Although it may seem like everyone has only just started talking about the ketogenic diet, it’s actually been around for over nine decades. People have been following this diet for a variety of reasons, such as a way to lose weight, improve their overall health, and even reduce epileptic seizures.
If you’re interested in giving the keto diet a go, the first step is learning what’s acceptable for you to eat. To help you out, we’re sharing the top best 10 foods to eat on keto…
1. Grass-Fed Meat and Poultry
It’s likely that you’ve realized many low-carb diets encourage you to eat a lot of protein. While protein is certainly important in your diet, the keto lifestyle isn’t so much about protein as it is about healthy fats.
When selecting your meat, it’s important to go for the grass-fed option. Compared to grain-fed animals, those that are grass-fed provide meat that’s packed with higher amounts of omega-3. You can choose meat such as beef, lamb, veal, venison, or goat. These types of meat yield zero grams of net carbs per five ounces.
Poultry is great for your keto diet as well. You can add turkey, chicken, goose, duck, pheasant, hen, or quail to your meal. With zero grams of net carbs per five ounces, poultry is the perfect choice. Another important thing to remember about meat and poultry is that these protein sources are packed with B vitamins, potassium, selenium, and zinc.
2. Cage-Free Eggs
Eggs are also acceptable for you to eat on keto. The best part is that you don’t have to forgo the yolks, like many diets might require you to do. You can enjoy both the egg whites and the egg yolks when preparing your morning omelet. With only one gram of net carbs for each egg, you won’t have to feel guilty about having them as part of your diet.
There’s no need to worry about the eggs being high in cholesterol either. Consuming them will not raise the blood cholesterol level in most people. Instead, they can actually be pretty heart healthy! Another bonus is that eating eggs might help you feel fuller longer, which means you’re going to be less tempted by those unhealthy snacks.
If seafood is a must-have for you, it’ll be a relief to know you can enjoy it while following a ketogenic diet. You can have trout, tuna, salmon, bass, flounder, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines. Each one of these fish contains zero grams of net carbs per five ounces. However, there are also other health benefits to eating fish.
For example, salmon and mackerel are both packed with the omega-3 fatty acids your body needs. By consuming at least two servings of seafood on a weekly basis, you can ensure you’re providing your body with the nutrients it needs the most.
4. Non-Starchy Vegetables
From leafy greens and cruciferous veggies, these are important to add to your diet due to the fact that they’re low in carbs. When you head to the grocery store, make sure you add plenty of leafy greens like collards, arugula, spinach, kale, and chard to your basket. These nutrient-rich greens range from 0.5-5 net carbs per one cup.
Broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower fall into the cruciferous veggie category and are also must-haves in your diet. They range from three to six grams of net carbs per one cup. They’ll also come with some great benefits, such as a decreased risk of cancer and heart disease. Other great choices include celery, cucumber, and zucchini. All of these vegetables will make the perfect side dish to have with your lunch or dinner, so make sure you stock up!
Although it’s chock full of calories, avocado is perfectly fine to eat on a keto diet, which is great because it’s loaded with good-for-you nutrients. In fact, they’re packed with the potassium your body needs to stay functioning properly.
When your body is low in potassium, it comes with an array of possible side effects, including: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, digestive disorders, and infertility. Getting plenty of potassium in your diet can possibly prevent you from developing one of these health issues. Potassium may also help improve your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
However, the reason avocados are acceptable on the keto diet is that half of a medium avocado contains nine grams of carbs. Seven of those grams of carbs are fiber, which means you’re only consuming two grams of net carbs when enjoying your avocado. So, go ahead and have that avocado toast tomorrow morning!
6. Nuts & Seeds
One thing that’s important to note about nuts and seeds is that they’re totally fine to eat on a keto diet. However, many of them are higher in net carbs than others, so it’s important to watch your intake of them so you don’t go overboard. By making smart choices and portioning your nuts and seeds, you can enjoy them and their benefits.
You can have almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pistachios, chestnuts, and pumpkin seeds. Chia seeds and flaxseeds can also be added to meals, such as a delicious smoothie. Both nuts and seeds are high in fiber, which are going to help you feel fuller longer and more satisfied overall. Nuts are also beneficial because they’ve been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and other ailments.
Much like nuts and seeds, berries are something you’ll want to only consume in moderation. They do range in carbs, but they’re high in fiber. For example, blackberries have five grams of net carbs, raspberries and strawberries have six grams of net carbs, and blueberries have 12 grams of net carbs.
When eating berries, just make sure you aren’t indulging in too much. You’ll also want to keep track of your carb intake as you’re consuming them. Although, keep in mind that those berries are providing your body with some much-needed antioxidants!
Before you go and slather butter on that piece of toast, listen up! Healthy fats are very important for a well-rounded keto meal. In fact, healthy fats are meant to make up 80% of your total calories consumed The reason for this is that fat provides your body with energy, while also preventing hunger and fatigue.
However, you’ll want to go for a high-quality butter or a clarified butter like ghee. You should avoid spreadable, replacement butter since they contain hydrogenated fats. Instead, you can go for ghee, which has plenty of saturated fats. Since it has a higher smoke point than most oils, it’s actually great to cook things.
9. Spices, Herbs, & More
No one likes bland food, right? Well, the good news is you certainly don’t have to eat anything flavorless when sticking to that keto lifestyle. You can season your dishes with plenty of spices and herbs because they actually contain zero grams of net carbs.
You can even opt for unsweetened mustard or unsweetened hot sauce to add a little extra kick to your meal. Apple cider vinegar is another great option, as it’s also low in net carbs.
Okay, so the last item on this list isn’t actually a food, but it’s still crucial to a successful keto diet. Because this diet has a natural diuretic effect, it’s common for people to experience dehydration. For that reason, it’s important to keep your body hydrated to avoid any negative side effects.
Typically, it’s recommended that you consume eight glasses of water per day. However, that likely won’t be enough when following the keto diet. Some sources even recommend drinking close to a gallon of water per day. Whatever you do, make sure you’re paying attention to your body. Provide it with the hydration it needs without overdoing it.