What are the ideal foods in this type of diet?
If you are in a conversation about diet or weight loss, you are likely to hear about the ketogenic diet or keto.
This is because the keto diet has become one of the most popular methods in the world to eliminate excess weight and improve health.
Research has shown that adopting this low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet can promote fat loss and even improve certain conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and cognitive decline.
This article explains what to eat and avoid while following a keto diet and provides a one-week keto meal plan to begin.
Basics of the ketogenic diet
The keto diet, as a rule, is very low in carbohydrates, high in fats and moderate in proteins.
When a ketogenic diet is followed, carbohydrates are usually reduced to less than 50 grams per day, although there are stricter and less stringent versions of the diet.
Fats should replace most of the reduced carbohydrates and provide approximately 75% of your total calorie intake.
Proteins should represent around 20% of energy needs, while carbohydrates are generally restricted to 5%.
This reduction in carbohydrates forces the body to rely on fat as its main source of energy instead of glucose, a process known as ketosis.
While you are in ketosis, your body uses ketones, molecules produced in the liver from fats when glucose is limited, as an alternative fuel source.
Although fat is often avoided because of its high caloric content, research shows that ketogenic diets are significantly more effective at promoting weight loss than low-fat diets.
In addition, keto diets reduce hunger and increase satiety, which can be particularly useful when it comes to losing weight.
The ketogenic diet is based on a very low carbohydrate routine. Carbohydrates are generally restricted to less than 50 grams per day, replaced mainly with fat and moderate amounts of protein.
Feeding plan of the ketogenic diet
Moving to a ketogenic diet can seem overwhelming, but it does not have to be difficult.
Your focus should be on reducing carbohydrates while increasing the fat and protein content of meals and snacks.
To reach and remain in a state of ketosis, carbohydrates should be restricted.
While certain people can only achieve ketosis by eating less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, others can succeed with a much higher carbohydrate intake.
In general, the lower your carbohydrate intake, the easier it is to reach and stay in ketosis.
This is the reason why adhering to ketogenic foods and avoiding carbohydrate-rich foods is the best way to successfully lose weight in a ketogenic diet.
Foods to follow a keto diet
When following a ketogenic diet, meals and snacks should focus on the following foods:
- Eggs: organic whole are the best option.
- Poultry: chicken and turkey.
- Fatty fish: wild salmon, herring and mackerel.
- Meat: beef fed with grass, venison, pork, guts and bison.
- Whole dairy products: yogurt, butter and cream.
- Complete cheese: cheddar cheese, mozzarella, brie, goat cheese and cream cheese.
- Nuts and seeds: macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, peanuts and flax seeds.
- Walnut butter: natural peanut, almond and cashew nut butters.
- Healthy fats: coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut butter and sesame oil.
- Avocados: whole avocados can be added to almost any food or snack.
- Non-starchy vegetables: broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers.
- Condiments: salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, fresh herbs and spices.
Meals to avoid
Avoid foods rich in carbohydrates while following a keto diet.
The following foods should be restricted:
- Bread and baked goods: white bread, whole wheat bread, crackers, cookies, donuts and bagels.
- Sweets and sugary foods: sugar, ice cream, caramel, maple syrup, agave syrup and coconut sugar.
- Sweetened drinks: soft drinks, juices, sweetened teas and sports drinks.
- Pasta: spaghetti and noodles
- Grains and grain products: wheat, rice, oats, breakfast cereals and tortillas.
- Starchy vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, corn, peas and squash.
- Beans and legumes: black beans, chickpeas, lentils and beans.
- Fruit: citrus fruits, grapes, bananas and pineapple.
- High carb sauces: barbecue sauce, sugary salad dressings and dipping sauces.
- Certain alcoholic beverages: beer and mixed sweetened beverages.
Although carbohydrates should be restricted, low glycemic index fruits such as berries can be enjoyed in limited quantities, as long as a range of easy keto macronutrients is maintained.
Be sure to choose healthy food sources and stay away from processed foods and unhealthy fats.
The following elements should be avoided:
- Unhealthy fats: margarine, shortening and vegetable oils such as canola and corn oil.
- Processed foods: fast food, packaged foods and processed meats such as hot dogs and deli meats.
- Dietary foods: foods that contain artificial colors, preservatives and sweeteners, such as sugar alcohols and aspartame.
Beverages on a diet keto
Sugar can be found in a wide variety of beverages that include juice, soft drinks, ice tea and coffee drinks.
During a ketogenic diet, drinks with high carbohydrate content should be avoided as well as high carbohydrate foods.
It is no small thing that sugary drinks have also been linked to various health problems, from obesity to an increased risk of diabetes.
Fortunately, there are many tasty and sugar-free options for those on the keto diet.
The options for healthy drinks on a keto diet include:
Water: water is the best option for hydration and should be consumed throughout the day.
Sparkling water: sparkling water can make an excellent soda replacement.
Coffee without sugar: try the thick cream to add flavor to your coffee cup.
Unsweetened green tea: green tea is delicious and provides many health benefits.
If you want to add extra flavor to your water, try experimenting with different combinations of keto flavor.
For example, adding a little fresh mint and lemon peel to your water bottle can make hydration very easy.
Although alcohol should be restricted, enjoying a low-carbohydrate drink such as vodka or tequila mixed with soda water is perfectly fine at times.
A healthy ketogenic diet should revolve around high-fat and low-carbohydrate foods and restrict highly processed products and unhealthy fats.
The options of healthy drinks in a ketogenic diet must be without sugar. Consider water, sparkling water or unsweetened green tea and coffee.
A sample keto menu for a week
The following menu provides less than 50 grams of total carbohydrates per day.
As mentioned earlier, some people may have to reduce carbohydrates even more to achieve ketosis.
This is a general week-long ketogenic menu that can be modified depending on individual dietary needs.
Breakfast: two eggs fried in pasteurized butter served with sautéed vegetables.
Lunch: a burger without bread covered with cheese, mushrooms and avocado on a bed of vegetables.
Dinner: pork chops with green beans sautéed in coconut oil.
Breakfast: mushroom omelet.
Lunch: tuna salad with celery and tomato on top of a vegetable bed.
Dinner: roast chicken with cream sauce and sautéed broccoli.
Breakfast: pepper stuffed with cheese and eggs.
Lunch: Arugula salad with hard-boiled eggs, turkey, avocado and blue cheese.
Dinner: grilled salmon with spinach sautéed in coconut oil.
Breakfast: full yogurt topped with keto granola.
Lunch: steak with rice with cauliflower, cheese, herbs, avocado and sauce.
Dinner: bison fillet with cheesy broccoli.
Breakfast: baked avocado egg pots.
Lunch: Caesar salad with chicken.
Dinner: pork chops with vegetables.
Breakfast: cauliflower toast topped with cheese and avocado.
Lunch: Bunless salmon burgers topped with pesto.
Dinner: meatballs served with zucchini noodles and Parmesan cheese.
Breakfast: coconut milk chia pudding topped with coconut and nuts.
Lunch: Cobb salad made with vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, cheese and turkey.
Dinner: coconut chicken curry.
As you can see, ketogenic foods can be diverse and tasty.
Although many ketogenic foods are based on animal products, there is also a wide variety of vegetarian options to choose from.
If you follow a more liberal ketogenic diet, adding a cup of berries to your breakfast or a small serving of starchy vegetables at your dinner will increase the amount of carbohydrates in this meal plan.
A ketogenic diet plan, like any healthy diet, should include whole foods and many high-fiber, low-carb vegetables.
Choose healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado, olive oil and butter on grass to increase the fat content of the dishes.
Healthy Ketogenic Snack Options
Eating snacks between meals can help moderate hunger and keep it on track while following a ketogenic diet.
Because the ketogenic diet is so abundant, you may only need one or two snacks per day, depending on your level of activity.
Here are some excellent and healthy snack options:
Almonds and cheddar cheese.
Half avocado stuffed with chicken salad.
Guacamole with vegetables low in carbohydrates.
Mix made with coconut, nuts and seeds without sugar.
Olives and sliced salami.
Celery and peppers with cream cheese sauce with herbs.
Berries with whipped cream.
Keto shake made with coconut milk, cocoa and avocado.
Avocado and cocoa mousse.
Although these keto snacks can maintain fullness between meals, they can also contribute to weight gain if you eat a lot during the day.
It is important to consume the right amount of calories according to your level of activity, goal of weight loss, age and sex.
If you are not sure how many calories you should eat, check out this article to learn how to calculate energy needs.
Suitable snacks with keto should be high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrates. Increase your fiber intake by eating sliced and low-carb vegetables with a high-fat dip.
A list of simple ketogenic purchases
A well-rounded ketogenic diet should include many fresh products, fats and healthy proteins.
By choosing a mix of fresh and frozen products, you will ensure that you have a supply of vegetables and fruits that are linked to the ketogenic diet to add to the recipes.
The following is a simple ketogenic shopping list that can guide you when examining the aisles of the grocery store:
Meat and poultry: beef, chicken, turkey and pork (choose organic options, raised on pasture where possible).
Fish: fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are the best.
Seafood: oysters, shrimp and scallops.
Eggs: buy eggs enriched with omega-3 or pasteurized whenever possible.
Whole dairy products: yogurt without sugar, butter, thick cream and sour cream.
Oils: coconut and avocado oils.
Avocados: buy a mixture of ripe and immature avocados so that their supply lasts.
Cheese: brie, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and goat.
Frozen or fresh berries: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries.
Nuts: macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios.
Seeds: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds.
Walnut butter: almond butter, peanut butter.
Fresh or frozen vegetables low in carbohydrates: mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, vegetables, peppers, onions and tomatoes.
Condiments: sea salt, pepper, sauce, herbs, garlic, vinegar, mustard, olives and spices.
It is always worth planning your meals in advance and filling your cart with the necessary ingredients to enjoy a few days of healthy dishes.
Also, sticking to a shopping list can help you avoid tempting and unhealthy foods.
Preparing a shopping list can help you decide which foods will fit your ketogenic meal plan. Fill your cart with meat, chicken, eggs, low carb vegetables, whole milk and healthy fats.
The bottom line
A healthy ketogenic diet should consist of about 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% or less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Concentrate on high-fat, low-carbohydrate foods, such as eggs, meats, dairy and low-carb vegetables, as well as sugar-free beverages. Be sure to restrict highly processed items and unhealthy fats.
The popularity of the ketogenic diet has made it easier than ever to find a wide range of interesting and healthy keto food ideas online.
Using this article as a guide to begin the keto diet can prepare you for success and make the transition to a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet in the blink of an eye.