What Can I Eat On The Keto Diet

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This article was published on 19 March 2021.

Nicola Shubrook is a nutritional therapist and works with both private clients and the corporate sector. She is an accredited member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council . Find out more at urbanwellness.co.uk.

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Why Do People Follow A Ketogenic Diet

The keto diet was initially created as a treatment for epilepsy, a condition that causes recurrent seizures. Today its still used to help reduce the number and severity of seizures, especially in people for whom anti-seizure medications are less effective .

Over the past couple of decades, the keto diet has grown in popularity for other uses. There is conflicting research on the long-term effectiveness and safety of the keto diet. Still, there is some evidence of short-term benefits.

Possible health benefits of the keto diet include:

  • Weight management:Research suggests following a ketogenic diet may help people lose weight quickly and sustainably . However, if weight loss is not one of your goals, its also possible to maintain your current weight on the keto dietas long as youre eating enough calories to maintain your current weight.
  • Better blood sugar control: The keto diet may help people with type 2 diabetes reduce their hemoglobin A1C and keep their blood sugar levels more stable .
  • Improved insulin resistance: Studies show a keto diet may improve insulin sensitivity and decrease the need for diabetes medication .
  • Heart health: A meta-analysis found that following a low-carbohydrate diet may improve cardiovascular risk factors like cholesterol levels .

More long-term studies are needed to understand both the benefits and side effects of following a keto diet.

The 6 Most Vital Keto Hacks

    Here are some tips to aid your adaptation to ketosis

  • 1. Use a ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting at the same time.
  • 2. Add apple cider vinegar and lemon to your water.
  • 3. Supplement your diet with electrolytes and nutritional yeast.
  • 4. If you get intensely hungry between meals, only add a small fatty snack, no protein.
  • 5. Add more fat to your meals.
  • 6. Add more greens to your diet.

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Keto Diet Supplements: Do I Need Them

Many people, whether on the keto diet or not, opt to take supplements to ensure they are getting everything their body needs. Do keto supplements work and are they necessary? The answer to that really depends on your own bodys needs and may require a physicians opinion. Its important to remember that keto supplements are not diet or weight loss pills! The best way to lose weight is by sticking to the keto friendly fruit and vegetable lists. But should you want to take supplement pills while on keto, here are a two common ones that may be an option:

  • Electrolytes: While on keto, especially at the beginning, your body may need electrolytes. Keto dieters are often low on potassium and sodium. Why? Fruit, for example, is a major source of potassium, and most fruits are too high in carbs for keto. As for sodium, once you eliminate salty, processed foods, your overall sodium level will go down.
  • MCT Oil: Medium-chain triglyceride oil is a saturated fat, derived from coconuts that raises your bloods ketones levels. Taking a little of this oil every day makes your body produce more ketones, keeping you in ketosis . Be careful, though! MCT oil has a laxative effect, so dont overdo it!

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Top Food And Drinks To Avoid On Keto

Keto Veggies

Since a keto meal plan is all about hitting your macros, just about any food is allowed on this eating plan. However, certain high sugar foods can make sticking to your nutrition goals a real challenge.

Additionally, cutting back on heavily processed foods, saturated fats, trans fats, and empty calories can support your overall health, wellbeing and how successful you are.

Here are the top foods to steer clear of to support your macro and health goals.

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Tofu And Other Minimally Processed Meat Substitutes

Tofu and tempeh are minimally processed meat substitutes made from soybeans.

Both contain 920 grams of protein per 3.5-oz portion. Theyre also good and calcium .

Tofu, created by pressing soybean curds, is a popular replacement for meats. It can be sautéed, grilled, or scrambled. It makes a nice alternative to eggs in dishes such as omelets, frittatas, and quiches.

Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. Its distinctive flavor makes it a popular replacement for fish, but it can also be used in a variety of other dishes.

Fermentation can help reduce the amount of antinutrients that are naturally found in soybeans, which may increase the amount of nutrients the body can absorb from tempeh.

The fermentation process of tempeh may produce small amounts of vitamin B12, a nutrient thats mainly found in animal foods and not normally found in soybeans.

However, it remains unclear whether the type of vitamin B12 found in tempeh is active in humans.

The amount of vitamin B12 in tempeh also remains low and can vary from one brand of tempeh to another. Therefore, vegans should not rely on tempeh as their only source of vitamin B12 .

Seitan is another popular meat alternative. It provides about 18 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces . It is also contains iron, calcium, and phosphorus .

However, people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should avoid seitan due to its high gluten content.

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How Do Keto Diets Work

Keto diets work by putting the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. This state forces the body to burn fat rather than carbs for energy. And this is what helps dieters to lose weight.

“Due to the significantly reduced intake of carbohydrates, your body starts producing high levels of ketone bodies from fat,” Flo explains. “These are prioritised to help fuel the body, rather than using glucose.”

Glucose is usually the body’s main source of energy, so when this is deprived it needs to get this from elsewhere – in this case the high-fat you are consuming on keto. This in turn is what turns your body into a fat-burning machine.

One Australian study indicates your body is in ketosis when you experience symptoms like dry mouth, plus increased thirst and urination. Whilst another study warns that protein consumption can affect your ability to enter ketosis, because this can be converted into glucose if eaten in high quantities. It’s for this reason that on a standard keto diet – your protein allowance is restricted to 20% a day.

A loss of water weight is another way keto diets works to aid weight loss. One Spanish study highlighted that the restriction of carbohydrates on keto leads to a reduction in water weight. This is because when carbohydrates are stored in the body, they hold water. So when you reduce the amount of carbs going into the body, these stored carbohydrates are released with the water, resulting in weight loss in some circumstances.

Whole Grains Cereals And Pseudocereals

What To Eat On Keto Diet

Whole grains, cereals, and pseudocereals are good sources of complex carbs, fiber, and iron, as well as B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.

However, some varieties are more nutritious than others, especially when it comes to protein.

For instance, the ancient grains spelt and teff contain 10.7 and 9.7 grams of protein per cooked cup, respectively (

56 ).

Therefore, vegan individuals who fall into one of these categories should make a special effort to consume enough choline-rich foods.


Choline-rich plant foods such as tofu, cauliflower, broccoli, and quinoa are important for the proper functioning of your body.

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List Of Foods You Can Eat On Keto

Atkins is a type of ketogenic dieta nutrition plan thats high in fats, moderate in protein, and low in carbs. The goal of a low carb diet is to help you lose weight more efficiently by reaching ketosis, which is a metabolic state in which your body burns fat instead of carbohydrates for fuel. Consuming a balanced keto diet like Atkins 20® and Atkins 40® has shown to be safe and effective.

So, what foods can you eat on a keto diet? The following list of keto-friendly foods is based on the first phase of Atkins 20®, which reduces your carb intake to an average of 20g net carbs per day to guarantee ketosis is achieved. After the first two weeks of this induction phase, you will gradually add more net carbs and a wider variety of foods back into your diet. No matter the phase youre in, try to eat three meals and two snacks a day, never starve yourself or go more than 4 waking hours without eating, and stay hydrated.

Healthy Keto Diet Guidelines

When you keep in mind that food is intended to provide nourishment not only calories, thereare two principles that form the foundation of a healthy ketogenic diet:

  • Eat low carb, high-fat foods that cause you to use your own fat reserves when you’rein ketosis.

  • Eat foods that provide all the nutrients your body requires for health.

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What Is The Keto Diet And What Can You Eat On It

With so many diets to choose from it can be an exhausting task trying to figure out which one will work best for you.

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The keto diet is a favourite with Halle Berry, the Kardashians and basketball player Lebron James. But what exactly does it entail? We’ve asked the experts.

It’s the famous low-carb high-fat diet that has garnered an army of fans worldwide. They claim that unlike quick-fix extreme diets , the ketogenic plan is one that changes eating habits and develops a healthier way of eating long term. And it’s this and the different variations of this diet – including the Lazy keto plan – that enables dieters to easily factor it into their lifestyle.

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Plain Greek Yogurt And Cottage Cheese

Yogurt and cottage cheese are high in protein and calcium-rich. Five ounces of plain Greek yogurt provides just 5 grams of carbohydrates and 12 grams of protein. The same amount of cottage cheese also has 5 grams of carbohydrates with 18 grams of protein. Studies have shown that both calcium and protein can reduce appetite and promote fullness. Higher-fat yogurts and cottage cheese help keep you full for longer, and full-fat products would be part of the ketogenic diet.

Know The Carb Counts And Serving Sizes Of Foods

Most low carb diets only allow for 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Because of this, it is essential that people following low-carb diets choose foods that have a lower carb count but a high nutritional value per serving.

The foods in the quantities listed below all contain approximately 15 g of carbs:

  • 1 tennis ball sized apple or orange
  • 1 cup of berries
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1/3 cup of cooked rice

While the foods listed above all contain roughly equal amounts of carbohydrates, they are not all nutritionally equivalent. The dairy products on the list contain protein and vital nutrients, such as Vitamin D and calcium in addition to the carbohydrate content.

The fruit and vegetables also contain essential vitamins and minerals. Choosing whole-grain varieties of bread and rice will provide more nutrients than white varieties, even though the carb content is similar.

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What You Can Eat On A Keto Diet:

Get ready for a whole lot of fat, some protein, and just about zero carbs throughout your day. Keto-approved fridges and pantries include plenty of meat, seafood, dairy, eggs, nuts, fats and oils, and some veggies that grow above ground.

  • Plenty of meats: Chicken, pork, steak, ground beef, lamb, bacon, turkey, ham, and sausage .
  • Fatty seafood: Salmon, snapper, tuna, halibut, cod, trout, catfish, scallops.
  • Shellfish: Crab, clams, oysters, lobster, mussels.
  • Most fats and oils: Eggs, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, lard, avocado oil , mayonnaise.
  • High-fat dairy: Heavy cream, soft and hard cheeses, cream cheese, and sour cream.
  • A selection of vegetables: Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, asparagus, cucumber, onion, mushroom, spinach, lettuce, and olives.
  • Most nuts: Almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, as well as their retrospective butters .
  • A selection of berries: Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, all in moderation.
  • Some of your favorite beverages: Unsweetened coffee and black tea is OK. Dry wine, champagne, and hard liquor should be enjoyed sparingly.
  • All spices and some sweeteners: Enjoy stevia and sucralose every once in a while.

What About The Other Diets

Keto Diet – How Many Carbs Can I Eat And Still Reach Ketosis?

The popular low-carb diets modify a true keto diet. But they come with the same risks if you overdo it on fats and proteins and lay off the carbs. So why do people follow the diets? “They’re everywhere, and people hear anecdotally that they work,” McManus says. Theories about short-term low-carb diet success include lower appetite because fat burns slower than carbs. “But again, we don’t know about the long term,” she says. “And eating a restrictive diet, no matter what the plan, is difficult to sustain. Once you resume a normal diet, the weight will likely return.”

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Eating Only 20 Grams Of Carbs A Day Is Hard

The keto diet plan is a high-fat and low-carb diet. I would actually describe it as extremely low-carb-you’re allowed to eat just 20 grams in a day. Some people on keto follow a net-carb plan and you’re allowed to eat more carbs in a day. For my 30-day diet and for the sake of simplicity, I stuck with total carbs.

As a rule, I aimed for 20 grams each day-2 at breakfast, 5 at lunch, 3 for snacks and 10 for dinner. I found that if I aimed for 20, I’d land under 30. That was successful enough for me.

The key to hitting my number was to plan, plan, plan. I worked out all three meals, down to the condiments, plus snacks on the weekends. If I knew what I was having and what I was “allowed” to have while staying under my carb goal, I found managing the infrequent cravings and hunger pangs easier. I can’t stress enough the importance of planning for a keto diet.

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