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Keto diets are low-carb, high-fat plans that promote fat consumption as energy instead of carbohydrates for energy production, helping people shed unwanted weight, improve health, and feel great without counting calories. This approach may be especially useful in weight loss efforts.
As someone new to keto, it is crucial that you understand which foods can and cannot be consumed on this diet. We will discuss which are safe to eat as part of a keto diet plan as well as which should be avoided. In this article we’ll go over common examples of foods to include and exclude from keto diet plans.
While on a keto diet, protein intake should remain at its lowest. Protein can be broken down by your body into glucose through gluconeogenesis and turn into fuel that burns sugar while stopping ketone production and increasing insulin levels in your system.
Keto-friendly protein sources such as lean meat, poultry, fish and dairy products are essential in order to stay on track with keto.
Avoid hydrogenated or processed fats (such as margarine ) which have been known to increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and other serious health conditions.
Avoid foods high in natural polyunsaturated fats, like fish and animal proteins as well as nuts and seeds, which contain these essential lipids.
No matter your goal – weight loss or simply feeling more energetic – vegetables should always be an integral part of a keto diet plan. Not only are vegetables an excellent source of fiber that will keep you feeling full for longer, they can also contribute significantly to overall energy and well-being.
Vegetables that work best for a keto diet include those that are non-starchy (meaning they do not contain sugar), low in carbs, high in water content and fiber, as well as essential vitamins. Leafy greens make an excellent choice on this diet as one serving can contain almost 100% of your daily vitamin A and C requirements!
As a rule of thumb, aim for vegetables that contain no more than 5 net grams per 100g serving – common keto diet options include kale, lettuce and spinach.
On the keto diet, broccoli is another popular vegetable to include as it offers many uses and is low in carbs while providing vitamins C and K for heart disease and cancer protection.
Dairy products provide an excellent source of protein, fat and calcium while simultaneously suppressing appetite and decreasing cortisol levels – which when released in large amounts leads to abdominal fat storage.
However, dairy can increase insulin levels and interfere with ketosis; so many individuals on the keto diet opt for dairy sparingly or avoid altogether.
As it happens, low-carb versions of many dairy products such as cheese, butter, milk, ice cream and yogurt are readily available.
Substituting dairy with nutritious alternatives rich in fat and protein such as sardines, chicken, fish, almonds and spinach may be another viable solution.
But if you do choose to incorporate dairy products into your diet, make sure it is the appropriate kind. Avoid dairy products containing added sugar such as flavored milks and ice creams or high lactose varieties of cheese.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are an integral part of a keto diet because they provide essential vitamins and nutrients you may be missing out on otherwise. Not only that, they add rich flavors to meals while offering vegan or vegetarian keto dieters access to ample sources of protein.
Most nuts and seeds are healthy low-carb options that are easy to incorporate into a keto diet, though certain ones can quickly knock you out of ketosis; therefore, it is wise to select wisely.
Peanuts make an ideal high-fat keto snack with only 2.1 net carbs per ounce and their satisfying flavor are ideal. Furthermore, they contain anti-aging antioxidants as well as fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals as well as choline to provide anti-aging benefits and increase anti-oxidant status.
Sunflower seeds make an excellent nut-based keto snack because they offer healthy fats, fiber, protein, essential vitamins and minerals – as well as heart-protective omega-3 fatty acids!