The keto diet has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. This low-carb, high-fat diet has been shown to lead to weight loss, improved mental clarity and increased energy levels.
While the keto diet does require some careful planning, it is definitely possible to enjoy a variety of delicious foods while following this eating plan.
What to eat on keto diet
When starting a ketogenic diet, it can be difficult to know what to eat and what to avoid. However, there are a few general rules that can help you make healthy choices.
First, focus on getting most of your calories from fat. This may seem counterintuitive, but fat is actually the most important macronutrient on a keto diet. It helps to promote satiety and can even help boost your metabolism.
Second, make sure to include plenty of low-carb veggies in your diet. These provide essential nutrients and fiber, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied. Avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes and beans, as well as corn and other grains.
Finally, be sure to moderate your protein intake. Too much protein can kick you out of ketosis, so it’s important to find the right balance.
By following these simple guidelines when choosing your keto diet foods, you’ll be well on your way to successful keto dieting!
What does net carbs mean?
When you’re following a ketogenic diet, it’s important to pay attention to the types of carbs you’re eating.
Net carbs is a term you might see on food labels, and it’s a relatively new concept. The “net” in net carbs refers to the amount of carbs left after the fiber and sugar alcohols are subtracted from the total carbs. So, if a food has 10 grams of total carbs and 5 grams of fiber, the net carbs would be 5 grams.
Why are food manufacturers starting to use net carbs instead of just total carbs? It’s because not all carbs are created equal. Fiber and sugar alcohols have different effects on blood sugar levels than other types of carbs, so they don’t impact blood sugar in the same way.
For people who are trying to manage their blood sugar levels, net carbs can be a helpful way to make sure they’re not getting too many “bad” carbs from their diet.
Why are net carbs important on a keto diet? Because they’re the main factor that impacts your blood sugar levels and, as a result, your body’s production of ketones. When you eat foods high in net carbs, your blood sugar will rise and fall more rapidly, which can kick you out of ketosis.
That’s why it’s important to focus on low-carb, high-fiber foods when you’re following a ketogenic diet. By doing so, you can keep your net carb intake low and maintain stable blood sugar levels, which will help you stay in ketosis and experience all the benefits that come with it.
What are the best foods to eat on a keto diet?
There are many delicious foods you can eat on a ketogenic diet. Here are 21 of the best to keep on your keto-friendly food list:
Not only is salmon a good source of protein, but it’s also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have numerous health benefits. Omega-3s can help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke. Salmon is also a good source of B vitamins, selenium, and phosphorus.
Avocados are one of the best sources of healthy fats on the keto diet. In addition to being high in monounsaturated fats, avocados are also a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C, E, and K.
Eggs are a versatile and affordable source of protein that should be a staple on the keto diet. They’re also a good source of choline, which is important for brain health. Choline can help reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function.
Keto Bacon and Spinach Egg Bake with Yogurt Aioli
If you’re worried about the cholesterol in eggs, don’t be—most of the cholesterol is found in the egg yolk, while the egg whites are mostly protein. I usually will include 1 or two yolks a day, and then use just egg whites for anything else that day.
One of my absolute favorite replacements for bread and tortilla is made from egg whites called EggLife wraps. It’s gluten free, dairy free and sugar free! I love that it has no flavor.
Yes, berries! While most fruits are high in carbs, there are a few that are low enough in carbs to be keto-friendly. These include blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
Berries are also a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect against chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
When I’m craving a decadent dessert, I simply mix some xylitol sugar into sour cream and add berries on top! The xylitol/sour cream mixture tastes better than whipped cream. Really!
Olives are another great source of healthy fats. They’re also a good source of vitamins E and K, and minerals like iron and copper.
If you’re looking for a tasty way to add olives to your diet, try making your own olive tapenade by blending olives, garlic, and herbs. This makes a great spread for low-carb crackers or vegetables.
6. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is a good choice for cooking on the keto diet because it’s composed of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are a type of saturated fat that is metabolized differently than other types of fat. I use coconut oil in almost everything I cook now!
MCTs are absorbed and metabolized quickly, so they’re a great source of energy for athletes or people who are trying to lose weight. Coconut oil is also a good source of lauric acid, which has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
7. Leafy greens
If you’re looking for nutrient-dense foods to eat on the keto diet, look no further than leafy greens. These low-carb vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help boost your health. Some of the best leafy greens to eat on the keto diet include spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, and Romaine lettuce.
The BEST Baked Garlic Spinach Chips Recipe
8. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds make an excellent snack on the keto diet because they’re high in healthy fats and low in carbs. Additionally, they’re a good source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Some of the best nuts to eat on a keto diet include almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts. As for seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds are all excellent choices.
Cheese is a delicious and versatile food that can be used in a variety of keto-friendly dishes. It’s also a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and B12.
When choosing cheese for the keto diet, opt for full-fat varieties like cheddar, mozzarella, brie, and blue cheese. Avoid processed cheeses like American cheese, as they’re typically made with low-fat milk and added fillers. A game changing cheese product I enjoy are Folios cheese wraps. Amazing for sandwiches and tacos.
You might be surprised to know that cottage cheese is actually a great food to eat on a keto diet, however, not all cottage cheeses are created equal. Be sure to choose a cottage cheese that is high in fat and low in sugar.
Feel free to add other toppings to your cottage cheese to make it more flavorful and satisfying. For example, try adding some chopped nuts or berries, or even a dollop of peanut butter.
10. Heavy cream
Heavy cream is a good choice for the keto diet because it’s high in fat and low in carbs. Additionally, it’s a good source of vitamins A and D, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Heavy cream can be used in a variety of keto-friendly dishes, such as soups, sauces, and desserts. Just be sure to choose a brand that’s organic and grass-fed to get the most benefit from it. It’s also perfect for coffee drinkers that like their cup of joe creamy.
11. Dark chocolate
Whenever I need something sweet, I have some dark chocolate! Dark chocolate is not only delicious but also high in antioxidants. Look for 100% cacao dark chocolate or at least something with 70% or more cocoa content for the best results.
12. Bone broth
Bone broth is rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids that can support gut health. It’s also a good source of collagen, which is important for healthy skin and joints.
If you’re looking for an easy way to add bone broth to your diet, try sipping on a cup of it each day. You can also use it in place of chicken or beef broth in soups and stews.
Cauliflower is incredibly versatile and can be used as a rice or potato substitute in many recipes. Personally, I’m not a fan of “riced” cauliflower, but I do love a good cheesy cauliflower bake. Yummmmm.
13. Green beans
Beans are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also relatively low in carbs, making them a good option for people following a ketogenic diet. Green beans specifically are a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and iron.
One cup of green beans has only 6 grams of carbs, 4 of which are fiber. This makes green beans a great addition to a keto-friendly meal plan. In addition to being nutritious and low in carbs, green beans are also incredibly versatile.
If you’re looking for a tasty way to prepare green beans, try roasting them with olive oil and sea salt. You can add tomatoes, garlic and onion for an even more flavorful side dish.
Speaking of tomatoes, they’re also a delicious and nutritious food that can be enjoyed on the keto diet. Tomatoes are often considered a keto-friendly food, as they are low in carbs and high in healthy fats and nutrients. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to tomatoes and the keto diet.
First of all, not all tomatoes are created equal. For example, grape tomatoes tend to be lower in carbs than cherry tomatoes. In addition, it’s important to avoid processed tomato products such as sauce or ketchup, as these can be high in sugar.
15. Fat bombs
Keto fat bombs are small snacks or desserts that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates. They are designed to help people following a ketogenic diet or low-carbohydrate diet to get more fat into their diet.
Fat bombs typically contain ingredients such as coconut oil, butter, cream cheese, and nuts. They can be made savory or sweet, and they can be flavored with various spices, extracts, and other ingredients.
Fat bombs are relatively easy to make at home, and they can also be purchased pre-made from many online retailers. While they are not essential for everyone following a ketogenic diet, they can be a helpful way to boost fat intake for those who need or want to do so.
16. Pork Rinds
Pork rinds may not be the first food that comes to mind when you think of the keto diet, but they can actually be a helpful tool for achieving your weight loss goals. Heavy in protein and fat, pork rinds can help you feel fuller longer and provide a major source of energy.
Plus, they’re incredibly versatile: you can enjoy them as a snack on their own, use them as a breading for chicken or fish, or even crumble them over a salad.
If you’re looking for a new way to add some flavor to your meals while staying on track with your diet, pork rinds are worth considering. Just be sure to choose a brand that’s sugar-free and ingredients list includes pork rinds as the only ingredient.
17. Miracle Noodles
Miracle noodles are a type of zero-calorie noodle that’s made from konjac, a root vegetable. They’re a great alternative to traditional pasta and rice noodles.
Miracle noodles can be used in a variety of dishes, such as soups, stir-fries and salads. You can find shirataki noodles in most health food stores and online.
18. Coconut flour
Coconut flour is a low-carb alternative to wheat flour. It’s a good source of fiber, and it can be used to make keto-friendly breads, cakes, cookies and other desserts.
19. Meat and poultry
Chicken, beef, pork and lamb are all great sources of protein on a keto diet. Be sure to choose grass-fed and organic meat whenever possible.
If you aren’t a fan of keto-friendly vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli, just remember that bacon makes everything taste better!
20. Fresh herbs and spices
Herbs and spices are essential for adding flavor to food without adding extra calories. I always make sure I have fresh herbs on hand, or stored in the freezer. Some of my favorites are basil, cilantro, oregano, thyme and rosemary.
21. Plain greek yogurt
Plain greek yogurt is one of the best keto friendly foods around. It’s high in protein and low in carbs, making it the perfect snack for those on the keto diet – especially with a few berries sprinkled on top!
Greek yogurt also contains live and active cultures, which are beneficial for gut health. Plus, it’s an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D.
Be creative with your combinations and don’t be afraid to experiment! Why not make your own keto friendly and gluten free taco seasoning?
What about coffee and tea?
Coffee and tea are both perfectly fine to consume on a keto diet. In fact, coffee can be a great way to increase your intake of healthy fats. Just be sure to avoid adding sugar or milk to your coffee.
If you like your coffee creamy, you can use heavy cream or coconut milk. You can also add flavor with extractions like vanilla, almond or hazelnut.
As for tea, all types – including black, green, white and herbal – can be enjoyed on the keto diet. Just be mindful of any added sweeteners. Honey, agave and stevia are all good options.
What about alcohol?
Personally, I just avoid alcohol when eating keto or trying to follow a low carb diet because it tends to lead to bad choices (um midnight donut run sounds great after several drinks!)
But you can enjoy alcohol on the keto diet, you just need to be careful about your choices. (And as always, drink responsibly!)
Some hard liquors like vodka, gin and tequila contain zero carbs, so they’re fine to consume in moderation. Stick to soda water for your mixer, if needed.
Wine and beer do contain carbs, so it’s best to stick to avoid these but some people can get away with dry wine and light beer.
Need more inspiration? Here are my favorite keto-friendly recipes.
- This Guilt Free Chicken Crust Pizza Recipe is a Game Changer
- Classic Low Carb Wedge Salad Recipe
- Egg Roll in a Bowl [Low Carb]
- Creamy Spinach Dip Smothered Chicken
- Low Carb Almond Flour Bread Recipe
- Loaded Baked Low Carb Chicken Recipe
- Easy Pickled Banana Pepper Recipe
- Keto Jalapeno Poppers with Sausage
- Bacon Wrapped Mushrooms -Paleo and Keto Friendly!
- Best Options for Keto Travel Snacks
- Creepy Spider Halloween Deviled Eggs
I hope this list of keto-friendly foods has given you some ideas for what to eat on this unique diet. Remember, the key is to focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods that are high in fat and low in carbs. By filling your plate with healthy fats, proteins, and low-carb vegetables, you can reach your goals without feeling deprived or restricted.
Remember, if you’re considering following the Keto diet, it’s important to speak with your doctor first to discuss whether or not this eating plan is right for you.