lemons, limes, blackberries, coconut, raspberries, and strawberries.
According to some dietitians, you can consume these foods in a small serving and take them together with whipped cream or dark chocolate.
6) Nuts and seeds
Other keto foods that can satisfy your carb cravings include nuts and seeds.
These are low-carb foods that you can snack on in a small serving.
Some of these include cashews, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, and macadamia nuts.
If you want fewer carbs, you can try pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Consistent with a study from Ireland, it was reported that ketogenic nuts such as pumpkin seeds, when processed with olive oil, can increase athletic endurance.
7) Cheese and full-fat dairy
Although cheese and dairy are high in fat, they can still be a part of your keto diet.
Some of these foods that are low in carbs include plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese.
According to a study in New Zealand, it was reported that Greek yogurt, when used as a keto food, can enhance the body composition and well-being of athletes.
This food also contains healthy bacteria, thus it can be used to keep the gut health optimal.
If ketogenic diets can regulate the gut microbiome, possible neurological support can also be experienced.
When you choose to eat Greek yogurt, you should avoid the flavored ones as they are high in added sugars.
Also, do not snack on these foods.
You should only use them as a dessert. A tablespoon would suffice your keto diet.
According to some experts, the common mistake of those who want to address their carb cravings is consuming high amounts of these foods.
This does not support weight management and may only cause weight gain.
Fat makes you feel fuller and you should not completely avoid it. Just remember that you should take these fats in a smaller amount.
Usually, those who are on a keto diet eat salad dressings. The sauces that you can use for this include Bearnaise sauce, garlic butter, and mayo.
Always use these sauces moderately.
Do not put too much, and if you can, check on the nutrition label of the products.
See if these sauces contain carbs and how much they contain per serving.
9) Unsweetened coffee and tea
If you are a coffee lover and you want to go on a keto diet, worry no more because coffee can still be a part of your daily routine.
Coffee and tea are rich in antioxidants.
This means that they can support your cardiovascular health and boost your immune system.
However, you should choose the unsweetened one with no flavors at all. If you wish to add some taste, you can consider adding a small amount of stevia.
Aside from coffee and tea, other beverages you can consider are lemon water, bone broth, and mineral water.
Keto foods are usually bland in taste.
So if you want to spice things up, you can consider some ketogenic sweeteners.
These include erythritol, stevia, xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol, allulose, and Splenda.
Monk fruit sweetener is also one of the common keto-friendly sweeteners.
If you wish to take some supplements while you are on a keto, you can try to look for a product with this sweetener.
This sweetener is popularly used by patients with diabetes as it does not increase sugar levels.
Foods to Avoid on the Ketogenic Diet
A keto diet is a strict low-carb type of diet and not all foods low in carbs should be consumed.
So, what are the foods you should not eat on the keto diet type? Read on to learn more!
1) Sugary foods
Sweet foods, including sweetened yogurts, are almost avoided in all types of diets. These include sodas, candies, sports drinks, ice cream, and breakfast cereals.
Even some sweet fruits, such as mangoes, grapes, and bananas, should be avoided. You can take them, though, but in a small serving only.
2) Starchy vegetables and foods
When you consume starch, this could turn into sugar once your stomach has digested it.
Starchy foods include tortillas, pasta, rice, porridge, and oatmeal. Starchy vegetables include corn, potatoes, and peas.
3) Alcoholic drinks
Beer and other alcoholic drinks are high in carbohydrates and should be highly avoided when you are on a keto diet. Instead, you can try healthier versions of these alcoholic drinks, such as the following:
- Dry wine – Champagnes and red, rose, and white wines are keto-friendly alcoholic beverages. If you take them, take a shot glass only.
- Distilled spirit – Some of these are whisky, tequila, brandy, and vodka. These beverages contain no carbs as long as you do not mix them with other sodas and juices.
- Hard seltzers – These alcoholic beverages contain carbs but are very low, around 2 grams per can.
- Low-carb beer – If you are a beer-lover, look for these types of alcoholic beverages to support your keto diet. These beverages usually contain less than 3 grams of carb per serving.
If you are on a keto diet, you should always be mindful of what you drink as these beverages may contain high carbohydrates that can prevent or delay your fitness goals.
4) Chips and crackers
As we all know, chips and crackers are unhealthy products, especially when they contain too much-saturated fat, carbs, and sodium.
If you are on a keto diet, these should be highly avoided.
If you are taking ketogenic-friendly chips and crackers, even those with keto-friendly labels, you should limit them as they are still processed products.
If you can, go for whole, nutrient-dense foods. These are healthier and more organic.
5) Baked goods
If you are on a keto diet, you should also avoid gluten-free baked goods such as bread and muffins.
Although these are simple foods, they are rich in carbs and low in fibers.
These are also known as refined carbs and if you want to achieve ketosis, you should limit these types of foods.
6) Honey and syrup
As much as possible, you should avoid natural sweeteners while on a keto diet. These are honey, maple syrup, and agave.
Aside from having high-carb content, these sweeteners are low in nutrients.
Other sweeteners to avoid include fructose, saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose.
Although these sweeteners are healthy and contain antioxidants, taking them can increase your sugar levels and prevent ketosis.
Condiments usually do not provide much nutrients or fiber. Instead, they are only sugar-packed that can prevent you from achieving ketosis.
While on a keto diet, some of the condiments you should avoid include ketchup, barbecue sauce, and sweet chili sauce.
Instead of these, you can use Tabasco and mayo.
The Pros of the Keto Diet
Choosing keto offers a lot of health benefits. This eating plan focuses on the foods you eat to improve your overall health. Some of the benefits of this diet type include the following:
- Weight-loss support
- Acne breakout reduction and prevention
- Reduce the risk of cancers
- Supports cardiovascular health
- Enhances brain function
- Reduces seizures and PCOS symptoms
For a proper diet plan, it is highly advised to consult a healthcare professional, especially for those who want to take this diet type to manage their pre-existing health condition.
The Cons of the Keto Diet
Choosing keto means giving up a lot of food. Eventually, this can still cause nutrient deficiencies, especially when dieters fail to balance the food they take.
Aside from the difficulty to sustain this diet type, the disadvantages of keto include the following:
- Calorie depletion and nutrient deficiency
- Renal risk
- Food obsession
- Risk of osteoporosis
- Not enough sugar in the body
- Contraindicated for certain populations
Keep in mind that this diet type is not suitable for all. Pregnant women and those with other health conditions should consult a healthcare professional before starting on this diet.
Indeed, the keto diet offers many health benefits not just to the weight but to the immune function, gut health, and heart health as well.
Since this diet type focuses on the foods you eat, learning the foods that should be consumed and avoided is critical.
Some of the foods you can take while on this diet include meat, fish, egg, leafy greens, fruits, berries, nuts, cheese, certain sauces, unsweetened beverages, and certain sweeteners.
On the other hand, some of the foods you should avoid include sugary foods, starchy veggies, alcoholic and sugary beverages, chips, crackers, gluten-free baked goods, honey and syrup, and certain condiments.
Moreover, even though there are benefits to choosing keto, there are risks as well.
If you want to start on this diet type, it is highly advised to seek consultation from a healthcare professional.
Doing this will avoid health complications and will allow you to achieve your health and body goals safer and faster.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What fruits should be avoided on a keto diet?
If you are on a keto, you should avoid the following fruits: apples, bananas, dates, grapes, mangoes, peaches, pineapples, pears, and raisins. Canned fruits should also be avoided as these are not keto-friendly. Instead, you can try avocados, watermelon, strawberries, lemons, tomatoes, raspberries, peaches, and cantaloupe. Of all of these, the lowest carb is watermelon.
Can I eat rice on keto?
Generally, rice is not keto. Both brown rice and white rice are high in carbs. For alternatives, you can try shirataki rice, rutabaga rice, zoodles, shredded cabbage, broccoli rice, and cauliflower rice. However, always remember that it is still fine to consume rice while on keto as long as you do not go more than 20 grams of carbs per day.
Is coffee keto-friendly?
Yes, coffee is keto-friendly, especially when it is unsweetened. It can be consumed hot or cold. Coffee contains caffeine that can boost your metabolism and can help you achieve weight loss.