Keto Diet Food List: The Ultimate Guide To Eating On The Ketogenic Diet
The Ketogenic diet has taken the world by storm and has been reported as one of the best diets for people who are obese, as well as those with who are facing a struggle with diabetes.
This diet essentially involves changing from the average person’s default high-carb diet to a diet that discourages the use of carbs as a way for the body to produce energy.
While the general idea behind the Ketogenic diet is relatively simple, getting started can be a tough journey since most people are used to preparing meals and shopping for groceries with carbohydrates as the primary caloric fulfillment on their mind.
I’ll admit that getting started with the Ketogenic diet was no laughing matter for me.
After learning about this diet and the lifestyle it creates for a person, I decided to dive deeper into the topic and do some research.
I jumped into the Keto diet quickly without doing proper research.
I discovered that not adhering to the basics of this lifestyle means you will not experience the appropriate results.
Today, however, I have mastered the Ketogenic lifestyle.
I know what to look for when out buying groceries and I know what foods I should entirely avoid if I wish to keep my body in a Ketosis phase.
What NOT To Put On Your Shopping List
I would like to start by looking at the foods that you need to avoid when you decide to go on a Ketogenic diet.
Many people think that the Ketogenic diet means they will have to give up all of their favorite foods and only eat an insufficient variety of food that is not considered particularly tasty.
This, however, is a misconception of the Ketogenic diet.
There are quite a lot of foods that can be consumed on this diet – but, at the same time, there are also a relatively large number of foods that you will have to give up.
Luckily, alternatives are usually available for your favorite high-carb meals that can provide you with the comfort you used to gain from eating those favorites.
The Ketogenic diet is focused on helping you become healthy and on switching your body from a sugar-burner toward a fat-burner.
This is done by replacing the fact that you are currently eating foods that are high in carbs to ensure your body has a fuel source toward eating foods high in quality fats – the fats are then used as fuel.
In turn, this all means that you will have to give up foods that are loaded with carbs.
Grains are one of the first subjects of interest when looking at foods that need to be eliminated from your diet when you go transition to a Ketogenic lifestyle.
This means no more bread, pizzas, pasta, buns, crackers, cookies, and other options that are made from wheat, barley, rye, millet, amaranth, sprouted grains, and buckwheat.
Rice, corn, and quinoa are also grains that need to be erased from your shopping list.
Fruits And Vegetables
One of the more negative facts about the Ketogenic diet is the fact that most fruits need to be avoided on this diet.
This is because the majority of fruits are high in sugar and carbs, which would cause your body to rely on these carbs for energy and fail to produce the state of Ketosis needed to benefit from a Ketogenic lifestyle.
Particular fruits considered to be excessively high in carbs include bananas, pineapples, apples, oranges, mangos, tangerines, grapes, and papaya.
Starchy vegetables are also not a good option when you wish to follow a Ketogenic diet.
Try to avoid vegetables like sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, cherry tomatoes, corn, yucca, carrots, yams, and parsnips.
These are all loaded with carbs – in fact, one medium-sized potato contains an average 28 grams of carbs, which is almost as many carbs you are allowed in a single day.
Half a cup of raw yucca has 39 grams of carbs but does not contain any fat.
It is vital to understand that there are good fats and that there are bad fats.
The Ketogenic diet consists of good fats and the elimination of bad fats.
This makes it essential to eliminate certain oils that are known to be pro-inflammatory and lead to harmful effects in your body.
Examples of pro-inflammatory oils that you need to scratch off your shopping list include peanut oil, sesame oil, safflower oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and sunflower oil.
Yet another no-no on the Ketogenic diet.
Sweetened beverages are bad for you, especially if you are adopting a Ketogenic lifestyle.
Try to avoid sugar-sweetened sodas, as well as diet sodas.
Diet sodas are not suitable for you – the artificial sweeteners used in these drinks are known to cause problems with blood glucose levels, lead to an impairment in the production of ketones, and also increase your cravings for sugary foods.
Smoothies and juices are also considered inappropriate due to the additives that are added to these drinks.
Sugars And Sweeteners
Sugar and sweeteners contribute to glucose levels becoming higher and cause the body to start converting glucose to energy again.
This means all of the efforts have been for nothing as you would have to start the process all over again to get your body back into a state of ketosis.
Avoid using sweeteners like Splenda, sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, equal, and acesulfame.
Also avoid cane sugar, corn syrup, raw sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup and honey, as these are all loaded with carbs as well.
While beans are known to possess some positive attributes, they are considered to be bad for a Ketogenic diet.
Half a cup of cooked beans can contain as much as 23 grams of carbs, yet deliver less than 2 grams of fat.
This means beans is undoubtedly not a good choice when choosing to follow this lifestyle.
Try to avoid bean products like kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, fava beans, cannellini beans, lima beans, white beans, and great northern beans.
Foods That You Should Enjoy On The Ketogenic Diet
Now that you know what foods you should NOT put on your grocery shopping list let’s switch to a more positive side – the foods that you can put on your grocery list.
I know the list above looks long, but there are still many choices out there to choose from when shopping for a Ketogenic diet.
I’m going to share some of the most essential foods that you do need to include in your diet, as well as provide you with some recipes that you can use to cook up delicious Keto-friendly meals – you’ll soon discover just how great the Keto lifestyle can really be.
Animal Products For Protein And Fat
The Ketogenic diet dramatically relies on animal-based and animal-derived products to ensure you get an adequate supply of healthy fats and, of course, a moderate intake of high-quality proteins.
This category of food, along with healthy oils and fats, are found at the bottom of the Ketogenic diet pyramid, which means they should play a big part in your daily diet.
Opt for eggs, fatty fish and red meats. When you opt for red meat, be sure to opt for a fattier cut. You can also opt for organ meat.
When choosing fish, try to opt for wild-caught options, such as salmon.
You can only include lean meat in your diet, but these meat choices should be somewhat limited.
Turkey, for example, is very high in protein, and protein consumption on the Ketogenic diet needs to be balanced – too much protein can be bad for your diet.
Oils And Fats (The Healthy Kinds)
Another option that should make up a large part of your diet when adopting a Ketogenic lifestyle.
This category would include saturated fats like lard, ghee, coconut oil, butter, and ghee.
It also includes avocado oil, olive oil, and macadamia oil, all of which are monounsaturated fats.
Polyunsaturated fats also play an important role here, so be sure to obtain foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Butter and lard are great for cooking and preparing stir-fry. Many of these oils also make excellent options for drizzling over meals, such as salads.
Vegetables play a crucial role in the Ketogenic diet and are one of the primary sources for obtaining the limited supply of carbs you need to consume daily.
Non-starchy vegetables are the recommended choices when it comes to including vegetables in a Ketogenic diet.
Avocados are considered one of the healthiest foods that you can include in your diet.
Other non-starchy vegetables would include cucumber, lettuce, chives, swiss chard, dark leaf kale, zucchini, bamboo shoots, asparagus, and celery stalks.
Vegetables like cabbage, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, kombu, spring onion, mushrooms, garlic, onion, pumpkin, and rhubarb should ideally also be added to your diet, but only occasionally and at limited amounts.
These options are known to be higher in carbs than leafy greens and the other non-starchy vegetables I mentioned above.
Before I go further into dairy products, there is something that you should note.
When you are on a Ketogenic diet, NEVER opt for dairy products that read “fat-free,” “reduced fat,” “2% fat”, “0% fat” or similar terms.
Reduced fat dairy products do not contain a lot of fat, but they are higher in carbs when compared to the full-fat options on the market.
In addition to the additives added to low fat and fat-free dairy products, they are also known to increase your appetite, leading to more cravings that you will have to fight off if you are trying to lose weight.
For this reason, always choose to buy the full-fat options of any dairy product you wish to include in your diet.
Full-fat Greek or plain yogurt is a great option when opting for full-fat dairy products that are Keto-friendly.
Be sure to avoid flavored yogurt options, however, as the added sugars will lead to a spike in glucose levels.
In addition to yogurt, you can also opt for sour cream, heavy cream, cottage cheese and, of course, hard cheeses.
Seeds And Nuts
Another important category that I need to cover the foods that you can add to your shopping list if you are switching to a Ketogenic lifestyle is seeds and nuts.
Both of these food options are considered very healthy for the human body, but they can be high in carbs and protein. Still, they need to be included in moderation when you want to follow a Ketogenic diet.
The best nuts that you can eat on this diet is macadamia nuts – they are very low in carbohydrates, and they contain monounsaturated fats, an essential part of the Keto diet.
In addition to macadamia nuts, you can also include pine nuts, hazelnuts, pecan nuts, walnuts and, of course, almonds.
These nuts are all great for you and can offer you with essential nutrients, including several minerals, to keep your body healthy and keep you on track with your Ketogenic diet.
Brazil nuts can be added but should be limited due to the high selenium content found in them.
Seeds that you should eat on a Ketogenic diet include flaxseed, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Can You Drink Alcohol On A Ketogenic Diet?
This is a very common question that I thought I had to cover in this post.
Alcohol is something that most people enjoy.
For some, a drink now-and-then goes off well, while others enjoy a glass of wine or a shot of vodka more frequently.
Thus, it is important to consider whether alcohol can be consumed on this diet.
Yes, you can choose to drink alcohol on a Ketogenic diet, but it is important to consider your existing daily carb intake, as well as the type of alcoholic beverage you wish to drink.
Wine, for example, is quite high in carbs, which makes it less ideal if you are trying to lose weight with the Keto diet.
You can, however, choose to treat yourself to a glass of wine every now-and-then, but you may have to cut back on other foods that contain carbs during the day.
If you want to know how to cook with the foods that you should have while on the Ketogenic lifestyle I recommend looking at our book list
Adopting a Ketogenic diet is beneficial for your body composition and your weight, and may even be helpful if you have been diagnosed with insulin resistance or diabetes.
With the right guidance, you can successfully maintain healthy body weight and improve your overall health, as well as experience mental performance improvements.
The guidance I provided here will help you set up a shopping list to ensure you buy the right foods and avoid those food choices that will waste all the effort you have exerted while trying to follow a Ketogenic lifestyle.