Following a low-carb diet may be a challenging task especially for those who are new to it. The keto diet basically follows a low-carb diet approach where the focus is not just on eating food low in carbs but eating real and healthy food. If you have decided to try this diet and probably you do not know what to eat, this keto diet menu guide should get you started. While this diet may feel a little strict at times, it is actually the simplest diet you will ever find.
What To Eat During The Keto Diet
Here is a list of some of the most identifiable foods that people on a ketogenic diet use.
1. Fats and Oils
When you are on a keto diet, fats will be a major source of your daily calorie intake and can be combined in several different ways, either as dressings or sauces depending on your likes and dislikes. As much as fats play a vital role in your body, they can also be a health risk if you consume too much of the unhealthy types. Here is an overview of the fats to eat and those to avoid:
- Trans fats: These are mostly processed fats that you should avoid completely since they are hydrogenated (chemically altered) in order to improve their shelf life. These includes fats such as margarine that are linked to heart disease.
- Polyunsaturated Fats: It is important to understand the difference between processed polyunsaturated fats and those that occur naturally. Fatty fish and animal protein are great sources of the naturally occurring types which are good for you. However, the processed polyunsaturated fats such as those found in margarine spreads should be avoided as they are not good for you.
- Monounsaturated Fats: Examples of these types of fat include macadamia nut oils, avocado and olive oils. Add these to your keto diet menu.
- Saturated Fats: Coconut oil, butter, lard and ghee are good examples. These too are good for you.
2. Vegetables and Fruit
The keto diet is all about sticking to a low-carb so you will want to eat foods that have a less amount of carbs. While vegetables are an important part of a keto diet, some are high in sugar. A ketogenic diet requires that you consume those vegetables that are low in carbohydrates and have a high nutrient content. These are mostly dark and leafy and includes kale or spinach. As much as possible look out for the cruciferous vegetables that are green and leafy and are grown above ground. You can also consume the vegetables that are grown underground but in moderation. Choose your vegetables carefully and use them based on their carb counts. Limit your intake of the following:
- Large fruits such as bananas and potatoes as well as starchy vegetables. In fact, avoid these completely.
- Citrus such as orange juice, lime and lemon (in water or recipes).
- Berries such as blueberries, blackberries and rasp berries.
- Nightshades such as pepper, eggplant and tomato.
- Higher carb vegetables such as garlic, squash, mushrooms, parsnip and onion.
While you are on a ketogenic diet, limit your consumption of unhealthy sources of protein. Choose those that are grass-fed and pasture-raised as this minimizes your intake of steroid hormone and bacteria. Go for the darker meat such as poultry which is fattier than the white meat. Fatty fish is also an excellent source of omega 3. There is not much to avoid when it comes to your red meat but sausages and cured meats may sometimes contain processed ingredients and added sugars. If you decide to eat steak, try to go for a cut of ribeye which is fattier. Some of your best sources of protein while on a keto diet include:
- Fish (Fattier is better)
- Whole eggs
- Shellfish (Lobster, oyster, squid, crab etc)
- Nut butter
- Turkey, Lamb and Goat
4. Dairy Products
Consumption of dairy products should be kept to a minimal level but organic and raw dairy products are the most preferred in a keto diet. Those that are highly processed may contain a considerable amount of carbohydrates and that is what you are trying to avoid. Ensure that you go for the full fat products as opposed to low-fat or fat-free that may contain more carbs. Here are examples of dairy products you can use on a keto diet:
- Hard cheese
- Soft cheese such as mozzarella
- Spreadables such as cream cheese or cottage cheese
- Heavy whipping cream
- Greek yogurt
Adhering to the keto diet food ratio can be extremely difficult especially for beginners since choosing the right proportions of what to eat is something that one takes some time to learn. But gradually, you will be able to learn and achieve the success that you desire.