Keto, keto, keto. Wow, the ketosis diet has been getting popular. Eateries and stores are now promoting it when they're slinging groceries all across the US and India. Studies have found that this very low-carb, high-fat diet is effective for weight loss, diabetes and even epilepsy. With more and more people giving it a shot, we wanted to pitch in and provide an extensive list of keto doable foods, so you can maximize the benefits of this exploding diet, fitness and lifestyle trend. Like Hippocrates said 12 million years ago, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Approaching the diet and staying disciplined with it is best attacked through some other goal or intention. Meaning, are you doing it to lose weight? Perform better at work? Run faster and longer? Intentions, goals & skinny waistlines aside, your approach has to be structured and organized to see it through as many of us experience a tough transition period to fat or multi-fuel adaptive body.
The Tough Part -- say bye to Carbs!
Yep, get ready for a life of no carbs! Well, not completely, BUT, you're going to need to be selective. According to the Diet Doctor, a ketogenic diet suggests 20 grams per day, as this level will be ketogenic for most people — if protein intake remains moderate. Our nutritional and caloric requirements vary though, so be sure to up or down according to your needs. Regardless of physical activity, it's suggested to remain below 50 grams of carbohydrates per day for best results. While this may seem challenging, many nutritious - and tasty! - foods can easily fit into this way of eating.
In general: the fewer the carbs the bigger the impact. Weight loss will be faster; cravings reduced; hunger lessened.
Name of the Game? Healthy Fats
At the center of the keto universe, is fat. If you’ve made it this far, then you know that this diet is all about Fat. Not all fats are created equal though! We want & need the healthy kind. Most healthy fats contain zero net carbs, especially the kinds listed below, which also have other health advantages.Fats should be included in high amounts with every meal throughout the day.
Healthy fats include saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and certain types of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), especially omega-3 fatty acids. It’s best to include all types in your diet, with an emphasis on saturated fats, especially compared to PUFAs.
- MCT oil, cold-pressed coconut, palm fruit, olive oil, flaxseed, macadamia and avocado oil — 0 net carbs per tablespoon
- Butter and ghee — 0 net carbs per tablespoon
- Lard, chicken fat or duck fat — 0 net carbs per tablespoon
Animal proteins (meat, fish, etc.) have very little, if any, carbs. You can consume them in moderate amounts as needed to control hunger. Overall, choose fattier cuts of meat rather than leaner ones. For example, chicken thighs and legs are preferable to chicken breasts because they contain much more fat.
Many types of seafood are carb-free or very low in carbs. Also, good sources of various macro and micro-minerals, vitamins and omega-3s, shellfish and fish are nutrient dense. Some popular fish like salmon are rich in B vitamins, omega-3s, potassium and selenium at basically no cost against your precious carb count.
Some people options include carb counts of roughly 3.5 ounces or 100 grams:
Clams: 5 grams
Mussels: 7 grams
Octopus: 4 grams
Oysters: 4 grams
Squid: 3 grams
Aim to consume at least two servings of seafood weekly.
- Fish, including tuna, trout, anchovies, bass, flounder, mackerel, salmon, sardines, etc. — 0 grams net carbs per 5 ounces
Poultry & Meat
Staples to a lot of ketogenic dieters, meat and poultry contain no carbs and are great sources of high-quality protein, which helps to maintain muscle mass. Fresh meat and poultry are rich in B vitamins and several minerals, including potassium, selenium and zinc.
When possible opt for grass-fed meat. You eat what your meat eats and if your meat is eating processed grains and GMO feeds you can be consuming unwanted chemicals and antibiotics which can cause issues to gut issues. Grass-fed meat tends to have higher amounts of antioxidants, conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3s. Happy meat, happy stomach.
- Grass-fed beef and other types of fatty cuts of meat, including lamb, goat, veal, venison and other game. Grass-fed, fatty meat is preferable because it’s higher in quality omega-3 fats — 0 grams net carbs per 5 ounces
- Poultry, including turkey, chicken, quail, pheasant, hen, goose, duck — 0 grams net carbs per 5 ounces
One of the most versatile keto foods for active, fast-paced lifestyles. Packing a powerful punch, one large egg contains less than 1 gram of carbs and about 6 grams of protein.
According to WebMD, along with milk, eggs contain the highest biological value (or gold standard) for protein. One egg has only 75 calories but 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, along with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. Not bad. Eggs help stabilize blood sugar levels keeping your moods and energy even throughout the day, Don’t forget the yolk though! Some of the most potent nutrients are found there - such as disease-fighting carotenoids like zeaxanthin and lutein, which help improve things such as eye health! And even cognitive improvement may be enhanced by the choline content of eggs. Eggs are a win, win, win for any Keto dieter.
We like ours hardboiled (eat within 24 hours) for a quick snack or addition to a tasty GREEN FILLED salad :)
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are long-chain fats that are soaked right up by the liver and then converted into ketones and can be used as a quick boost of energy. The main fatty acid to note in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is slightly longer-chain fat. Coconut oil may increase your metabolic rate and thereby help promote weight loss and keep your waistline trim, regardless of your diet choices. Versatile in its use, coconut oil can be used as a substitute for other options like olive oil or butter.
Plain Greek yogurt and Cottage Cheese
For those that incorporate dairy into their diets, plain greek yogurt and cottage cheese are other great healthy, high-protein foods. Both have been shown to help decrease appetite and promote feelings of fullness.
A healthy ratio of carbs and protein, 5 ounces (150 grams) of plain Greek yogurt provides 5 grams of carbs and 11 grams of protein, while cottage cheese provides 5 grams of carbs and 18 grams of protein.
Great for snacking both can be combined with chopped nuts & cinnamon for a quick, tasty keto treat.
High in oleic acid, this pure fat source - monounsaturated fat - that has been found to decrease heart disease risk factors while also being super high in antioxidants such as phenols which help decrease inflammation and improve vascular functions. As a pure fat source, olive oil contains no carbs.
Great as a substitute for salad dressings especially with a pinch of sea salt. We like to include a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with ours as well.
For cooking, be sure to use low-heat or wait to add after it’s been cooked bc it has a low burning point i.e. 374°F for Exrtra Virgin. If too hot, it can damage the fat and giving you less nutritional benefit.
Nuts and Seeds
Healthy, high-fat, low-carb and high in fiber, which can help you feel full and consume fewer calories overall, nuts are a great on-the-go snack for keto’ers as well as great food partners as noted above.
Nuts and seeds can be sneaky with carbs as they vary usually between 0 and 8 of net carbs per ounce. Here are the carb counts for 1 ounce (28 grams):
- Almonds: 3 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: 1 gram 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: 4 grams net carbs (5 grams total carbs)
- Sesame seeds: 3 grams net carbs (7 grams total carbs)
- All leafy greens, including dandelion or beet greens, collards, mustard, turnip, arugula, chicory, endive, escarole, fennel, radicchio, romaine, sorrel, spinach, kale, chard, etc. — range from 0.5–5 net carbs per 1 cup
- Cruciferous vegetables ike broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower — 3–6 grams net carbs per 1 cup
- Celery, cucumber, zucchini, chives and leeks — 2–4 grams net carbs per 1 cup
- Fresh herbs — close to 0 grams net carbs per 1–2 tablespoons
- Veggies that are slightly higher in carbs (but still low all things considered) include asparagus, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, bell pepper, sugar snap peas, water chestnuts, radishes, jicama, green beans, wax beans, tomatoes — 3–7 grams net carbs per 1 cup raw
- The net carbs in non-starchy vegetables range from 1–8 grams per cup. Vegetables are nutritious, versatile and may help reduce the risk of disease.
Most fruits are too high in carbs to include on a ketogenic diet, but berries are an exception. Finally an undeniable tasty option!
Unlike most fruits that are too high in carbs and sugar to include on a successful keto diet, Berries are the exception -- low in carbs and high in fiber. Tasty and loaded with antioxidants that protect against a variety of disease, provide phytonutrients, reduce inflammation, berries are rich in nutrients on average providing 5–12 grams of net carbs per 3.5-ounce serving.
Carb counts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams):
- Blackberries: 5 grams net carbs (10 grams total carbs)
- Blueberries: 12 grams net carbs (14 grams total carbs)
- Raspberries: 6 grams net carbs (12 grams total carbs)
- Strawberries: 6 grams net carbs (8 grams total carbs)
Great on their own or combined with a handful of nuts or mixed in with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese
Butter & Cream
Good Fats, trace amounts of Carbs equals huge win. Like other fatty dairy products, butter and cream are rich in conjugated linoleic acid, which is an essential fatty acid that’s been linked to promoting fat loss.
Cocoa has been called a “super fruit” because of its dense antioxidant profile and can contain as many antioxidants as berries noted above.
Containing flavanols, cocoa may even reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and keeping arteries squeaky clean.
Be sure to choose dark chocolate that contains a MINIMUM of 70% cocoa solids, ideally as much as you can take -- it can taste bitter at times!
Dark chocolate contains on average 3–10 grams of net carbs per ounce based on the nutritional profile aka the cocoa percentage -- keep watch on the percentage you choose when factoring it into your daily diet!
One ounce (28 grams) of unsweetened chocolate (100% cocoa) has 3 grams of net carbs.
The same amount of 70–85% dark chocolate contains up to 10 grams of net carbs.
Delicious & nutritious, Cheese is rich in protein, calcium and beneficial fatty acids, yet contains a minimal amount of carbs. A great fit for a ketogenic diet -- what a win we love cheese!
Cheese gives you a whole range of palette ranging options and fortunately for us keto’ers all of them are very low in carbs and high in fat. Cheese contains conjugated linoleic acid, a fat that has been linked to fat loss and a trim waist. Though it’s high in saturated fat, it hasn’t been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. In fact, some studies suggest that cheese may help protect against heart disease.
The sexiest superfood on the block nowadays. The most Instagrammed NYC influencer brunch photo participant. Avocados are popular sights on peoples plates these days. This quintessential heart-healthy fat is high in several vitamins and minerals, including potassium, an important mineral many people do not get enough of. What's more, a higher potassium intake may help make the transition to a ketogenic diet easier - making your life easier and tastier!
- Water — 0 grams net carbs
- Unsweetened coffee (black) and tea; drink in moderation since high amounts can impact blood sugar — 0 grams net carbs
- Bone broth — 0 grams net carbs
A ketogenic diet can be used to achieve weight loss, blood sugar control and other health-related goals.
Fortunately, it can include a wide variety of nutritious, tasty and versatile foods that allow you to remain within your daily macronutrient ranges.
Did we miss any? Any new ones we should know about?? Leave a comment below!