The Ketogenic diet has gained popularity in recent times as it has proved to be efficient in shedding off excess body fat and lowering blood sugar levels. You will have to say goodbye to your favorite pastries and incorporate a few newbies into your diet to see the wonders of the ketogenic diet. Here’s a complete guide about the ketogenic diet and the best foods to eat on a ketogenic diet.
What is a Ketogenic diet?
The Ketogenic diet or keto diet is a diet plan in which you reduce your intake of carbohydrates and replace it with high fat and protein. Hence it is a low-carb and high-fat diet, which prohibits the consumption of sugar pastries and starchy vegetables. Meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, vegetables that grow above the soil, dairy products, and oils are the best foods to eat on a ketogenic diet.
While on a ketogenic diet, your carbohydrate intake is reduced to 50 grams per day. Your body becomes devoid of glucose that is an essential fuel for the body’s metabolism. Drastically, your body starts converting the protein and fat into ketones by going through a ketosis phase, and this helps to shed weight.
Best foods to eat on a ketogenic diet?
Are you ready to cut down your sugars and carbs and munch on a variety of fats and protein? Here we go with the list of the finest foods to eat on a ketogenic diet.
1. Meat and Poultry:
Meat and Poultry form an integral part of a ketogenic diet. Consumption of meat and poultry provides adequate protein that helps to maintain muscle mass during the diet plan. Unprocessed meats have low carbs and are keto-friendly, while processed meats like sausages contain added carbs. Hence, it is advisable to consume unprocessed meat.
Consuming grass-fed meat is preferred over grain-fed meat because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid, and antioxidants.
Who doesn’t love to munch on fresh seafood? Seafood is the best category of foods to eat on a ketogenic diet due to its rich omega-3 fatty acid content. Consuming 2 seafood meals per week improves heart health.
Fishes that can be consumed are salmon, sardines, and mackerel, out of which salmon is the best due to its low carb content. Shellfish varieties are also keto-friendly. Some of the low-carb and high-fat shellfish are:
3. High- fat dairy products:
Dairy products derived from grass-fed cows are typically loaded with fat and calcium. Drinking cow milk directly raises the sugar and carb levels. Hence, high-fat dairy products such as butter, cheese, cream, and yogurt are consumed on a ketogenic diet.
Butter and cream contain high saturated fats and conjugated linoleic acid, and low carbs per serving. Moderate consumption of butter and cream reduces the risk of stroke and heart illnesses.
There are diverse kinds of cheese and almost all varieties contain high fat and low carbs. Cheese contains high conjugated linoleic acid that helps in body fat loss. The best keto-friendly cheeses are:
- Babybel cheese
- Goat cheese
- Blue cheese
- Cream cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Camembert cheese
- Brie cheese
- Cheddar cheese
Though plain Greek yogurt contains some carbs, its protein content is highly essential during a ketogenic diet. Consuming Greek yogurt causes a feeling of fullness and loss of appetite.
Boiled or scrambled or omelet, eggs are one of the healthiest foods to eat on a ketogenic diet. Organic eggs are healthier than artificially-induced eggs. One egg contains six grams of protein and one gram of carbohydrates.
People usually hesitate to consume the yellow yolk, but it is significant to eat the yolk as it is packed with numerous nutrients. Since eggs contain high cholesterol, it is wise to consume less than thirty eggs per day.
Avocados are healthy fruits that have 2 grams of carbs and 7 grams of digestible fibers in 100 grams. They are loaded with folate, potassium, magnesium, and several B-vitamins. Avocados lower the bad, low-density cholesterol levels and improve triglyceride levels.
Avocados are the widely eaten fruit by people who follow a ketogenic diet. You can consume avocados as a smoothie without adding extra sugars.
6. Low-Carb Vegetables:
Vegetables that grow above the soil are low-carb, non-starchy vegetables. These vegetables can replace the starchy veggies such as potatoes, yams, and beets that grow underground.
Low-carb vegetables contain antioxidants that protect the body cells from free radical attack. It is healthier to consume fresh vegetables than refrigerated ones. Adding butter or olive oil to your low-carb veggie salad makes it delicious. Some vegetables you can eat on a ketogenic diet are:
- Cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, kale
- Cabbage, lettuce, spinach, asparagus
- Olives, cucumber, green beans, eggplant, tomato
7. Nuts and Seeds:
Most people have the habit of consuming nuts and seeds in the morning to furnish the empty stomach with the necessary nutrients. Nuts and seeds are excellent foods to eat on a ketogenic diet as you can nibble on them anytime you want. You can also add them to your Greek yogurt for a better taste.
Nuts and seeds are high in digestible fiber and keep you full for a longer time. They are low in net carbs and reduce the risk of heart diseases, cancers, and other chronic illnesses.
Some nuts and seeds to consume on a ketogenic diet in their increasing order of carb content are:
- Chia seeds, Brazil nuts
- Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Macadamia nuts
- Sesame seeds, Pumpkin seeds
Berries are low-carb fruits having high digestible fiber. They are packed with antioxidants that prevent inflammation and combat diseases. Some berries that can be included on a ketogenic diet are listed below in their increasing order of carb content:
9. Dark chocolate and unsweetened chocolate cakes:
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are delicious foods that your taste buds can savor while on a ketogenic diet. Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols that dwindle the risk of heart illnesses. Unsweetened dark chocolate with more than 70% of cocoa is preferable for a ketogenic diet.
You can also consume dark chocolate pastries and cakes that are devoid of sugars. Dark chocolate desserts with some berries are yummy foods to eat on a ketogenic diet.
10. Fats and Oils:
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest foods to eat on a ketogenic diet as it is rich in medium-chain triglycerides that are rapidly converted into ketones by the liver. It increases the body’s ketone levels and provides energy to the brain. Lauric acid, being the main fatty acid in coconut oil helps in promoting ketosis and losing weight. Cooking your veggies using coconut oil is healthy.
Olive oil contains profuse amounts of monounsaturated fat called oleic acid and phenolic antioxidants that play a vital role in enhancing heart health and artery function. Extra virgin olive oil contains no carbs and prevents inflammation. Adding olive oil to salads makes them delicious.
You can also consume avocado oil, Bearnaise sauce, mayonnaise, and other high-fat sauces.