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Foods to Eat on the Keto Diet

Nadine Greeff/Stocksy United

Have you heard of the keto diet? Would you like to try it?

The keto diet, or ketogenic diet, is a variant on the strict low-carb diet. It is also very similar to the Atkins Diet and South Beach Diet as well as the paleo diet.

The Keto complete diet allows you to eat a variety of foods, but the focus is on foods high in protein or high-fat with low intakes of carbohydrates. The more variety you eat, the greater your nutrient intake. This can help to prevent deficiencies. Most low-carb vegetables and fruits can be eaten on keto.

The following will provide information on what you can and cannot eat while on the keto diet. But first, let’s briefly go over how this diet works to help you lose weight.

What is the Keto Diet?

To understand how the Keto complete diet works, it is important to first explain how energy is used by the body.

Two basic fuels can be used to “operate your body”:

Your body will always seek sugar as fuel. If you eat a high-calorie diet, such as cookies, cakes, pastas, potatoes, or breads, your body will always seek out sugar for fuel first. You’ll never lose weight.

Your body will use fat to fuel your body if there’s no sugar in your system.

The body enters ketosis when it runs out of sugar and must rely on fat to provide energy. This state is when stored fat is broken down and ketones are produced by the liver. They can then be used to fuel the body.

The keto diet emphasizes protein- and fat-rich foods to ensure that the body is always in ketosis and burning fat effectively.

What foods should be eaten on the Keto Diet

The keto diet’s guidelines and food lists don’t have to be “set in stone”. This is true for the South Beach Diet and the Atkins Diet. The keto diet is more about a way of eating. There are many ways to do keto.

There are still “do” and not-to-eat foods when it comes to keto. If you are following a strict keto diet, then we will discuss and list the best keto foods. Each section will include recipes to help you incorporate keto-friendly food into your daily life.

These tips will almost certainly help to burn fat and lose weight.

BEST KETO DIET FOODS BY CATEGORY

Meat

The keto diet is without a doubt based on meat. Because it is naturally high in fat and protein, it makes a great keto food. Almost all meats are free of carbs.

These benefits, when combined, can help you feel fuller longer and speed up your metabolism. You can get the energy you need to get through the day without feeling drained or slow. Meats also contain important nutrients like iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acid. It is essential for the health of your bones and muscles.

Keto-Friendly Meats

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Acceptable

Popular Meats: Carb & Fat Content

Beef Steak, 3 oz. (Lean and fat-fed)

Chicken Breast, 4 Oz. (boneless, skinless)

Bacon, 2 pan-fried slices

Pepperoni, 4 slices

Recipes for Meat-Based Keto

  1. Grilled Chicken with Avocado Salsa (Gimme Delicious).
  2. Garlic Butter Steak (Life Made Keto).
  3. Keto Sheet Pan Pizza (Delish)
  4. Keto Bacon Egg, Cheese Bites (Maebells).
  5. Leftover Turkey Casserole (That Low Carb Life).

Fish & Seafood

Fish and seafood, like meat, are also keto-friendly. Both are high protein and high-fat, have few carbs (if any), and offer many nutrients. Many types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acid, which promotes a healthy brain, heart, and eyes. Vitamins like selenium, vitamin B, potassium and vitamin B are also found in fish.

Remember that shellfish, while low in carbs and high in fat, isn’t as keto-friendly than fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and other sardines.

Seafood and fish that are keto-friendly

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Popular Fish and Seafoods: Carbohydrate and Fat Content

Salmon, 3 oz. portion

Tuna, 6.5 oz. Can be packed in water and drained

Shrimp, 8 large shrimps, cooked in moist heat

Recipes for Fish- and Seafood-Based Keto

  1. Keto Salmon Cakes (Hey Keto mama)
  2. Keto Tuna Salad (Diabetes Strong)
  3. Walnut-crusted Salmon (The Healthy Foodie).
  4. Baked Cod (Savory Tooth Low Carb Recipes)
  5. A Spicy Perspective on Low Carb White Fish Pomodoro

Egg & Dairy Products

Eggs are a great choice for keto meals. They are low in carbs and high in protein.

Dairy products like grass-fed butter, various types of cheese, and heavy cream are great options for those who do not need dairy-free keto food. Dairy products should only be eaten “full fat,” which means you should choose whole milk over 2%, 1% or lower-fat cheeses.

Keto-Friendly Egg and Dairy Foods

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Carbohydrate and Fat Contents of Eggs and Popular Dairy Foods

Egg, 1 egg

Provolone cheese, 1 cubic inch

Greek yogurt unsweetened

Recipes for Keto that are Egg- and Dairy-Based

  1. Keto Breakfast Burrito (Ditch The Carbs).
  2. Basic Keto Cheese Crisps (All Recipes).
  3. Keto Egg Cups (Life Made Keto).
  4. Bulletproof Coffee Recipe with MCT Oil (Wholesome Yum).
  5. Keto 4 Ingredient Ice cream (Chocolate Covered Katie).

Nuts

The Keto complete diet is great for nuts. They are a healthy snack option that can be eaten on-the-go. You can eat as many nuts as you’d eat if you grab a bag of almonds, or a handful nut trail mix. Nuts are rich in nutrients. For type 2 diabetics, pecans can help lower insulin levels. Anti-inflammatory properties are found in chia seeds. Macadamia nuts increase healthy HDL cholesterol levels.

Avoid cashews when you are trying to go keto. For any low-carb diet, other nuts are better.

Nut butters can be made from a variety nuts. These are great for spreading on keto bread, celery or just eating as is. Nut butters made without sugar contain MCT oil, probiotics, and other nutrients that provide energy and support metabolism.

Nuts that are Keto-Friendly

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Popular Nuts: Carb & Fat Content

Pecans, 19 halves (1 oz.)

Flaxseed, 1 tbsp. Whole seeds

Almonds, 23 almonds (1 oz.)

Nut-Based Keto Recipes

  1. Abbey’s Kitchen Vegan Keto Walnut Chili
  2. Keto Nut Bar (Aussie Keto Queen)
  3. Keto Chocolate Covered Almonds – The Keto Summit
  4. 3-Ingredient Keto Almond Butter Cups (The Big Man’s World).
  5. Easy Almond Butter Fat Bombs (Hey Keto Mama).

Produce

There are many options when it comes to produce. All of them can be great additions to main dishes keto foods like meat, poultry and fish. It’s not an all-inclusive list. Vegetables are better than fruits, which can have quite a few carbs. Non-starchy veggies will always be better that other vegetables like leafy greens.

These vegetables and keto-friendly fruit pack a lot of nutrients and vitamins, as you probably know. You’ll find a lot of vitamins and nutrients in leafy greens, a favorite keto food. These vegetables also contain large amounts iron, calcium, and folate. Asparagus is rich in chromium and folate as well as vitamins A, C and E and K.

Keto-Friendly Produce

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Popular Produces Have High Carb & Fat Levels

Spinach, 3 cups, loosely packed

Avocado, 1/2 cup, sliced

Strawberries, 1 Cup, halved

Recipes for Keto that are Produce-Based

  1. Low-Carb Ginger Garlic Vegetable Stew Fry (Stay Snatched).
  2. Keto Oven Roasted Vegetables – Wholesome Yum
  3. Parmesan Bake and Zucchini (Stop the Carbs!)
  4. Low Carb Keto Roast Chicken soup (Sugar Free Londoner).
  5. Easy Keto Vegetable Ratatouille Recipe from The Keto Summit

Beverages

You can enjoy a variety of beverages while on the ketogenic diet, including still and sparkling water, tea, coffee and diet sodas. Diet sodas are not recommended for any type of healthy diet. If you can, stick with water.

Spirits are the best option if you want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage. Mixing gin, vodka, whiskey, or tequila in a mixture with carb-laden mixers is a bad idea. Even tonic water can be full of carbs. You can drink wine on keto. But, you should avoid beers. Beers are the most carb-dense alcoholic beverages, with the exception of a few low-carb choices.

Beverages that are Keto-Friendly

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Acceptable

Popular Beverages Have a High Carb and Fat Content

Coffee, 1 cup (8 oz.) coffee, 1 cup (8 oz.)

Whiskey 1 shot (1.5 Oz.

Almond milk, 1 c, unsweetened

Keto Beverage Recipes

  1. Gin Fizz: The Ultimate Low-Carb Cocktail (Keto Diet).
  2. Keto Infused Iced tea (Low Carb No Carb).
  3. Ketoberry Smoothie Recipe (Ketogasm).
  4. Low Carb Strawberry Lemonade Mjitos (I Breathe, I’m Hungry).
  5. Keto Turmeric Milkshake (Stop the Carbs).

Spices, Sweeteners, & Condiments

This category includes small ingredients that are often overlooked when it comes to nutrition content, but they are essential for many recipes and meals.

Healthy fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil and canola are the best in this group. Although most dried herbs or spices are low in carbs, there are some that are more keto-friendly than others. We have provided some alternatives for sweeteners that are keto-friendly. However, not all sweeteners are completely keto-friendly.

Sweeteners, condiments, and spices that are Keto-Friendly

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Acceptable

 

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