If you want to get the most out of your Keto diet, you need to know the healthiest Keto foods. Eating the right foods on the Keto diet can help you reach your weight loss goals and improve your overall health. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of eating Keto-friendly foods, the foods to avoid on a Keto diet, the healthiest Keto foods, and the best snacks and treats for a Keto diet.
An Overview of the Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet, or Keto for short, is a low-carb, high-fat diet. It’s based on a process called ketosis, in which your body burns fat instead of carbs for energy. This process can lead to rapid weight loss and other health benefits.
The Standard ketogenic diet (SKD) usually comprises of a macronutrient ratio of 70 percent of fat, 20 percent of protein, and only 10 percent of carbohydrates. This combination of low-carb and high-fat helps your body reach a state of ketosis quickly.
When your body is in ketosis, it begins to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs. This increases your metabolism and helps you burn fat more quickly. It also reduces your appetite and helps you feel fuller for longer periods of time.
Benefits of Eating Keto-Friendly Foods
There are many benefits to eating Keto-friendly foods.
First, eating a low-carb diet can help you lose weight more quickly than a traditional low-calorie diet. Consuming healthy high fat foods on Keto increases fat oxidation and decreases appetite which will help you lose weight.
According to a research conducted in 2018, individuals who adhered to a Keto diet lost, on average, slightly more weight, approximately 0.9kg, compared to those following low-fat diets over a period of 12 to 24 months.
It also helps reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by reducing your blood sugar levels.
A research from 2015 discovered that a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet was able to significantly improve blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes, leading to the discontinuation or reduction of diabetes medication in the majority of participants
Eating a Keto diet can also help reduce inflammation in the body. This can have a positive effect on your overall health and can help reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as cancer.
An research study carried out in 2015 revealed that the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate may have a preventive effect against various inflammatory illnesses by blocking the NLRP3 inflammasome.
Additionally, Keto-friendly foods can help boost energy levels and mental clarity, and can even improve your mood.
A recent study from 2020 has shown that ketone bodies could have a protective effect on the brain of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. This is positive news for anyone looking to enhance their brain health and cognitive functioning
Healthy Fats and Oils for a Keto Diet
Fats and oils are an important part of the Keto diet. They provide energy and help keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. Healthy fats and oils to include in your diet include:
Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fat, which have been shown to have a number of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease.
According to the USDA, 1 tablespoon (14g) of olive oil contains: 124 kcal; 2g of saturated fat, 10 g of monounsaturated fat, and 1g of polyunsaturated fat, 0g of carbohydrates, protein and sugar. Extra virgin olive oil is the best version according to a study.
Coconut oil contains a type of saturated fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are metabolized differently than the long-chain triglycerides found in animal products and are easily converted into ketones by the liver. Coconut oil is also rich in lauric acid, which has been shown to have a number of health benefits.
According to USDA, one tablespoon (11.6 grams) of coconut oil contains 103.5 calories, zero grams of carbohydrates, 11.5 grams of fat, and no protein
Avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fats and is also rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against damage from free radicals.
1 tbsp (14 g) of avocado oil contains 124 kcal; monounsaturated fats 9.88g, polyunsaturated fat 1.89g, saturated fat 1.62 g with zero grams of net carbs, Protein and Fiber according to USDA
Grass-fed Butter and Ghee
Grass-fed Butter and ghee are good sources of saturated fats, which are important for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. They also contain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to have a number of health benefits.
A 100g serving of butter contains 717 calories, 81g of fat, 51g of saturated fat, 0.9g of carbohydrates, and 0.9g of protein according to USDA database.
When cooking with fats and oils, it’s important to choose the right type for the job. For example, olive oil is best for low-heat cooking, while coconut oil is better for high-heat cooking.
Proteins To Eat on a Healthy Keto Diet
Protein is an important part of the Keto diet. It helps your body build and maintain muscle mass, and it also helps keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. Make sure you’re getting enough protein. The general rule of thumb is to aim for at least 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. That means if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be eating at least 120 grams of protein per day. Some of the best proteins to include in your diet include:
Grass-fed, pasture-raised meats
Meats such as beef, pork, lamb, and bison are high in protein and fat, making them great choices for a ketogenic diet. For example, a 100g serving of ground beef (80% lean, 20% fat) contains around 254 calories, 7.58g of saturated fat, 8.85g of monounsaturated fat, 0g of carbohydrates, and 17.2g of protein according to USDA database
Chicken and turkey are also great choices for a ketogenic diet, as they are high in protein and relatively low in carbohydrates.
Fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, are rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids and are also a great source of protein.
Grass-fed eggs are another great source of protein for a ketogenic diet. A large-size egg (50g) contains 70 calories, 6g of protein, 0g of carbohydrates, 1.6g of monounsaturated fat, 1.8g of unsaturated fats according to USDA
Healthy Vegetables to Include on a Keto Diet
Vegetables are a cornerstone of any healthy, balanced diet, and that holds true with the Keto Diet too. They provide essential vitamins and minerals, and they’re also low in carbs. Some of the best vegetables to include in your diet include:
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and arugula are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Spinach, for example, is a good source of vitamin K, vitamin A, and folate. Kale is also high in vitamin K and vitamin C.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium.
Cauliflower is another cruciferous vegetable that is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. It can be used as a low-carb substitute for rice or mashed potatoes.
Asparagus is a green vegetable that is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, vitamin K, and folate.
Bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants.
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium, as well as antioxidants such as lycopene. They are also relatively low in calories. One medium-sized tomato contains about 4 grams of carbohydrates.
Mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins, potassium, and antioxidants. They are also relatively low in calories. One cup of sliced mushrooms contains about 2 grams of carbohydrates.
Zucchini is a summer squash that is low in carbohydrates and high in vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants.
Eggplant is a low-carb vegetable that is high in fiber and antioxidants.
When shopping for veggies for your Keto Diet, opt for those that are organic if you can – this helps guarantee quality and reduce exposure to toxins commonly found in conventionally farmed produce. Additionally, always check the label to make sure the vegetables are free of added sugars or other unhealthy ingredients.
Healthy Fruits, Nuts, and Seeds to Include on a Keto Diet
When it comes to the healthiest Keto foods, you’ll want to reach for fruits, nuts, and seeds. They are a great way to add flavor and nutrients to your meals, but some should be eaten in moderation because of high carb content
Keto Fruits are low in carbohydrates but full of antioxidants and fiber. You’ll want to stick with whole fruit instead of juicing or drinking smoothies as those forms can introduce added sugars that are not part of the Keto diet plan.
Keto Nuts are a great source of healthy fats and proteins and require no prep – simply grab a handful for an easy snack
Keto Seeds can provide healthy fats. Try adding them on top of salads or bowls to add a crunchy texture or blend them into smoothies for an extra boost of nutrition.
Some of the best fruits, nuts, and seeds to include in your diet include:
Berries such as raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are low in carbohydrates and high in antioxidants. A 100g serving of raspberries contains 1.5g of fat, 7g of fiber, and 54mg of potassium.
Nuts such as almonds, macadamia nuts, and pecans are high in healthy fats and protein. A 100g serving of almonds contains 14g of fat, 6g of fiber, and 270mg of potassium.
Seeds such as chia seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds are high in healthy fats, protein, and fiber. A 100g serving of chia seeds contains 30g of fat, 34g of fiber, and 531mg of potassium.
Coconut is a great source of healthy fats and medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are easy to digest and can be converted into ketones quickly. A 100g serving of coconut contains 34g of fat, 3g of fiber, and 356mg of potassium.
Healthy Dairy Products to Include on a Keto Diet
While dairy can be off-limits for certain individuals, if you don’t have any adverse reactions, then there are many delicious and nutritious options when it comes to dairy that are Keto-friendly. Dairy products are also a great source of protein, healthy fats, and other important nutrients
Dairy products are allowed on a Keto diet, but it’s important to choose the right kind. You should look for high-fat dairy products. These products are high in healthy fats and can help keep you feeling full for longer periods of time.
Healthy dairy products for a Keto diet include:
Hard cheeses such as cheddar, gouda, and parmesan are high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates. A 100g serving of cheddar cheese contains 30g of fat, 0g of carbohydrates, and 25g of protein.
Butter is a great source of healthy fats and contains minimal carbohydrates. A 100g serving of butter contains 81g of fat, 0g of carbohydrates, and 0.9g of protein.
Heavy cream is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, making it an ideal choice for a Keto diet. A 100g serving of heavy cream contains 34g of fat, 2.9g of carbohydrates, and 2.8g of protein.
Sour cream is a good source of healthy fats and contains minimal carbohydrates. A 100g serving of sour cream contains 21g of fat, 2.5g of carbohydrates, and 2.5g of protein.
Full-Fat Greek Yogurt:
Plain Greek yogurt is high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates. A 100g serving of full-fat Greek yogurt contains 6g of fat, 4g of carbohydrates, and 10g of protein.
Healthy Beverages on a Keto Diet
When following the Keto diet, it’s important to choose the right beverages. You should be aware that while some beverages are healthy options for a Keto diet, it’s essential to be mindful of the added sweeteners or artificial sweeteners as they can increase the carbohydrate intake and affect the ketogenic state.
Healthy beverages on a Keto diet include:
Water is the most important and essential beverage for anyone, especially for those on a Keto diet as it helps to keep the body hydrated, flushes out toxins and supports the body’s metabolism. It has no calories, no carbohydrates and no other nutritional values.
Tea such as green tea, black tea and herbal teas are also good options for a Keto diet as they contain no carbohydrates or calories. They also contain antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that can help to improve overall health.
Bone broth is a rich source of collagen, amino acids, and minerals that are beneficial for gut health, skin, hair, and nail health. A 100ml of bone broth contains 2.6g of protein, 0.2g of carbohydrates, and 0.2g of fat.
Coconut milk is a rich source of healthy fats and medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are easy to digest and can be converted into ketones quickly. A 100ml of coconut milk contains 4.5g of fat, 1.1g of carbohydrates, and 0.2g of protein.
Unsweetened almond milk
Almond milk contains a low amount of carbohydrates and it’s a good source of healthy fats. A 100ml of unsweetened almond milk contains 2g of fat, 0.5g of carbohydrates and 1g of protein.
Lemon water is an excellent source of Vitamin C and antioxidants. It’s also a great way to improve digestion and detoxify the body. A 100ml of lemon water contains 5.5g of carbohydrates, 0.1g of fat, and 0.5g of protein.
Keto-Friendly Snacks and Treats
Snacking on a Keto diet can be tricky, but there are some great options available. Some of the best Keto-friendly snacks and treats include:
Hard-boiled eggs are a great source of protein and healthy fats, making them an ideal Keto snack. A large hard-boiled egg contains 6g of protein, 5g of fat, and 0g of carbohydrates.
Olives are a great source of healthy fats and are low in carbohydrates. A 100g serving of olives contains 15g of fat, 2g of protein, and 3g of carbohydrates.
Cheese such as Parmesan cheese and Cheddar cheese are a great source of protein and healthy fats. A 1 oz. serving of cheddar cheese contains 7g of protein, 9g of fat, and 0g of carbohydrates.
Nuts such as almonds, macadamia nuts, and pecans are high in healthy fats and protein, making them a great Keto snack. A 100g serving of almonds contains 14g of fat, 6g of fiber, and 270mg of potassium.
Coconut flakes are a great source of healthy fats and are low in carbohydrates. A 100g serving of coconut flakes contains 34g of fat, 3g of fiber, and 356mg of potassium.
There are a lot of Keto chocolate available in the market that are made with low-carb sweeteners and are high in healthy fats, making them a great Keto-friendly treat. You can choose a keto-friendly dark chocolate as a snack. However, it’s important to check the label and choose a dark chocolate that is high in cocoa solids (70% or higher) and low in added sugars or artificial sweeteners
Keto-friendly ice cream
Some Keto-friendly ice cream is made with low-carb sweeteners and are high in healthy fats, making them a great Keto-friendly treat.
Keto Diet Foods To Avoid
Now, let’s talk about foods you should generally avoid on a Keto diet. Generally speaking, you want to stay away from highly-processed, sugary foods and drinks, as they are packed with refined carbs. Things to avoid include: most breads and pastas, candy and desserts, processed sodas and other sweet beverages, artificial sweeteners, certain condiments like ketchup and BBQ sauce, processed meats, some fruits and starchy vegetables (like potatoes and apples), most grains, beans and legumes.
You should also avoid alcohol on a Keto diet since the majority of alcoholic drinks are high in sugar or carbs. Lastly, be careful with “low-carb” products — many of them still add significant amounts of sugar or carbs to your daily intake. When in doubt — read the label!
The Keto diet is a great way to lose weight and improve your overall health. To get the most out of the diet, it’s important to eat the healthiest Keto foods. Eating a variety of healthy fats, proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds can help you reach your weight loss goals and improve your overall health. So, if you’re looking for the healthiest Keto foods, make sure to include these in your diet.