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To Eat or Not To Eat : The Ultimate Keto Food List | A Peek to Wellness

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The ketogenic (keto for short) diet has become increasingly popular over the years.

Hundreds of people have experienced many of the health benefits the diet can give you.

Maybe that is someone close to you.

Now you are here, trying to embark on the keto diet yourself.

The biggest thing you have to worry about is what you are supposed to put in your mouth.

You’re in luck because, within this article, we talk about the foods to look forward to when you’re doing keto.

We will also touch on the foods that you need to keep in moderation or avoid altogether.

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

the keto diet text in gray text

First, let’s make sure we are all on the same page when we are talking about the ketogenic (keto for short) diet.

In the ketogenic diet, you reduce the number of carbs you eat. You go from eating a lot of carbs to eating low carbs, high fats, and moderate amounts of protein.

For most people, that means eating less than 20 grams of net carbs each day.

By reducing your carbs, your goal is to reach ketosis.

What is ketosis?

Regularly, your body breaks down carbohydrates (or carbs) into glucose. That glucose is, in turn, used as energy for your cells.

However, glucose is not the only option for energy for your body. In times of starvation or reduced glucose storages, your body can also break down fats into ketones.

When your body enters this state, it is called ketosis.

So, on the keto diet, you are reducing your glucose storage to the point of forcing your body to use ketones instead.

Our Keto Guide

For those of you who have time, I encourage you to head over to our Ultimate Guide to the Keto Diet. It’s long, but it provides a wealth of information regarding the ketogenic diet.

What to Look For

cranium in question mark
Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

To make your own decisions, you need to understand what you are looking for in foods.

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet, a low-carb diet, and a moderate-protein diet.

Those are simple words, but they are essential to understand before you start following the rules of the diet and evaluating your success.

We’ll get to it later, but many of the foods that are readily available to buy are usually high in carbs, and you need to avoid most of them.

You also have to careful when it comes to protein.

Usually, improving your protein intake is excellent and improves your health.

However, if you eat enough protein, your body will start to convert some of it to glucose.

When your goal is to maintain ketosis, this will derail your goals. You don’t want to sabotage your goals when you are working so hard.

Therefore, protein intake should be kept in moderation.

What You Can Eat on the Keto Diet

First, we talk about the foods that you can eat or eat in moderation.

For general guidelines, you are looking for foods that contain more fats and protein than carbs.

For foods that contain carbs, you want to find the low or zero carb options.

Fish & Seafood

fish lined up in a line
Image by agus santoso from Pixabay

Eating fish is good because they are a valuable source of omega-3 fatty acids and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Healthy consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can help in preventing many cardiovascular heart disease factors such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and hyperlipidemia (high fats in the blood). [1]https://www.ernaehrungs-umschau.de/fileadmin/Ernaehrungs-Umschau/pdfs/pdf_2015/09_15/EU09_2015_WuF_Glei_ENG_.pdf

Vitamins such as vitamin D is crucial for good bone health and immune function. Salmon is rich in vitamin D. [2]https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173690/nutrients

Most kinds of fish are good enough to eat on the keto diet.

There are some fish(shellfish) that you may have to be careful with since they might be high in carb content.

You should not have to avoid those kinds of fish, though.

You can focus on seafood known to be high in fats such as salmon and tilapia.

For years, fatty fish has been discouraged by many due to their high-fat content. On the keto diet, where the goal is to increase your fat intake, these are great options.

You might also look toward fish such as sardines or herring if you are concerned about contaminants in your fish.

According to the discoveries found in this study, experts recommended that you eat wild-caught fish as much as possible.

When the researchers compared toxin concentrations between farmed fish and wild fish, the wild fish had lower amounts of dangerous toxins. [3]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1257546/

Here is a list of fish you can eat on keto.

The fish with stars are fish with carb content you need to be aware of [4]https://www.google.com/amp/s/thepaleodiet.com/believe-shellfish-contains-carbohydrate/. This is not an exhaustive list, but you get a general idea:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Catfish*
  • Anchovies
  • Trout
  • Sardines
  • Flounder
  • Squid*
  • Scallops*
  • Halibut
  • Mahi-Mahi
  • Mussels*
  • Crayfish
  • Oysters*
  • Lobster*
  • Shrimp
  • Snapper
  • Crab*
  • Cod
  • Clams*
  • Redfish
  • Mackerel
  • Herring

With any of your fish options, try to avoid fish prepared with breading.

Breading, as you can see, contains the word bread. So this should help you to remember that it is high in carbs.

Again, fish is an excellent source of protein, so be sure to watch the amount that you eat.

Eggs

eggs in a carton with whisk in background
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

If you liked eggs before, then you are going to love them on the keto diet.

However, before continuing further, let us address some concerns some of you may have regarding an increased egg intake.

Eggs contain cholesterol and other lipids, which are related to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. It makes sense to worry about this when considering whether eating a lot of eggs is okay.

In this 2017 study, the researchers demonstrated that in a healthy person, eating more than one egg/day resulted in an overall beneficial effect on factors relating to cardiovascular disease. [5]https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11745-017-4230-9

The US 2015-2020 dietary guidelines excluded recommendations for total fat. [6]https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/current-dietary-guidelines/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines

This occurred after studies, such as this study, found no evidence that fat restrictions contributed significantly to lower cardiovascular risk. [7]https://openheart.bmj.com/content/3/2/e000409.long

What is study emphasizes isn’t that fat is no longer dangerous, but that you shouldn’t go out of your way to shun any form of fats.

In another study done in 2015, high egg consumption was not found to harm lipid levels and may even provide earlier satisfaction. [8]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/25833969/

This means that eggs in any cooked form are safe to eat. This is in any occurrence and especially in the keto diet.

Organic or cage-free eggs are closer to their natural states and may be safer options for your egg intake.

One egg alternative is Silken Tofu. 

Vegetables To Eat

broccoli standing on one side
Image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay

It shouldn’t be too surprising to find vegetables on this list.

In many situations, vegetables are encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is the same for the ketogenic diet.

For many people on a diet, vegetables end up replacing many foods.

However, you have to pay attention to which vegetables you consume.

When it comes to carbohydrate amounts, some vegetables have to avoid if you want to maintain a ketosis state.

Unlike meat and dairy, most vegetables have primarily carbs, which is the reason you have to watch out.

For the keto diet, look for vegetables grown above the ground.

They are generally lower in carbs and can be eaten freely with little concern.

Cooked vegetables are usually lower in carbs compared to raw, uncooked vegetables as well.

In general, leafy and green vegetables are good keto options.

Here are some vegetables that you are suitable for a keto diet.

The ones with a star are vegetables that you may consider eating in moderation: [9]https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto/vegetables, [10]https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/21-best-low-carb-vegetables#section21

  • Cauliflower (there are many, keto recipes available that utilize cauliflower)
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes*(since many consider it a veggie rather than a fruit)
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • White Mushrooms
  • Shitake Mushrooms
  • Brussels sprouts*
  • Zucchini
  • Dulse
  • Bladderwrack
  • Kelp
  • Arugula
  • Artichokes
  • Garlic
  • King Oyster Mushrooms
  • Cucumber
  • Bell peppers*(green ones are safer than red or yellow)
  • Eggplant
  • Olives
  • Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
  • Sugar snaps
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Green beans
  • Asparagus
  • Romaine lettuce

Learn more about these keto-friendly veggies and more here.

Although you should avoid most below the ground vegetables on the keto diet, there are exceptions to that guideline:

  • Onions: these on their own are higher in carbs than you would want. However, scallions or green onions in dishes are safe in moderate amounts. Be careful of caramelized or sauteed onions, though.
  • Radish

Meat & Poultry

plates of steaks on a table
Image by vika-imperia550 from Pixabay

Many of you may have imagined the keto diet to be primarily of meat, such as bacon and ham.

The truth is that there isn’t a focus on meat on the ketogenic diet.

For the same reason we talked about in the fish section, meat is high enough in protein to affect your ketosis if you aren’t careful.

Unprocessed meats are usually better than processed ones because they are lower in carbs and are less likely to be paired with high carb ingredients.

They are also found to have vital minerals and vitamins. [11]https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/poultry-products/703/2

When processed, many types of meats have chemicals added to them. Many of these chemicals, scientists linked to increased risk for cancer, especially in the digestive system. (https://www.healthline.com/nutrtion/healthy-fats-for-keto#section16))

However, you can keep eating these processed meats as long as they are minimal. [12]https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthy-fats-for-keto#section16

Organic and grass-fed meat is also considered, by experts, to be a healthy option for anyone.

One concern about grain-fed or farmed meat or poultry is the things that we eat them. Grass-fed meat is more likely to have been treated better with fewer chemicals given to them.

Besides the ethical issues, this concerns our health as well.

For example, this study showed that the use of antibiotics in farmed animals could lead to bacterial infections or other diseases in the humans that consume them. [13]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1867957/pdf/ehp0115-000663.pdf

So, it is better to keep your consumption of such foods in moderation.

The researchers of this 2011 study found that moderate consumption of grass-fed red meat can help improve omega-fatty acid and platelet concentrations. [14]https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/B52D258D6025E6D7FC76FEDA49B4032D/S000711451000309a.pdf/red_meat_from_animals_offered_a_grass_diet_increases_plasma_and_platelet_n3_pufa_in_healthy_consumers.pdf

As long as you use recipes that contain ingredients with low to moderate amounts of carbs, you can cook your meat & poultry in any way that you like.

As a general rule, you should get meats with fatty cuts.

Here is a list of meat and poultry to eat on the keto diet.

The starred meats are processed meats: [15]www.ruled.me/ketogenic-diet-food-list/

  • Chicken
  • Ham
  • Meatball*
  • Bacon
  • Roast beef
  • Pork Loin
  • Duck
  • Quail
  • Veal
  • Goat
  • Hot dogs*
  • Ground Beef
  • Cold cuts*
  • Tenderloin
  • Steak
  • Pheasant
  • Turkey
  • Stew meat
  • Salami*
  • Prosciutto
  • Sausages*(check for any added sugars or carbs)
  • Pepperoni
  • Lamb
  • Deli meats*(check for any added sugars or carbs)
  • Ground Pork
  • Porkchops

Meatless Protein

tofu in a plate with standing broccoli next to it
Image by hanul choi from Pixabay

If you are already following a vegetarian or vegan diet, you might be wondering what options you may have when it comes to protein.

Going vegetarian/vegan and keto is a bit more complicated than a regular ketogenic diet.

Vegetarians and vegans already know what restrictions their diets already have.

You are adding keto to those restrictions, which increases that difficulty.

However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible and that you need to forget about it.

You just need to focus more on plant-based fats and plant-based proteins to satisfy your daily requirements.

You may also need to double-down on your nutrient supplements such as your vitamins and minerals.

Here are some meatless protein options on keto: [16]https://www.ruled.me/comprehensive-guide-vegan-ketogenic-diet/

  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Seitan
  • Silken Tofu
  • Vegan Protein Powder

For other vegan meats, look for ones that have simple ingredients and low carb amounts.

The other sections also include some vegetarian/vegan options that you can consider for your vegan keto diet.

Dairy

yellow cheese with holes inside
Image by lipefontes0 from Pixabay

For dairy, you should focus on the ones that have high-fat content.

You should also avoid the dairy that is high in carbs.

This means that most of your dairy should come from raw and/or organic products.

Processed dairy is highly likely to include added items such as sugar.

Many sources of dairy, like cheese, are also excellent sources of protein, minerals, and probiotics.

Researchers showed dairy provides a positive or neutral effect on cardiovascular outcomes. [17]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed29494487/.

Another 2007 study revealed that conjugated linoleic acid found in cheese contributes to decreased fat mass. [18]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/17490954/

Here are some dairy options you should look out for keto.

The ones with a star are ones who you need to watch your carb intake around: [19]https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weigh-loss/a24397209/keto-diet-dairy-products/, [20]https://www.ruled.me/ketogenic-diet-food-list/

  • Mascarpone
  • Creme Fraiche
  • Brie Cheese
  • Blue cheese
  • Gouda
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Cottage cheese*
  • Whipping cream (this is NOT to be confused with whipped cream, which most have added sugar)
  • Sour cream*
  • Colby cheese
  • Unsweetened coconut milk
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Unsweetened cashew milk
  • Muenster
  • Feta cheese
  • Monterey Jack
  • Vegan Cheeses
  • Vegan Soft Cheese
  • Nut based yogurts
  • Provolone
  • Greek yogurt* (usually the plain full-fat ones are safer than those with added ingredients)
  • Kefir* (same as greek yogurt)
  • Cream cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Swiss cheese

For Those with Lactose Sensitivities:

Experts recommend that you seek out hard and long-aged dairy products because they have less lactose to cause a reaction.

From the list above these include:

  • Aged cheddar cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Swiss cheese
  • Gouda cheese
  • Unsweetened almond, cashed, or coconut milk

Fats & Oils

butter in cup
Image by Aline Ponce from Pixabay

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet, so it shouldn’t be surprising that most of your daily intake should come from fats.

Again, despite what experts taught us for many years about nutrition, fats shouldn’t be something to fear significantly over carbs or protein.

I will again mention this study that found no evidence that fat restrictions contributed significantly to lower cardiovascular risk. [21]https://openheart.bmj.com/content/3/2/e000409.long

Additionally, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics stated that there is no conclusive evidence of a definite link between saturated fats (like in butter) and cardiovascular disease. [22]https://www.eatrightpro.org/news-center/on-the-pulse-of-public-policy/regulatory-comments/dgac-scientific-report

These are experts and researchers who are now reversing their past stances against fats and saturated fats.

Fats are macronutrients, just like carbohydrates and protein, and they are just as vital to our bodies.

In the keto diet or anywhere else, you don’t have to be afraid to eat them.

Does this mean that you can go crazy with your fats and oils?

Not at all.

You still have to keep things in moderation.

With anything in life, you have to make sure that you are getting good fats and none of the unhealthy ones.

You get some of that fat from natural sources such as fish or meat, but you can also add it in through sauces or dressings.

Types of Fats:

It can be kind of confusing to know the good from the bad fats since they come in different names. Let’s talk a little bit about each:

  • Saturated fat: these contain a lot of fatty acids packed together[23]https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/saturated-fat-good-or-bad#section9. They are what gave fats a bad name in the past. They are useful in moderation. Most are solid at room temperature. These include butter, ghee, coconut oil, and lard.
  • Monounsaturated fat: these contain fatty acids with one kink keeping them from being wholly packed together [24]https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/monounsaturated-fats#section1. Foods high in these fats are usually liquid at room temperature. These include olive, avocado, and macadamia nut oils.
  • Polyunsaturated Fats: these contain fatty acids that aren’t as packed together as in saturated fats because they have multiple kinks [25]https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/polyunsaturated-fat#what-are-they. If you’ve heard of the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, then you know what they are. Natural sources are healthier than processed. These include salmon, grapeseed oil, and mayonnaise.
  • Trans Fats: these fatty acids are from fats that are chemically changed to improve their shelf life. [26]https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-trans-fats-are-bad#basics These are the bad fats that you want to avoid. They raise “bad” cholesterol and lower “good” cholesterol. [27]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1523500/

After knowing a little bit more about the different fats, hopefully, it will be easier to differentiate between them when it comes to eating them.

Here are some fats & oils you can eat on the keto diet

a pitcher of olive oil with green leaves in background

For protein sources, organic and grass-fed are recommended. For vegetable oils, try to get cold-pressed options if possible: [28]https://www.ruled.me/ketogenic-diet-food-list/

  • Fatty fish (which we talked about above)
  • Animal Fat (from fatty cuts of meats discussed above)
  • Lard
  • Beef Tallow
  • Avocados
  • Egg Yolks
  • Coconuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Macadamia Nut Butter
  • Pecan Butter
  • Walnut Butter
  • Hazelnut Butter
  • Almond Butter
  • Cashew Butter
  • Sunflower Butter
  • Sesame Seed Butter
  • Butter
  • Ghee
  • Mayonnaise
  • Coconut Butter
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Ground Pumpkin Seed Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olives
  • Avocado Oil
  • Macadamia Oil
  • MCT Oil

Ways to Eat Fats on Keto

If you are like me, you might be wondering ways to use these different fats in your food.

It turns out that there are a variety of ways. The same fat can also be used in different ways, depending on your preferences and recipes.

Below are only a few of those ways Feel free to be creative with your choices:

  • Cook with lard
  • Drizzle with avocado oil
  • Cook with olive oil
  • Cook with coconut oil
  • Mix your drink with MCT oil
  • Add macadamia nuts to salads
  • Drizzle food with butter
  • Cook with egg yolk

Nuts & Seeds

almonds laid on table
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Even though I talked about nuts and seeds as options in the previous section, I think it’s essential to speak about them a bit more.

Just in case you might have missed them after seeing you can eat butter on the keto diet.

Not only are nuts and seeds high-fat and low-carb, but they are also high in fiber.

Fiber is a substance that our bodies cannot digest, so their carbs don’t count, and also help us feel full faster after we eat them. [29]https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/130/2/272S/4686350

Also, research supports nut consumption to reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancers. [30]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19192028/, [31]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/26586104/

That’s why on the keto diet, you should consider including nuts and seeds (and their butter forms) with your foods and snacks.

Here are some nut and seed options.

The ones with a star have at least three net carbs (for about 28 grams) to watch out for them: [32]https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-foods#section11

  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Almonds*
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Hazelnuts*
  • Pecans
  • Peanuts*
  • Pistachios*
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews*
  • Walnuts
  • Pumpkin seeds*
  • Sesame seeds*

For nut and seed butters, try to find options with no added sugar.

Because of their small size, it can easy to eat a bunch of nuts and seeds in one period.

Since the keto diet is about maintaining ketosis, this is discouraged because you can quickly go over your carb count with these nuts alone.

I wouldn’t want that to happen to you, so watch out.

Fruit To Eat

raspberries in a tin cup and laid on table
Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Sadly, most fruits are not allowed on the keto diet.

They have enough natural sugars to kick you out of ketosis, even in small amounts.

The fruit that you can have on the keto diet still needs to be limited in your foods.

Here are some fruit options.

The ones with a star are exceptionally high in carbs (at least five net carbs) for about a half-cup. Although, you might be safer sticking to berries: [33]https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto/fruits

  • Raspberries
  • Cherries*
  • Blackberries
  • Avocado
  • Plum*
  • Peach*
  • Starfish aka Carambola
  • Gooseberries
  • Boysenberries
  • Rhubard
  • Strawberries*
  • Cantaloupe*
  • Blueberries*
  • Kiwi*
  • Clementine*

Flours & Baking Ingredients

package of organic coconut flour

If you like baking and desserts, you will be dismayed to find out that you cannot use regular flours in your keto recipes.

Don’t be too sad, though. There are nut and seed flours available as great substitutes.

You also need to consider options to replace the properties of gluten that you lose when you don’t use regular flour.

Here are your flour and baking options

I also found that you can back with ground nuts or seeds if you are running low on flour. The starred options are baking ingredients you should consider in addition to these flours: [34]https://www.ruled.me/keto-flour-substitutions/

  • Coconut Flour
  • Chia seed meal
  • Ground Almonds Meal
  • Pecan Meal
  • Macadamia Nut Meal
  • Pistachio Meal
  • Sunflower Seed Meal
  • Pumpkin Seed Meal
  • Whey Protein*
  • Casein Protein*
  • Egg White Protein Powder*
  • Xanthan Gum*
  • Organic Soy Flour
  • Chickpea Flour
  • Garbanzo Bean Flour
  • Fava Bean Flour
  • Sesame Seed Flour
  • Ground Walnut
  • Flaxseed Meal
  • Hazelnut Meal
  • Almond Flour
  • Psyllium Husk*

Spices, Condiments, & Sauces

bottle of g hudges sugar free ketchup

People use these ingredients daily to add flavor to their foods.

The hardest thing that I didn’t realize until I went on the keto diet, that these small ingredients can add up if you are not careful.

You have to watch out for ones that included added sugars and mess up your ketosis.

Spices, no matter how small, also have carbs that you may have to count for in your carb intake.

This doesn’t mean that you have to strain yourself with measuring and documenting your carb intake.

You can also find a lot of recipes online to make your sauces if you want to be careful around pre-made options.

Here are spices, condiment, and sauce options for keto:

  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Hot Sauce
  • Sauerkraut (there are low or no sugar added options)
  • Relish (there are low or no sugar added options)
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Ketchup (there are low or no sugar added options like G. Hudges)
  • Mustard
  • Mariana Sauce (there are low or no sugar added options like Rao’s)
  • Horseradish
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Coconut Aminos
  • Green Goddess Dressing
  • BBQ Sauce (there are low or no sugar added options)
  • Steak Sauce (there are low or no sugar added options)
  • Mayonnaise (made with avocado oil)
  • Ranch Salad Dressings
  • Caesar Salad Dressings
  • Unsweetened Vinaigrette Salad Dressings
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Cilantro
  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Sea salt (table salt is okay, but it can come mixed with dextrose)

Sweeteners You Can Use

The following sweeteners are options to consider replacing sugar in your keto diet. For more information check out this article.

  • Stevia: Stevia is a natural sweetener that has little calories or carbs. Some studies show that it can help lower glucose levels. [35]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2900484/ It is available in multiple places in both liquid and powder form. My experience with Stevia is that you need less Stevia compared to sugar for things to taste sweet.
  • Sucralose: This sweetener is artificial, but like fiber, your body does not digest it. Don’t use it for baking though, because studies show that it isn’t safe at high temperatures. [36]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4397539/ Splenda is a popular sweetener that has sucralose. However, Splenda also has maltodextrin and dextrose, two sweeteners that aren’t as keto-friendly.
  • Erythritol: Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that is about 80% as sweet as sugar. Like Stevia, it can be found in a variety of forms. Erythritol is also shown to lower glucose absorption in the body. [37]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28770335 You can use this sweetener in a variety of ways, but it is known to have a cooling effect.
  • Monk Fruit Sweetener: This sweetener comes from the monk fruit plant. Experts say that it can be at least 100 times sweeter than sugar and has no calories or carbs. [38]https://www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/additional-information-about-high-intensity-sweeteners-permitted-use-food-united-states Researchers found that Monk Fruit can help manage glucose levels. [39]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21351724

Beverages To Drink

water poured in a glass
Image by ExplorerBob from Pixabay

We have talked about the foods that you can eat on the ketogenic diet.

It is essential not to forget about what drinks you can have as well.

When you enter ketosis, your body will initially lose a lot of electrolytes and nutrients.

Besides the foods that you eat, what you drink can help you replenish these losses.

Here is what you can drink on the keto diet: [40]https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto/foods

  • Water: This is the most important drink, no matter what diet plan you are on. The recommendations are that you drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day. You can have it naturally or as sparling water. You can also add salt to your water to replenish your sodium levels based on this study. [41]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2633336/
  • Coffee: You can still have coffee on the keto diet. The problem you may encounter is what you might want to add to it. Adding small amounts of milk and cream is okay. You can also try bulletproof coffee found here.
  • Bone Broth: this drink is full of vitamins and nutrients. People commonly consume it when they enter ketosis to replenish their energy and electrolytes. A home-made broth is usually better than commercial options. Check out this recipe!
  • Tea: from what I can find, there doesn’t seem to be a limit in this category. You should be careful that the teas that you buy don’t have any hidden added sugars to be safe. Try not to add sugar yourself as well. Your options include black, green, orange, mint, and herbal.
  • Milk from Nuts: You can find the unsweetened versions of these drinks. Your options include coconut and almond milk.
  • Alcohol: It might be surprising considering many other diets don’t allow them. Hard liquors such as vodka, rum, tequila, gin, and whiskey are consumed in their unsweetened and unflavored options. Unsweetened and unflavored champagne, dry red and white wine are the safest wine options. Lighter beers like Bud Select are better, but most beers are like drinking bread because they are high in carbs.
  • Diet sodas: if you see their labels, they usually have 0 to no net carbs. However, you have to be careful with what kinds of sweeteners they use.
  • Drink enhancers: these are products that you can add to water because they can help increase electrolyte levels. Your options include Mio and Crystal Light. I have personally used both of these options, and they have a decent range of flavors.

What You Can Not Eat on the Keto Diet

Now, we talk about the foods that you cannot eat.

For general guidelines, you are avoiding foods that have more carbs than fats or proteins.

For foods that contain mostly carbs, these foods you want to avoid have more carbs than a 20 gram or less limit can accommodate.

Grains

This is a big one that you have to avoid.

After all, grains are a significant component of foods found in many countries.

Growing grains was also a significant development in our human history of civilization.

All grain products are mostly carbohydrates, and they usually contain a lot of those carbs.

So you are better off avoiding grains altogether to meet your low-carb goals.

And yes, I am also talking about whole-grain options.

Here are the grains that you need to avoid: [42]https://perfectketo.com/ketogenic-diet-foods-to-avoid/

  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Oats
  • Maize
  • Pumpernickel
  • Brown Rice
  • Millet
  • Sorghum
  • Bulgur
  • Amaranth
  • Sprouted Grains
  • Buckwheat

Not only do you need to avoid these grains, but you also need to avoid the foods made from them. These include the foods below:

  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Oatmeal
  • Crackers
  • Couscous
  • Pizza
  • Porridge
  • Flour
  • Popcorn
  • Rice
  • Tortillas
  • Bagels
  • Cookies
  • Muesli

Vegetables To Avoid

potatoes in brown bag laid on soft brown soil
Image by Couleur from Pixabay

Are there vegetables you need to avoid on the keto diet?

Yes, there are.

Like I said above, most vegetables are made-up entirely of carbs.

So, there are low-carb options, and there are high-carbs options.

Usually, the vegetables are grown below the ground are the ones you want to avoid on the ketogenic diet.

Some of these vegetables are typically categorized as “tubers.”

Here are vegetables you want to avoid: [43]https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto/vegetables#below-ground

There are some vegetables marked with a star that may fall into the gray area. They are under 10 grams of net carbs. If you choose to eat them, you have to watch your carb count:

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Onions (caramelized, grilled, or sauteed)
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Pumpkin
  • Yams
  • Cassava
  • Ginger
  • Red Cabbage*
  • Mushrooms*
  • Butternut Squash
  • Acorn Squash
  • Carrots*
  • Parsnip
  • Beetroot*
  • Celeriac*
  • Rutabaga*
  • Leek

Fruit To Avoid

sliced mango
Image by Ancelin Bonnet from Pixabay

While fruits are usually a great addition to your life, on keto, most fruits will have to be left out.

Many fruits and berries contain a lot of carbs. Those carbs come from their natural sugars and give them their sweet taste.

To keep your ketosis, avoiding fruits will be something you might have to consider.

As a general guideline, the larger or sweeteners the fruit is, the more sugar it is likely to contain. And the more you need to avoid it.

In the foods you can eat section, we talked about eating berries in moderation.

Moderation means in small amounts.

Other than that, people avoid most fruits.

This is also including their juice forms.

Fruits To Avoid On Ketogenic Diet

The difficulty with coming up with this list is that some of these fruits are low enough in carbs. If you make adjustments elsewhere, you might be able to have them in moderation still. Those fruits are starred: [44]https://www.ruled.me/best-low-carb-fruits-avoid/

  • Casaba Melon*
  • Apples
  • Watermelon*
  • Cantaloupe*
  • Bananas
  • Honeydew Melon*
  • Grapes
  • Plum*
  • Lemon*
  • Lime*
  • Nectarines
  • Grapefruit
  • Raisins
  • Mango
  • Dates
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Pineapple
  • Peach*
  • Oranges

Beans & Legumes

a bunch of black eyed peas
Image by methodshop from Pixabay

Beans and legumes like grains are a central part of diets around the world.

In any other diet, their consumption would be encouraged because they are known to have many health benefits.

Some of these benefits include reducing your risk of heart disease. [45]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/17634169/

Beans and legumes are also high in fiber (the carbs you don’t count).

The problem is that they also have a lot of carbs that you do have to count.

Even if you consume 1 cup of them, you might be going over your daily 20 grams of carbs.

These are some of the beans and legumes to avoid on the keto diet: [46]https://www.atkins.com/how-it-works/library/articles/helpful-tips-ketogenic-foods-to-avoid

  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Baked beans
  • Lima beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Cannellini beans
  • Great Northern beans
  • Navy beans
  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney beans
  • Adzuki beans

I will mention that some of those beans above like lima beans can be taken on the keto diet if you keep them in moderation.

However, since beans are an essential component of many cultures, there is a tendency to overeat them.

You don’t want to do that on the keto diet.

Drinks to Avoid

In general, the drinks that you want to avoid are the ones that contain added sugars and carbs.

These additions will jack up your carb count in no time if you aren’t careful.

Here are some beverages to avoid on the keto diet: [47]https://www.atkins.com/how-it-works/library/articles/helpful-tips-ketogenic-foods-to-avoid

  • Hot Chocolate
  • Lemonade
  • Cow Milk (any form)
  • Orange Juice
  • Apple Juice
  • Soda (that aren’t diet or low-carb)
  • Vitamin Water
  • Sports Drinks (that aren’t sugarfree or low-carb)
  • Ginger Ale
  • Vegetable Juice
  • Sweet Wines
  • Flavored Alcohols
  • Grape Soda
  • Mocha
  • Sweetened Iced Tea
  • Frappuccino
  • Root Beer
  • Colas
  • Margaritas
  • Cocktails
  • Regular Beers (not including the light beers)

Eating Real Food

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

This has been a long list of foods and drinks that you can both eat and avoid on the ketogenic diet.

In order to experience many of the great health benefits during your keto diet, try to focus on eating good quality and natural food and drinks.

Natural is always better than processed.

In addition, it is important to learn how to correctly read nutrition labels so that you are able to keep the right portion control.

To learn more about how to do this effectively, check out this article here.

I hope you enjoyed this article!

If you have any comments or questions, let me know down below!

Like what you read? Share with your friends!

References   [ + ]

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