Ketogenic Diet: 16 Healthy Foods You Should Consume

The ketogenic diet is one of the best diet plans many people are excited to follow. This plan focuses on high-fat food up to 75 per cent, and the rest should be of protein and, lastly, little carbs. 


Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 9th Dec 2021.

16 Healthy Foods You Should Consume

The ketogenic diet is one of the best diet plans many people are excited to follow. This plan focuses on high-fat food up to 75 percent, and the rest should be of protein and, lastly, limited carbs. When going through a ketogenic diet, people must know its main objective is to lose weight while enjoying food at the same time. It helps lower risks to many diseases by reducing the intake of carbohydrates in daily portions. There is also some preliminary evidence that it may help with diabetes, hormonal disorders, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other diseases. To establish the diet’s long-term safety and effectiveness, further high-quality research is required.

Carbohydrates are usually limited to 20 to 50 grams per day on a ketogenic diet. While this may seem complicated, many healthy foods may readily be included in this diet.

Here are some healthy foods you can consume on a ketogenic diet. 

Seafood

Fish and shellfish are excellent keto meals. Salmon and other fish are high in B vitamins, potassium, and selenium while low in carbs.

The carbohydrate content of various kinds of shellfish, on the other hand, varies. For example, although shrimp and most crabs are carb-free, other shellfish are.

While these shellfish may still be eaten on a ketogenic diet, it's essential to keep these carbohydrates in mind if you're attempting to stick to a strict carb limit.

Here are the carb counts for several popular kinds of seafood in 3.5-ounce (100-gram) servings:

  • clams: 4 grams
  • mussels: 4 grams
  • octopus: 4 grams
  • oysters: 3 grams
  • squid: 3 grams

Omega-3 fats contained in salmon, sardines, mackerel, and other fatty fish have been shown to decrease insulin levels and improve insulin sensitivity in individuals who are overweight or obese.

Furthermore, regular fish consumption has been related to a lower risk of disease and better cognitive function.

Every week, the American Heart Association advises eating 1 to 2 seafood dinners.

Low-Carb Vegetables

Non-starchy veggies are low in calories and carbohydrates but rich in various nutrients, including vitamin C and a variety of minerals.

Fibre is found in vegetables and other plants, which your body does not digest and absorb like other carbohydrates.

As a result, pay attention to their digestible (or net) carb content, equal to total carbohydrates minus fibre. Carbohydrates that are absorbed by the body are referred to as “net carbs."

It's worth noting that net carbohydrates and their effects on the body are debatable, and further study is required.

Many veggies have a low net carb count. One serving of “starchy” vegetables like potatoes, yams, or beets, on the other hand, may send you over your daily carb limit.

Non-starchy veggies have net carb counts that vary from less than 1 gramme per cup of fresh spinach to 7 grammes per cup of cooked Brussels sprouts.

Antioxidants in vegetables help protect cells from free radicals, which are unstable chemicals that may cause cell damage.

In addition, cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower have reduced cancer and heart disease risk.

Low-carb vegetables may be used to replace high-carb meals.

Consider the following example:

  • Cauliflower may be used to make rice or mashed potatoes seem like rice or potatoes.
  • Zucchini may be used to make “zoodles."
  • Spaghetti squash is a natural spaghetti alternative.

Here are some keto-friendly vegetable choices to add to your diet.

Keto vegetable list:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Olives
  • Peppers (especially green)
  • Spinach  
  • Tomatoes  
  • Zucchini 

Cheese

There are thousands of different kinds of cheese. Fortunately, most of them are low in carbohydrates and rich in fat, making them ideal for a ketogenic diet.

Cheddar cheese has 1 gramme of carbohydrates, 6.5 grammes of protein, and a significant quantity of calcium in one ounce (28 grammes).

Although cheese contains a lot of saturated fat, it hasn't been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Indeed, some research suggests eating cheese may assist in preventing heart disease.

Conjugated linoleic acid, another lipid found in cheese, has been related to weight reduction and improved body composition.

Furthermore, eating cheese daily may assist in slowing the loss of muscle mass and strength that happens as people age.

In a 12-week trial of older people, those who ingested 7 ounces (210 grammes) of ricotta cheese per day lost less muscle mass and strength throughout the research than those who did not.

Here are some low-carb cheeses to add to your keto diet.

Keto cheese list:

  • Blue cheese 
  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Cheddar
  • Chevre
  • Colby jack
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream cheese 
  • Feta
  • Goat cheese
  • Halloumi
  • Havarti
  • Limburger
  • Manchego
  • Mascarpone
  • Mozzarella
  • Muenster
  • Parmesan
  • Pepper jack
  • Provalone
  • Romano
  • String cheese
  • Swiss

Avocados

Avocados are very nutritious; 3.5 ounces (100 grammes), or approximately half of a medium avocado, contains 9 grammes of carbohydrates.

However, since 7 of these are fibre, it only has 2 grammes of net carbs.

Avocados are rich in various vitamins and minerals, including potassium, a vital element that many people lack. Furthermore, consuming extra potassium may make the transition to a ketogenic diet simpler.

Avocados may also help lower cholesterol and lipid levels.

In one research, individuals who ate one avocado per day saw improvements in their cardiometabolic risk factors, such as reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

Meat and Poultry

On a ketogenic diet, meat and poultry are considered essential foods.

Fresh meat and poultry have no carbohydrates and are high in B vitamins and minerals.

They're also rich in high-quality protein, proven to help maintain muscle mass on a low-carb diet.

In one study, older women who ate a high-fat, high-carb diet had HDL (good) cholesterol levels that were 5% higher than those who ate a low-fat, high-carb diet.

If at all possible, select grass-fed beef. Because grass-fed animals produce meat with greater levels of omega-3 fats, conjugated linoleic acid, and antioxidants than grain-fed animals, grass-fed beef is healthier.

Eggs

Eggs are one of the world's healthiest and most adaptable foods.

Eggs are an excellent meal for a ketogenic diet since they include less than 1 gramme of carbohydrates and approximately 6 grammes of protein per big egg.

Furthermore, eggs have been proven to enhance sensations of fullness and satisfaction by activating hormones.

It's critical to consume the whole egg since the yolk contains the majority of the nutrients. The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which help preserve eye health, are among them.

Even though egg yolks are rich in cholesterol, most people's blood cholesterol levels are not affected by eating them. Eggs seem to decrease the risk of heart disease by altering the size of LDL particles.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains a variety of characteristics that make it ideal for a ketogenic diet.

It includes medium-chain triglycerides, to begin with (MCTs). MCTs, unlike long-chain fats, are immediately absorbed by the liver and converted to ketones or utilised as a quick source of energy.

Coconut oil has even been used to raise ketone levels in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other brain and nervous system problems.

Lauric acid, a somewhat longer-chain fatty acid, is the most abundant fatty acid in coconut oil. Coconut oil’s combination of MCTs and lauric acid has been proposed as a possible contributor to long-term ketosis.

Furthermore, coconut oil may aid in weight loss and reduction of belly fat in people who are obese.

Men who consumed two tablespoons (30 mL) of coconut oil per day dropped an average of 1 inch (2.5 cm) off their waistlines without making any additional dietary adjustments in one research.

Plain Greek Yoghurt And Cottage Cheese

Plain Greek yoghurt and cottage cheese are high-protein meals that are good for you.

Even though they include carbohydrates, they may be consumed in a ketogenic diet in half-cup moderation.

Plain Greek yoghurt has 4 grammes of carbohydrates and 9 grammes of protein every half-cup provolone (105 grammes). Cottage cheese has 5 grammes of carbohydrates and 11 grammes of protein in that quantity.

Yoghurt and cottage cheese have both been proven to aid in the reduction of hunger and the promotion of feelings of fullness.

Either one is a delicious snack on its own. However, both may be mixed with chopped nuts, cinnamon, or other spices for a fast and straightforward keto treat.

Olive Oil

Olive oil has a lot of heart-healthy properties.

In many studies, it’s rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that's been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

Furthermore, phenols, which are antioxidants, are abundant in extra-virgin olive oil. By reducing inflammation and enhancing artery function, these chemicals help to preserve heart health even more.

Olive oil has no carbohydrates since it is a pure fat source. Salad dressings and healthy mayonnaise may be made with it.

Olive oil is best used for low-heat cooking or after dishes have been cooked since it isn't as stable as saturated fats at high temperatures.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are high-fat, low-carb meals that are good for you.

Heart disease, some cancers, depression, and other chronic ailments have all been related to frequent nut intake.

Nuts and seeds are also rich in fibre, which may help you feel full and absorb fewer calories.

Although all nuts and seeds are low in net carbohydrates, the quantity varies greatly across varieties.

The carb counts for 1 ounce (28 grammes) of several standard nuts and seeds are as follows:

  • almonds: 2 grams net carbs (6 grams total carbs)
  • Brazil nuts: 1 gram net carbs (3 grams total carbs)
  • cashews: 8 grams net carbs (9 grams total carbs)
  • macadamia nuts: 2 grams net carbs (4 grams total carbs)
  • pecans: 2 grams net carbs (4 grams total carbs)
  • pistachios: 5 grams net carbs (8 grams total carbs)
  • walnuts: 2 grams net carbs (4 grams total carbs)
  • chia seeds: 1 gram net carbs (12 grams total carbs)
  • flaxseeds: 0 grams net carbs (8 grams total carbs)
  • pumpkin seeds: 3 grams net carbs (5 grams total carbs)
  • sesame seeds: 3 grams net carbs (7 grams total carbs)

Berries

Berries are an exception to the rule that most fruits are too rich in carbohydrates to be included in a ketogenic diet.

Berries are rich in fibre and low in carbohydrates. Raspberries and blackberries have twice as much fibre as carbohydrates that can be digested.

These tiny fruits are high in antioxidants, which have been linked to reduced inflammation and disease protection.

The carb counts for 3.5 ounces (100 grammes) of berries are as follows:

  • blackberries: 11 grams net carbs (16 grams total carbs)
  • blueberries: 9 grams net carbs (12 grams total carbs)
  • raspberries: 6 grams net carbs (12 grams total carbs)
  • strawberries: 7 grams net carbs (9 grams total carbs)

Butter and Cream

On a ketogenic diet, butter and cream are excellent fats to consume. Each serving includes just trace quantities of carbohydrates.

Because of their high saturated fat content, butter and cream were formerly thought to cause or contribute to heart disease. On the other hand, saturated fat isn't related to heart disease in most individuals, according to numerous significant studies.

Several research indicates that consuming high-fat dairy in moderation may lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Like other fatty dairy products, butter and cream are high in conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid that may aid fat reduction.

Shirataki Noodles

Shirataki noodles are a great way to add variety to your keto diet. You may find them at grocery shops or online.

Because they’re mostly water, they have less than 1 gramme of net carbohydrates and 15 calories per serving.

These noodles are produced from glucomannan, a viscous fibre that can absorb up to 50 times its weight in water.

Food moves more slowly through your digestive system when viscous fibre creates a gel. This may assist with weight reduction and diabetes control by decreasing appetite and blood sugar increases.

Rice, fettuccine, and linguine are some of the forms of Shirataki noodles. They may be used in any dish that calls for usual noodles.

Olives

Olives are similar to olive oil in terms of health advantages. However, they are consumed in a solid form.

The primary antioxidant in olives, oleuropein, has anti-inflammatory effects and may help protect your cells from harm.

In vitro studies also indicate that eating olives may help prevent bone loss and lower blood pressure, but no human trials have been conducted yet.

The carb content of olives varies depending on their size. However, fibre accounts for half of their carbohydrates, resulting in a low digestible carb level.

Two grammes of total carbohydrates and one gramme of fibre are found in ten olives (34 grammes). Depending on the size, this equates to approximately 1 gramme of net carbs.

Unsweetened Coffee and Tea

Coffee and tea are both low-carb beverages.

Caffeine boosts metabolism and may assist with physical performance, alertness, and mood.

Furthermore, coffee and tea users have been found to have a lower chance of developing diabetes. Those who consume the most coffee have the lowest chance of getting diabetes.

It's OK to use heavy cream in coffee or tea, but avoid “light” coffee and tea lattes. These are usually prepared with nonfat milk and have a high carbohydrate content.

Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder

Antioxidants may be found in dark chocolate and cocoa.

Cocoa has as least as much antioxidant activity as blueberries and acai berries, among other fruits.

Dark chocolate includes flavanols, which may help decrease blood pressure and maintain arteries healthy, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Surprisingly, chocolate may be consumed as part of a ketogenic diet. However, it's essential to select dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids, ideally more, and drink it in moderation.

Unsweetened chocolate (100 per cent cocoa) contains 3 grammes of net carbohydrates per ounce (28 grammes).

Weight reduction, blood sugar control, and other health-related objectives may all be achieved with a ketogenic diet.

Fortunately, you can eat a wide variety of healthy, delicious, and varied meals while staying under your daily carb limit.

Consume keto-friendly meals daily to enjoy all of the health advantages of a ketogenic diet.

Sources

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-foods

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