Fitness

Keto Diet Food Guide

A Complete Keto Diet Food Guide to Follow

If you’re looking to get a jump start on your health and fitness goals this year, you may be thinking about trying the ketogenic diet. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase before — it’s a huge diet buzzword — but aren’t sure what it means. Here’s the deal, the ketogenic diet is an eating plan that drives your body into ketosis, a state where your body uses fats as a primary fuel source (instead of carbs).

Wondering what fits into a keto diet — and what doesn’t? Here are some basic guidelines to help you start your meal planning.

Protein

Liberally: (That said, ketogenic diets aren’t high in protein, they focus on fat, so these should all be consumed in moderation.)

  • Grass-fed beef
  • Fish, especially fatty fish, like salmon
  • Dark meat chicken

Occasionally:

  • Bacon
  • Low-fat proteins, like skinless chicken breast and shrimp. These are great to include in your keto diet, but add a sauce on top for some fat rather than eating plain.

Never:

  • Cold cuts with added sugar (read the label!)
  • Meat that has been marinated in sugary sauces
  • Fish or chicken nuggets

Oil and Fat

Liberally:

  • Avocado oil
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Butter
  • Heavy cream

Occasionally: (Limit your consumption, which should be easy to do when avoiding packaged foods, which these are often found in.)

  • Sunflower oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Corn oil

Never:

  • Margarine
  • Artificial trans fats

Fruits and Veggies

Liberally:

  • Avocado
  • Leafy greens, like spinach and arugula
  • Celery
  • Asparagus

Occasionally: (These are still great choices, but you’ll also need to count these carbs.)

  • Leeks
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Eggplant

Never:

  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Raisins

Nuts and Seeds

Liberally:

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Flaxseed and chia seeds

Occasionally:

  • Unsweetened nut butters (almond or peanut butter)
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios

Never:

  • Trail mixes with dried fruit
  • Sweetened nut or seed butters
  • Chocolate-covered nuts

Dairy Products

Liberally:

  • Cheddar cheese
  • Blue cheese
  • Feta cheese

Occasionally:

  • Full-fat cottage cheese
  • Full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • Full-fat ricotta cheese

Never:

  • Milk
  • Sweetened nonfat yogurt
  • Ice cream

Sweeteners

Liberally: Practice moderation with sweeteners.

Occasionally:

  • Stevia
  • Erythritol
  • Xylitol

Never:

  • Agave
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • White and brown sugars

Condiments and Sauces

Liberally:

  • Guacamole
  • Lemon butter sauce
  • Mayonnaise (ensure there’s no sugar added)

Occasionally:

  • Raw garlic
  • Tomato sauce (look for those with no added sugar)
  • Balsamic vinegar

Never:

  • Barbecue sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Honey mustard

Drinks

Liberally:

  • Water
  • Almond milk
  • Bone broth
  • Plain tea

Occasionally:

  • Black coffee (watch caffeine consumption)
  • Unsweetened carbonated water (limit only if bubbles make you bloated)
  • Zero-calorie drinks

Never:

  • Soda
  • Fruit juice
  • Lemonade

Herbs and Spices

Liberally: (All herbs and spices fit in a keto diet, but if you’re using large amounts, Mancinelli recommends counting the carbs.)

  • Salt (salt foods to taste)
  • Pepper
  • Thyme, oregano, paprika, and cayenne

Occasionally: (These are still great choices, but contain some carbs.)

  • Ground ginger
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder

Never:

  • Herbs and spices are generally okay to use in small amounts to add flavor to foods.

Supplements

Consider taking:

  • Fiber
  • Multivitamin

Optional: (These help you produce ketones more quickly, but Mancinelli says she has no opinion either way on recommending you take them or not.)

  • MCT oil
  • Exogenous ketones

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