10 Best Foods To Eat On a Keto Diet
How do you know which diet is the right solution for you? How about picking a formula that stands out because of its longevity?
The ketogenic diet plan has been around for almost a century. Learn why it may be so effective at helping you shed stubborn belly fat, and discover what foods make the Yes list if you practice a keto lifestyle.
What Is the Keto Diet?
When you think of Keto, you may also think of Atkins, Paleo, South Beach, etc. These popular diets base their plan on the original ketogenic diet. Although similar, they are not the same as the original ketogenic diet.
The keto diet begins with eating foods high in fat and protein but low in carbohydrates. 90 % of your daily caloric intake should come directly from fat. The keto diet might seem like it takes low-carbs to a new level, but the science behind it provides proof that this method works.
Doctors have used the ketogenic diet since the 1920s to treat ailments like epilepsy. Dr. Atkins popularized the diet in the 1970s. He initially required participants to start his program with a strict two-week keto diet. Many of the most well-known diets incorporate some aspects of the keto diet principles into their programs.
The invention of the keto diet was revolutionary in the world of weight loss because the concept came from science. After almost 100 years of testing this diet, the results are that it's virtually impossible to lose weight when you force your body to use fat for fuel.
Typically, cells utilize glucose, or blood sugar, from carbohydrates to gain energy. Glucose is used as the primary power source. However, when carbohydrates are limited to 20-50 grams daily (depending on body size), the cells must gain energy from a different source. That’s where the liver comes in to help.
Ketogenesis is the action by which the liver breaks down fat stored into smaller molecules called ketones. This process is the foundation of the diet. These ketones are then used to fuel the body instead of glucose, resulting in ketosis. When this occurs, ketones become the body’s primary source of power. Ketosis can occur within two to four days after eliminating most carbohydrates, but time frames may vary based on body mass.
The ketogenic diet requires a high-fat intake daily, so fat-rich foods must be consumed with each snack and meal. Protein is allowed, but too much protein can hinder the liver from producing ketones. Keto dieters can expect to follow a similar nutritional breakdown for a diet consisting of 2,000 total calories daily:
- 165 grams of fat
- 40 grams of carbs
- 75 grams of protein
What Are the Benefits of the Keto Diet?
Doctors and dietitians have utilized the health benefits of the keto diet for nearly a century. It has been applied as a medical diet and a weight loss diet.
Research shows that following a keto diet, which burns fat to energize the body, may help regulate blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes (in the short term) and may help lower blood pressure levels.
Foods that can change blood sugar levels are part of the glycemic index. When these foods become off-limits, the pitfalls of constantly raising your blood sugar may be avoided. When blood sugar is raised, it sends a signal to insulin, directly affecting how much insulin is transmitted throughout the body.
Blood sugar will dip down after insulin is released, which may leave you feeling hungry all over again.
Even worse, it can leave you craving those same junk foods. The metabolism starts feeling like it's on a ride at an amusement park, constantly spiking and dipping. The keto diet eliminates this yo-yo feeling by regulating blood sugar levels.
There’s a reason why so many dieticians include low-carb diets in their weight loss repertoire. It might be the best way to jump-start your health and weight loss goals. To lose weight, you must burn fat; the keto diet does just that.
Combining the keto diet with other weight loss methods may also carry certain health benefits. Keto and intermittent fasting both aim to burn fat for fuel. When you combine the benefits of intermittent fasting with a low-carb diet, stubborn belly fat doesn’t stand a chance.
Research has shown that intermittent fasting alone may lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels while helping prevent and alleviate pain or infections. Burning fat for energy has also been demonstrated to decrease the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease or heart disease.
Adding a cleanse to jumpstart the benefits of the keto diet will detoxify the body and give you a head start to better health. Dr. Kellyann’s 5-Day Cleanse and Reset makes limiting carbohydrates for beginners simple.
Dr. Kellyann’s 5-Day Cleanse and Reset kit includes all the nutrition you need for five days to help you flush out toxins and immediately start burning belly fat. Combined with a Keto Push, you will see a quick reset regarding your health.
What Are the 10 Best Keto Foods To Eat?
The keto diet is high-fat, but eating healthy fats is essential. Unsaturated fats, found in olive oils, walnuts, almonds, or avocados, should be eaten. Palm and Coconut Oil are examples of saturated fats that are also allowed.
The benefits of the keto diet may be overshadowed if the fat content comes from unhealthy foods.
Protein is also encouraged, but don’t assume you must eat a lot of meats and processed foods. Limiting saturated fats to just 7 % of your daily intake is suggested not to raise cholesterol levels.
Incorporating any of Dr. Kellyann’s “liquid gold“ bone broth into your daily routine is a straightforward way to take the stress out of prepping keto-friendly meals. Bone broth is packed with nutrients like protein, and every serving of Dr. Kellyann’s bone broth has 16 grams of grass-fed protein.
The protein in bone broth will keep you fuller for longer and may help reduce sugar cravings and unneeded snacking between meals. Bone broth is low in carbs, contains nutrients and antioxidants, and contains no artificial sweeteners or added sugars.
Bone broth also contains essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Dr. Kellyann’s bone broth is always fat-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free and only has 70 calories per serving and less than one net carb.
In addition to adding bone broth to your keto meal plan, there are many other healthy fats and low-carb fruits and vegetables to add to your shopping list. The following can guide you to what foods to eat when following a proper ketogenic diet.
Fat and protein are at the top of the keto food pyramid. The type of fat, protein, and meats you choose is essential. Don’t start eating processed meats to get fat and protein. Remember that fresh is best when it comes to cuts of meat.
Do eat lean meats from organic and pasture-raised chickens and turkeys. Dark meat turkey is an excellent source of fat, protein, and other immune-boosting nutrients, like vitamins B-6 and B-12, selenium, choline, and zinc.
Try to stick to only grass-fed beef sources when eating red meat as they contain higher amounts of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Avoid barbequing or grilling when cooking meats.
Eat eggs from organic-free range chickens, with no added hormones or antibiotics. This ensures you are eating eggs that are good for your health. Eggs contain high amounts of protein that will help keep you full in between meals.
Egg yolks contain vitamin D and are a great source of choline, a phytonutrient necessary for brain, liver, nerve, and muscle health. Eggs are versatile and great to keep stocked in the refrigerator for an easy meal any time of the day.
3. Plain Greek Yogurt
Studies have shown that people who make yogurt a part of their daily diets are typically thinner than non-yogurt eaters. Eat plain, non-flavored Greek yogurts that contain no-added sugars; Greek yogurt is typically lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein. Look for the “Live and Active Cultures” (LAC) label on yogurt brands.
This label ensures there are over 100 million active cultures per gram at the time of origination. The live cultures and probiotics in many yogurts may promote gut health. Greek yogurt typically has a higher protein count than other types of yogurt.
4. Unsweetened Almond Milk
Switching to a lower carb count plant-based milk, like unsweetened almond milk, is a good substitution for dairy milk. One cup of cow's milk may contain up to 259 calories, whereas one cup of almond milk only contains 29 calories.
Almond milk is also lower in sugar and saturated fat than cow's milk but higher in unsaturated fats. Almond milk contains calcium and Vitamin D.
5. Leafy Greens
Many vegetables are high in carbohydrates and need to be eaten in moderation. Leafy greens, or cruciferous vegetables, belong to the Brassica family of plants and include:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Collard Greens
- Bok Choy
These vegetables contain high amounts of fiber that offset their total net carbs. These vegetables also contain immune-system-supporting carotenoids like beta carotene and lutein and vitamins C, E, and K.
6. High-Fat Veggies
Vegetables are typically low in fat, but you can make them high by sautéing them in healthy fats, like olive or avocado. You can also eat vegetables with a keto-friendly high-fat dip.
Most vegetables and fruits are low in fat, but there are some healthy exceptions. Avocados have high fat content and are high in monounsaturated fatty acids. One-half of an avocado may contain up to 16 grams of fat.
Avocados also contain high amounts of fiber and potassium. Avocados also contain lutein, which may promote eye health, and Oleic acids, which may help fight infections and diseases.
Olives are another fruit that is keto-friendly because of their high fat content. Olives contain about 10.9 grams of fat for every 3.5 ounces. Olives may be a superfood because of the compound they have, oleuropein.
Eating olives may affect blood sugar and insulin levels, protecting against problems arising from insulin issues. It may also defend against cytotoxic actions from taking place in the body.
7. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is an excellent source of fat and minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Eat chocolate that is at least 70-80% dark and contains little added sugars, if any.
Dark chocolate may contain up to 42.6 grams of fat in 3.5 ounces, but most of that is saturated fat, so eat this in moderation. Dark chocolate is also an excellent source of antioxidants and flavonoids, which may have various health benefits.
Most fruits are high in natural sugars and carbohydrates, but some berries are keto-friendly in moderation. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries are low in sugar and contain fiber.
Blackberries also contain protein, but all are great sources of antioxidants. Reach for locally grown and organic berries if possible. Berries are a great way to curb sugary sweet tooth cravings.
9. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts contain fats, fiber, and protein and are low in carbohydrates. Nuts are also high in magnesium and other minerals. Walnuts contain folate and Vitamin E and are high in omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Almonds, great for snacking, contain calcium and vitamin E. All nuts have different nutritional values but contain high amounts of fats. Studies suggest that eating nuts may prevent weight gain, or obesity, later in life. Try to stick to eating unsalted nuts and avoid cashews.
- Brazil Nuts
- Macadamia Nuts
Seeds like flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are high in fats and contain Omega 3-Fatty acids.
They are also a great source of nutrients and antioxidants. Chia seeds are packed with fiber, protein, iron, and calcium and have been shown to lower blood pressure.
10. Butter and Oil
Olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oils contain monounsaturated fats that contribute to better heart health. They also contain Vitamins E and K, as well as many antioxidants. Avocado oil is low in cholesterol and is high in many vitamins and minerals.
Coconut oil has been shown to help raise good cholesterol in some studies. Choose nut butter instead of hydrogenated oils or butter. Other keto-friendly oils and butter options include:
- Cocoa Butter
Eating oily fatty fish is also keto-friendly and a great source of Omega 3-Fatty Acids. Fish to look for are sardines, mackerel, salmon, and trout.
What Foods Should You Avoid on Keto?
When making your keto-friendly food list, avoid processed foods and foods that contain trans fats. Fried foods, frozen foods, and most store-bought snacks contain hidden sugars, preservatives, and trans fats.
Switch to fresh foods that contain healthy fats and whole grains when preparing keto recipes, and try to avoid low-fat, high-carb foods as a rule of thumb.
Avoid dairy products containing sugar like ice cream, milk, non-fat yogurt, or sweetened yogurt. Use zucchini noodles instead of store-bought pasta, or make a cauliflower pizza crust instead of ordering delivery.
Try sipping on nutritious bone broth two times a day to curb your appetite, and help you avoid snacking. Bone broth can also help soothe symptoms of the “Keto flu” many people experience when starting the diet. These symptoms can range from tiredness to nausea, but bone broth may help to alleviate the side effects.
The Bottom Line
A keto diet is a science-backed approach to weight loss. Starting keto may be cumbersome for some people.
Adding Dr. Kellyann’s bone broth may help ease hunger pains between meals by filling you up with protein. Arm yourself with this pre-approved keto food list before you make any of your keto-friendly recipes.