While numerous fad diets have emerged in recent years, the ketogenic diet has claimed a seemingly permanent place among mainstream fitness and weight loss communities. The ketogenic diet, or keto diet as it’s more frequently called, was created as a cure for epilepsy almost 100 years ago. But recent years have seen keto reemerge as a diet that is excellent for trimming fat and slimming your waistline. With advantages ranging from undeniable results to the fact that you enter a state of ketosis, it’s considered a dietary regimen that can bring serious change to your body.
Brief Overview – The Purpose of the Keto Diet
To understand the foods that are ideal for the keto diet, it’s vital to remember what you’re trying to accomplish. Most importantly, the amount of carbohydrates you ingest is extremely low on the keto diet. This rock-bottom level of carb intake is absolutely necessary for entering ketosis, the state where your body is burning stored fat as energy rather than glucose.
The Key to Success on the Keto Diet – Fats and Proteins
The goal when you’re following the keto diet is to eat enough to sustain yourself while keeping your carb intake to less than 20g per day. This means consuming large amounts of certain foods that contain fats and proteins while avoiding or limiting others. By focusing on the two macronutrients you need and minimizing the one that will hinder your path to ketosis, you can make a ketogenic foods list that will lead to fitness results you can be proud of.
Getting Enough Fats on the Keto Diet
While the paradigm of previous decades told us that fats are bad for you, that has shifted to point to carbs and sugars as the culprits. Diets like the Atkins or paleo diet abide by this principle, and in the keto diet, it’s necessary to minimize carbs in order to trigger ketosis.
The 4 Types of Fat
There are four types of fat, and on the keto diet, the only fats you want to avoid altogether are trans fats. The others are saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated, all of which are not only healthy but vital for providing the energy you’ll need on the keto diet.
It’s important to change your thinking when you begin the keto diet to embrace the fact that you’ll be consuming an increased amount of fats to replace the carbs you’re no longer eating.
10 Low Carb Foods that are Excellent Sources of Healthy Fat
- Fatty Fish
- Fat from Grass Fed Beef
- Seeds like Flax, Chia, and Pumpkin
- Butter and Cocoa Butter
5 Oils to Keep in Your Pantry on the Keto Diet
Oils are an easy and effective way to ensure you’re getting enough fat on the keto diet. Consider cooking your favorite foods in the oil of your choice for an extra boost of this crucial macronutrient.
- MCT Oil
- Macadamia Oil
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Avocado Oil
Consuming Enough Protein on the Keto Diet
The other types of foods that you’ll want to consume regularly while on keto are those rich in protein. For the most part, this means meats, since those are extremely rich sources of both fat and protein. However, foods like seeds, nuts, and certain vegetables are also excellent sources of protein.
10 Sources of Animal Proteins
- Pork Chops
- Chicken Breast
- Milk, Cheese, and other dairy products
5 Valuable Plant Proteins
Plant-based foods shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to protein, especially, soy, seeds, and nuts. When eating plant-based foods for protein, it’s important to ensure that they aren’t also high in carbohydrates which will deter you from your fitness goals. For example, beans are an excellent source of protein but they also have a lot of carbs which can stunt your progress.
Warning: There is a Such Thing as Too Much Protein
It can seem like no amount of protein is too much, especially if you’re trying to build muscle. When you’re increasing protein consumption on the keto diet, it’s vital to make sure you’re not overdoing it, because it can have an adverse effect on your health and fitness. These are three problems that can occur from amyloidosis, the excessive consumption of protein:
- Decrease in Brain and Liver Performance
- Unwanted Weight Gain
- High Cholesterol Levels
Stocking Up on Low-Carb Foods for the Keto Diet
Aside from shopping for foods that will provide the fats and proteins you’ll need, it’s a good idea to mix in some low-carb healthy foods as well. Vegetables will be high on this list because unlike fruits or grains, many vegetables contain very little sugar or carbohydrates. While fruit is rich in vitamins, consuming fruit on keto isn’t a good idea because of its excess sugar in the form of fructose. Check out this list of low-carb veggies to add to your keto shopping list:
10 Plant-Based Foods with Less than 5g of Carbs per Serving
- Green Peppers
- Green Beans
5 Dairy Products that Contain Less than 5g of Carbs
- Greek Yogurt (Without added sugar)
- Cream Cheese
- Most Cheeses including mozzarella, brie, and aged cheddar
List of Foods to Avoid on the Keto Diet
Just about every diet has foods you should minimize or avoid entirely, and keto is no exception. Keto is a diet with its own failsafe system, so if you’re eating too many carbs, you simply won’t enter ketosis. Although the following foods are categorized into large groups, it’s still worth it to avoid all associated foods to maintain carbs low enough to see results on keto.
Skip these 5 Types of Foods While on the Keto Diet
- Bread and Grains
- Low-Fat Diet Products
- Starch-based and root veggies (such as potatoes and carrots)
The Right Food Choices Can Lead to the Body You Deserve
Diets require a fair amount of self-discipline, and admittedly, sticking to the keto diet can be a major adjustment. Those who are up for the keto challenge are doing more than following a diet – they’re taking steps that completely reprogram the way their body processes energy. Once you achieve ketosis and are melting more fat away than you ever imagined, you’ll be glad you made the tough decision each day to continue the keto diet and your body will display the results.