While following a ketogenic diet, it is very important to ensure that you eat within the restrictions of the diet. This is vital for the individual to be able to remain in a state of ketosis.
Getting out of ketosis can be as simple as eating one or two foods that aren’t recommended on the diet. Getting back into ketosis, however, is another story entirely. This can often take days or weeks, depending on how strict you become when you go back on the diet.
Meals in a ketogenic diet made up of three basic types of food. These are the:
- fruit or vegetable
- protein-rich foods
- fat source
Ketogenic diets by nature involve consuming higher amounts of dietary fat. They can come as part of the cooking process or as sauces and dressings.
The best types of fats are medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These include both MCT oil and coconut oil. Medium chain triglycerides are easily metabolized to produce ketones. Some other equally good fats for ketosis include:
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
Salmon, Seafood, Trout, Tuna
Monounsaturated and saturated fats
Olive oil, Avocado, Butter, Cheese, Red palm oil, Egg yolks
Non-hydrogenated oils (when cooking)
Coconut oil, beef tallow, non-hydrogenated bacon
Safflower Oils, Sunflower Oils
Other sources of fat:
Chicken skin, Coconut butter, Peanut butter, Fat in meats
When shopping for your protein foods, always try to choose grass-fed, organic, and humanely raised wild-caught meats and seafood. In addition to offering more nutrients, they have not been exposed to additional hormones, antibiotics, and other potential toxins.
The keto diet basically accepts any type of meat. There is no discrimination on the type of cut or preparation.
Veal, Goat, Lamb, Pork, Veal, Venison
The diet also allows any type of bird. You can improve the content of the food by leaving the skin on. However, breading and batter should not be used in poultry preparation, as they are often high in carbohydrates. Other than that, you can prepare your poultry however you like.
Chicken, Duck, Hen, Goose, Ostrich, Partridge, Pheasant, Quail, Squab, Turkey
Another great source of protein is seafood. Seafood is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. They also have high amounts of minerals and vitamins to help keep you well-nourished and healthy.
Clams, Crabs, Lobsters, Mussels, Oysters, Prawns, Scallops, Shrimp, Conch
Fish have good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. You should look for fish that are caught in the wild and also in mercury free areas.
Ahi, catfish, cod, flounder, halibut, herring, lobster, mackerel, mahi mahi, mussel, salmon, sardines, scallops, snapper, squid, swordfish, trout, tuna, walleye
Vegetables are the main source of carbohydrates on a ketogenic diet. When shopping for vegetables, always opt for organically grown vegetables. Also, dark leafy vegetables contain the least amount of carbohydrates with good nutritional value.
Arugula, asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, kale, endive, garlic, kale, kelp, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, radishes, seaweed, spinach, chard, watercress
Milk and Dairy Products
These are very essential in a ketogenic diet. Organic and grass-fed sources are more preferable. The full-fat variety is more suitable for the keto diet than the fat-free and low-fat varieties.
Butter, Cheddar, Crème fraîche, Heavy cream, Mozzarella, Sour cream, Cream cheese, Mascarpone cheese, Cheeses, Hard cheeses
Moderate amounts of nuts and seeds are allowed on the keto diet. Nuts and seeds are high in protein, fat, and carbohydrates. The total fat, protein, and carbohydrate content of nut varieties should be checked and added to the total daily calorie calculation.
Roasted nuts and seeds are best. Anything that could cause harm or interfere with ketosis in the body has been removed through the roasting process.
Nuts should be used primarily as a snack.
Almonds, macadamia and walnuts are some of the best
Some nuts are high in omega-6 fatty acids which can cause inflammation in the body.
However, they can prevent some people from reaching their goals. If your weight loss is purely your purpose of using the ketogenic diet, then it would be advisable to eliminate nuts and seeds to improve your results.
Almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pili, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts
herbs and spices
After a while on the keto diet, food can start to get boring. However, adding spices to your meals can help spice things up. You can add fresh and dried spices to your meals and even drinks to make them more appealing and exciting to the taste buds.
Spices and fresh herbs are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet that you can eat. Adding spices to your food not only adds more flavors to meals but also offers many health benefits for your body.
Spices contain carbohydrates, so make sure you add them to your daily carbohydrate count. Also, make an effort to check the labels of premade spice mixes for their exact carbohydrate content, as they typically contain added sugars.
Salt also enhances flavors. It is best to use high-quality sea salt instead of traditional table salt. Raw salts, such as Celtic or Himalayan sea salt, provide you with more than eight minerals your body needs to function optimally.
Anise, Annatto, Basil, Bay leaf, Black pepper, Caraway cardamom, Cayenne pepper, Celery seed, Chervil, Chili pepper, Chives, Cilantro, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cilantro, Cumin, Curry, Dill, Fenugreek, Galangal, Garlic, Ginger, Lemongrass, Licorice, Mace, Marjoram, Mint, Mustard Seeds, Oregano, Paprika, Parsley, Spearmint, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Spearmint, Star Anise, Tarragon, Thyme, Turmeric, Vanilla Beans
Adding artificial sweeteners to your meals can help curb cravings for carbohydrates and sweets. Sweeteners help many people adhere to the ketogenic diet.
However, natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and agave spike your blood sugar levels, which not only causes inflammation, but can also kick you out of ketosis.
Always choose the liquid form of sweeteners as they do not have binders like dextrose and maltodextrin. Dextrose is an anti-caking agent and is a form of sugar. Maltodextrin, on the other hand, is a bulking agent that has a higher glycemic index (110) than table sugar (52).
The following is a list of recommended sweeteners that have little effect on blood sugar.
Allulose, combined sweeteners (Swerve, Lakanto, Sukrin), erythritol, monk fruit, stevia, stevia glycerite (a thick liquid form of stevia), sucralose, xylitol
Using a low carb diet like the ketogenic diet has a diuretic effect on the body. Carbohydrates draw water to them, which causes water retention in the body. However, reduced carbohydrate intake on a ketogenic diet leads to high water loss, as less water is retained in the body and more is excreted.
This diuretic effect can easily lead to dehydration. Therefore, you should drink plenty of water, well above the recommended intake of 8 glasses, when you are on a ketogenic diet. This will help you reduce the risk of bladder pain and urinary tract infections.
In addition to water, you can add other types of drinks like coffee and tea to help keep you hydrated throughout the day. Both do not significantly affect the state of ketosis.
However, added substances like sugar and milk can affect the state of ketosis. As a result, it would be better to avoid sugar altogether and use artificial sweeteners or cream along with your coffee or tea.
Another way to increase your beverage intake is to make vegetable juice by combining varieties of the approved types of vegetables. You can also use energy shakes or protein shakes instead of fruit shakes, as fruits contain sugars (fructose) that can kick you out of ketosis.
Here are some additional drinks you can have to help keep you hydrated:
Unsweetened almond milk, Unsweetened cashew milk, Unsweetened coconut milk, Unsweetened hemp milk, Green tea, Herbal tea, Organic American coffee (espresso with water), Mineral water.