The ketogenic diet or as many people choose to refer to it as; the Keto diet or low carbohydrate diet is about eating plenty of protein and fats but fewer carbs. The dietary plan makes the body send the fats that any of us take into the liver, that transform it into energy to maintain the body strong and energetic for an extended period without feeling exhausted quickly.
What is keto?
The term ketogenic comes from the definition of “ketosis” meaning the condition of the body when it doesn’t have sufficient glucose in it to convert it into energy, thus it creates ketones that work as an incredible energy source for both the body and the brain rendering it an excellent choice for reducing weight in a quickly.
The keto diet shuns you from eating a lot of carbs which can be the primary reason for putting on the weight considering that the sugar causes you to be hungry more often than not. Whenever you take in carbohydrates with small portions and look more on protein and fat; the body doesn’t drive you quite often to eat; instead, it utilizes those fats to fulfill your craving for food and keep you active.
If you’re searching for a diet plan that can help you slim down in a concise term, the ketogenic diet program is an ideal diet regime for you given it will not only help you attain great lean body; but besides it provides enormous health and fitness benefits.
Keto shopping list: Some great benefits of the Ketogenic Diet
Up to now, there are many effective positive aspects of the keto diet, but no adverse outcomes have shown up yet at all; making it the tasty diet plan that suits everybody. Here are some other health and fitness benefits of keto diet:
- Raises the level of HDL: Probably the most significant component of the ketogenic diet is that it increases the level of HDL in your body, which is the good cholesterol that can help in reducing the potential risk of heart diseases.
- Works well for Relieving Diabetes Type 2: By getting rid of carbs from your daily meals, you leave behind sugar and insulin since your body has what it needs, and you won’t need to be concerned about your food intake.
- Lowers High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure levels can be a disaster since it could trigger kidney failure, heart disorders, strokes…
During the keto diet, your primary eating plan will include foods high in fats in conjunction with moderate consumption of proteins and low carbohydrate daily allowance. A few of the food types allowed in this food plan consist of:
Poultry: Free-range Cornish hen, quail, goose, pheasant, chicken, duck, and turkey.
Fish and Seafood: Cod, tuna, scrod, anchovies, mackerel, flounder, catfish, trout, mahi-mahi, halibut, sole, sardines, salmon, halibut, snapper, and calamari. Always go for wild caught fish to stay away from toxins contained in commercially raised fish.
Grass-fed Meat: These include beef, venison, goat, and lamb. Meat from wildlife are also suitable; however, steer clear of sausages and meats that include sugary sauces and the ones covered in breadcrumbs. Opt for the chunks of meat with more fat because they consist of less protein and more fat.
Pork: Boston butt, pork chops, ham pork, and loin. When choosing ham, be on the lookout for added sugar.
Bacon and Sausages: Preferably, you should buy these at specialty health food stores. If this is not possible, always read the labels to avoid those which contain fillers such as soy or sugars.
Canned Tuna and Salmon: Canned tuna and salmon are okay to consume while you are on the keto diet. However, avoid seafood rich in fillers, breaded seafood, and fried seafood.
Vegetable Protein Powders: Protein supplements such as whey protein, hemp protein, pea, and rice are acceptable.
Whole Eggs: This includes chicken eggs, and quail eggs which you can prepare through any way desired; fried, soft or hard boiled, deviled, scrambled, or omelet style.
2. Fats and Oils
Because these are your main sources of energy while you are on this diet, go for the types of fats and oils you enjoy. These may include:
- Omega 3 fatty acids from fish such as tuna, shellfish, and salmon
- Fish supplements or krill
- Monounsaturated fats such as egg yolks, avocado, and butter
- Vegetable oils such as olive oil, coconut oil
- Non-hydrogenated beef tallow, ghee, and lard.
- Duck and chicken fat
In order to make it easier to stick to this diet, be aware of which types of fat your body can tolerate. Many people seem to have zero or very low tolerance of vegetable oils and mayo. This may be a good thing because most of these oils are rich in omega 6 fatty acids – the kind that is bad for your body’s cholesterol levels.
In this case, work with the listed monounsaturated fats to reduce the inflammatory effect brought about by polyunsaturated fats. Nevertheless, work to balance both fats because you cannot survive on monounsaturated fats alone (You need a lot of fats and oils). Even then, avoid hydrogenated fats such as margarine to reduce the amount of trans-fats you eat.
3. Fresh Vegetables
For these foods, opt for organic ones or better yet, grow your own to avoid all pesticide toxins. Avoid starchy vegetables (corn, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, and winter squash) that are high in carbs. Instead, opt for moderate intake of sweet vegetables (squashes, peppers, tomatoes, and carrots). Vegetables that make it to the list are:
- Collard Greens
- Onions (high in sugar; moderate intake)
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Beet Greens
- Dandelion Greens
- Bamboo Shoots
- Brussels sprouts
- Bok Choy
- Celery Root
- Swiss chard
- Snow Peas
- Bean Sprouts
- Salad greens and lettuces: Romaine, Arugula, Fennel, Bok Choy, Boston lettuce, Endive, Mache, Escarole, Sorrel, Radicchio, Chicory Water Chestnuts
- Dill Pickles
4. Dairy Products
- Mascarpone cheese
- Unsweetened whole milk yogurt (limit intake of this type of yogurt because it is a little high in carbs)
- All soft and hard cheeses
- Cream cheese
- Full fat sour cream (do not forget to check for additives)
- Full fat cottage cheese
- Heavy whipping cream
In any case, always go for raw milk products and if you do not have easy access to them, go for the organic ones.
- Bulletproof coffee
- Decaf Tea
- Flavored seltzer water
- Decaf coffee
- Herbal tea
- Lemon and lime juice (limit intake)
- Clear broth or bouillon
6. Nuts and Seeds
- Nuts: almonds, macadamias, pecans, and walnuts are the nuts with the lowest level of carbs meaning you can consume them in small amounts. Other nuts such as chestnuts, pistachios, and cashews contain a higher amount of carbs; thus, you should carefully monitor their intake. Nuts are best soaked for some time before roasted.
- Nut flours: these are necessary because while you are on this diet, it does not mean baking no longer fits into your life. Nut flours such as almond flour will suffice.
Some options include:
- Inulin and Chicory root
- Lo Han Guo
- Liquid Stevia
Here are spices allowed on the keto diet:
- Sea salt
- Chili pepper
- Cilantro or coriander seeds
- Black pepper
- Cumin seeds
- Cayenne pepper
- Mustard seeds
As you can tell from the previous exhaustive list, keto eating habits are NOT a highly-restrictive dieting way of life; it also gives you many different foods to pick from; thus, you should not feel confused.
Achieving Optimal Ketosis: Foods to Avoid
If you stick to the food listed in the previous section, you do not have to worry about not achieving optimal ketosis. On the same note, as you increase intake of those foods, you should also be on the lookout for the following foods that may hinder ketosis:
- Avoid all grains, wholemeal included (rye, wheat, oats, barley, corn, millet, rice sorghum, and buckwheat). Also, avoid all products made from grains; these include foods such as crackers, pasta, pizza, and cookies.
- Avoid refined fats and oils like sunflower, canola, grapeseed, corn oil, soybean, and Trans-fats such as margarine.
- Avoid milk (only full-fat raw milk is acceptable). For coffee, replace milk with reasonable amounts of cream.
- Avoid tropical fruits such as bananas, pineapples, mango papaya, etc., and some high carb fruit.
- Avoid fruit juice.
- Avoid factory-farmed pork and fish.
- Avoid all artificial sweeteners containing Aspartame, Sucralose, Saccharine, etc.
- Avoid alcoholic sweet drinks such as beer, and sweet wine.
- Avoid Soy products
Now that you know what to eat and what to avoid, is there a way to guarantee faster adoption of ketosis? The answer is yes. It takes 48 hours to get into ketosis. To get there, you must correctly adapt the keto diet.
1. Egg Salad
1/3 cup of finely minced white onion
½ cup of mayonnaise
12 large eggs
½-teaspoon ground mustard
2 tablespoons melted butter
1-teaspoon black pepper
1. Place eggs in a pot of water. Let this boil for 10 minutes, pour the water from the pot, and replace it with cold water. Let the eggs sit in the water for 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Take out the eggs and peel them. Using an egg slicer, chop the eggs into ¼-inch pieces. Add the remaining ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Total carbs: 1g
2. Keto Porridge
¼ cup of crushed almonds
½ cup of hemp seeds
1 tablespoon of xylitol
1 cup of non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons of freshly ground flax seeds
¾-teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½-teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon of hemp seeds
1. Mix ingredients except the topping and the almonds in a saucepan and stir well until they are properly mixed.
2. Heat this over medium heat until it begins to boil lightly. Stir once and let it cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat, add in the ground almonds, and pour into a bowl. Add toppings then serve right away.
Net carbs per serving: 4g
3. Avocado Salmon Breakfast
60 grams of wild caught smoked salmon
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
Celtic sea salt
Juice of 1 lemon
30 grams of fresh, soft goat cheese
1 ripe organic avocado
1. Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed.
2. In a food processor, process the other ingredients until coarsely chopped.
3. Place the cream inside the avocados then serve. Alternatively, you could also cut the avocados into cubes and the salmon in small pieces and mix them up together. Add the rest of the ingredients with the goat cheese and mix well.
Net carbs per serving: 4g
Keto Main Meals
4. Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3 ounces of Italian salami, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning
4 tablespoons of butter
½ cup of organic tomatoes, diced
1 large spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
1 cup of onion, diced
A handful of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
4 large pastured eggs
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup of Kalamata olives, halved
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees and place spaghetti squash on rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Spread 1 tablespoon of butter on each half and sprinkle with black pepper and salt. Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
2. As the spaghetti bakes, heat a skillet and add remaining butter to it. Once melted, add onions, garlic, pepper, and salt to taste. When the onion starts turning golden, add the salami and tomatoes.
3. Sauté for about 10 minutes and add in the olives.
4. Once done, scrape off the flesh from the spaghetti squash and mix it with the onion mixture. Create four wells in the mixture and crack an egg onto each.
5. Place pan in oven and bake the egg whites cook through. Just before serving, sprinkle some fresh parsley.
Net carbs per serving: 13.25g
5. Tuna Salad
1-tablespoon virgin olive oil
1 head lettuce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
140g of tinned tuna
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 medium spring onion
2 organic hard-boiled eggs
1. Tear up the lettuce, wash, and then drain.
2. Spread the leaves at the bottom of your serving bowl and place the shredded tuna on top.
3. Place the mayo, fresh chopped onions, and the boiled egg on top. Mix well, drizzle with olive oil and enjoy.
Net carbs per serving: 3.9g
6. Ginger Beef
2 sirloin steaks cut into strips
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1-tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 small onion
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 small diced tomatoes
1. Add oil to a skillet and cook the steak over medium-high heat until brown.
2. Once the steaks are well seared, add in tomatoes, onion, and garlic.
3. In a bowl, stir ginger, pepper, vinegar and salt and stir.
4. Cover, lower the heat and simmer until the liquid evaporates. Serve and enjoy.
Net carbs per serving: 3g
7. Keto Casserole
1 package cream cheese
½-cup low sugar ketchup
½ pound corned beef
2 cups Swiss cheese
1 can sauerkraut
½ teaspoon of caraway seeds
2 tablespoons of pickle brine
½ cup of mayo
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In low heat place pan, melt cream cheese; add ketchup and mayo.
3. After a few minutes, add the sauerkraut, beef, and Swiss cheese. Mix until the cheese melts.
4. Remove from the heat and mix with the pickle juice. Pour this into a greased dish and top with the remaining Swiss cheese.
5. Garnish with caraway seeds. Place in the oven until the cheese melts and enjoy.
Net carbs per serving: 6g
8. Keto Pork Chops
1 medium star anise
1 tablespoon of almond flour
4 boneless pork chops
½ teaspoon of five spice
½ tablespoon of sugar-free ketchup
1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
4 halved garlic cloves
½ tablespoon of chili paste
1 stalk of lemongrass
½ teaspoon of peppercorns
1-tablespoon fish sauce
1-teaspoon sesame oil
1. Put the pork chops on a flat table and use a rolling pin wrapped in wax paper to pound the pork chops into ½-inch thick pieces.
2. Grind peppercorns and anise in a blender (or mortar and pestle) to a fine powder.
3. Add the garlic and lemongrass to the blender or pound to a puree.
4. Add the fish sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, and five-spice powder then mix well.
5. Season the pork chops, place them on a tray, add the marinade, and then turn over to ensure the pork chops are well coated. Cover and leave for about 1 to 2 hours.
6. Place a pan on high heat, add oil, and then coat the pork chops lightly with almond flour.
7. Place the coated chops in the pan and cook both sides (about 2 minutes on each side).
8. When done, cut the chops into several strips.
9. To make the sauce, mix together sugar-free ketchup and chili paste. You can serve with Parmesan green beans.
Net carbs per serving: 6g
9. Zucchini Hummus
Makes 3 cups
½ cup of fresh lemon juice
1½ teaspoons of cumin
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 organic chopped zucchinis
1 teaspoon of sea salt (or to taste)
1 cup of raw tahini
½ cup of raw sesame seeds
1. Start by soaking the sesame seeds for about four hours.
2. Drain them and dump all the other ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed as you scrape the sides.
Serve with carrot or vegetable sticks.
Net carbs per cup: 3g
10. Parsnip Chips
Makes 4 cups
2 medium parsnips, peeled & sliced
Oil for frying (your choice)
1. Heat oil to 350 degrees and add parsnip chips in small chunks.
2. Cook for 20 to 30 seconds until the chips are golden brown. Place on paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt and kosher.
Net carbs per cup: 4g
11. Sugar-Free Turtles
½ cup of organic heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons of organic butter
1 cup of Swerve confectioners
2 dark chocolate bars, chopped finely
24 whole pecans
1. Heat butter in a saucepan.
2. Add cream and the swerve to the pan. Whisk until the sauce is smooth.
3. Pour it into a glass mason jar and let it cool at room temperature. Store it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
4. Once cooled a bit, place a tablespoon on a cluster of pecans and place in the fridge to set.
5. Meanwhile, chop dark chocolate bars and heat in a double boiler until chocolate melts. Drizzle this over the cool caramel covered pecans and enjoy.
Net carbs per turtle: 3.7g
12. Protein Bagel
Makes 12 bagels
¼ teaspoon of Celtic sea salt
¼ cup of melted coconut oil
½ cup of vanilla egg white protein powder
2 tablespoons of coconut flour
½ teaspoon of guar gum
2 teaspoons of blueberry extract
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix ingredients in bowl
3. Spoon the dough into a greased donut mold; place on a cookie sheet and allow them to bake.
Net carbs per bagel: 1g
13. Kale Chips with Lime
1-teaspoon soy sauce
1-teaspoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1 bunch of kale, washed well
Juice of half a lime
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Chop the stem off the kale. Break them into chip-sized pieces and thoroughly dry them.
3. In bowl, combine lime juice, Sriracha, olive oil, fish sauce, and soy sauce and mix. Taste for saltiness and hotness and adjust as desired.
4. Pour the dressing over the kale to coat the chips. Spread the leaves over 2 cookie sheets (greased) but do not overlap them.
5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes as you monitor them.
Net carbs per serving: 6g
14. Raspberry Avocado Smoothie
½ cup frozen unsweetened raspberries
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 packets swerve sweetener
1 ripe avocado
1 1/3 cups water
1. Add ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
Net carbs per serving: 4g
15. Chocolate Green Smoothie
¼ cup of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of granulated stevia (or sweetener of choice)
½ cup of frozen boysenberries (or berries of choice)
100g of spinach
1 cup of coconut cream
1. Add everything to a blender and blend.
Net carbs per serving: 5.2g
16. Vanilla Almond Milk Shake
¾ cup of unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup of vanilla protein powder
½ cup of avocado
1 cup of crushed ice
2 tablespoons of cream cheese
¼-teaspoon of mint extract
4 tablespoons of Erythritol
½ teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt (for minerals)
1 teaspoon of stevia glyceride
1. Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Net carbs per serving: 2.1g
17. Detox Smoothie
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley
1 tablespoon of Swerve
1 cup of raw cucumber, peeled then sliced
½ cup of kiwi fruit, peeled then chopped
1 cup of mixed berries
4 cups of filtered water
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger-peeled then chopped
½ Hass avocado
1 cup of romaine lettuce
1. Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve cold.
Net carbs per serving: 4g
18. Green Tea Shake
2 teaspoons of Swerve Sweetener or granulated Erythritol
½ cup of Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon of hot water
1 teaspoon of match green tea powder
½ medium avocado
¼ cup of vanilla whey protein powder
1 ¼ cups of unsweetened almond milk
1. Place in a blender and blend until smooth.
Net carbs per serving: 6.5g
19. Almond Raspberry Smoothie
½ cup red raspberries
1 tablespoon protein powder
2/3 cup almond milk
1. Combine the ingredients in a blender; pulse until smooth.
2. You can add ice as you blend. Serve immediately.
Net carbs per serving: 6.3g
Apart from a rapid weight loss, the keto diet also offers some other health benefits. Above all, you now have several delicious recipes following Top Keto Foods to try out at any time!
Variety is the spice of life. With all the various foods from which to choose, it is possible to get into the Keto Lifestyle in an effortless, easy and hassle-free manner. Turning it into a new way of life – For both physical and mental wellness.