16 Foods to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet

The keto diet plan is a global trend. In the last two decades, the use of keto recipes has increased dramatically in every country. 

Based on a U.S. survey of 300 people, more than 70% of those evaluated stated they chose a keto diet after doing their own research. While just 5% stated, they selected the diet because a nutritionist recommended it for them. 

When it comes to keto goals, weight loss was on top of their list with 84%. While 66% did it to boost their overall health. Even though there isn’t a single “standard” diet that works for everyone, most keto meals are similar across countries.

Keto is composed of very low carbs, moderate proteins, and high fats. The macronutrients you will be consuming are divided into 5%-10% carbs (such as vegetables and fruits), 30%-35% protein (eggs and meats), 55%-60% fats (dairy, nuts, seeds, etc.). That’s how it leads to nutritional ketosis.

If you want to make a keto food list, you’ve come to the right place. We selected one of the most practical keto foods you can eat on a day to day basis. Including some of the most amazing health benefits, they can offer. Especially for individuals who are looking to shed excess pounds. 

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1) Coconut Oil 

When you want to follow a keto diet, you need all the nutrients you can get. Sometimes, you will need to rely on foods that have their own unique properties. That’s where this oil comes into play. 

First, coconut is packed with MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides). They are a quick source of energy. Around 6% to 8% of coconut oil consists of caprylic acid.

According to research, this acid creates a higher ketogenic effect than any other component, making the oil much more effective than sunflower oil. Those who eat this oil can also keep their blood glucose stable and optimize their ketosis. 

But, its impact doesn’t end there. Oil from coconut could prove useful for weight loss. It can help obese individuals shed the extra belly fat. In one research, volunteers who consumed 30ml (2 tablespoons) of this oil daily lost an inch or 2.5 cm of their waistline. That makes it a practical product to add to your ketogenic diet food list.  

2) Veggies Low on Carbs

Nonstarchy vegetables like broccoli, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, artichoke, and asparagus are low in carbs and calories. They are rich in nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and disease-fighting antioxidants. 

Foods such as these are consumed due to their diabetes and weight managing properties. But, most importantly, including them in your diet can help with digestion and blood sugar management. 

The fiber in plants doesn’t get absorbed and digested as other carbs do. As a result, it is crucial to look at their net carb count before you add them to your diet. Certain vegetables don’t contain that many net carbs. Other foods, however, like a starchy vegetable (such as beets, yams, and potatoes) can make you go over the carb limit for the day. 

Luckily, non-starchy veggies are different. Their net carb varies from less than 1g in a cup of raw spinach to about 7g in a cup of prepared Brussel sprouts. That’s why these low carb vegetables would make an excellent replacement for foods packed with carbohydrates. 

For example:

  • Create noodles from zucchini.

  • Replace the spaghetti with homemade spaghetti squash. 

  • Ditch the potato and rice for cauliflower. 

3) Seafood

Herring, mackerel, salmon, oysters, tuna, and other fatty fish are an ideal meal. Not only will you eat a tasty and filling meal, but you also supply the body with omega 3 fatty acids. According to studies, this active constituent in seafood may reduce the death rate from coronary heart disease. 

Those who consume fish can also decrease the inflammatory markers and ameliorate insulin sensitivity. With keto foods such as these, you eat meals that are packed with selenium, potassium, and Vitamin B. 

Remember, with keto, you would need to pay attention to the carb intake. According to the AHA (American Heart Association), the ideal keto intake would be to eat 1 to 2 seafood meals on a weekly basis. 

4) Seeds & Nuts

Almonds, pecans, walnuts, flaxseeds, cashews, and other nuts and seeds are ideal for a low carb diet. These keto-friendly foods are packed with nutrients, fat, and fiber, yet they are low carb snacks. When you frequently eat them, you can decrease the risk of heart issues, chronic illnesses, and some cancers. 

They contain healthy fat and antioxidant compounds, which is why they can help with inflammation, diabetes, and cholesterol control. Over 50% of carbs found in these treats are fiber. In other words, these foods don’t jeopardize ketosis or elevate glucose levels.

Because of their unique composition, they are a well-known choice among keto dieters.

5) Cheese

Let’s say you want to prepare a keto dinner and you want to add some cheese. Here is how a typical meal would look like. You will eat 120g of fish, with half a cup of almonds, 80g of broccoli, and 50g of feta cheese. 

The reason why cheese would take such a big portion of your plate is that this food is high in fat but low in carbs. Of course, there are plenty of cheeses for you to go for with this diet, like cottage cheese, goat cheese, cream cheese, parmesan, romano, and more. That’s what makes it a versatile food choice for a keto diet

In 28g or an ounce of cheddar cheese, you are getting plenty of calcium, 1g of carbs, and over 6g of protein. Even though cheese contains saturated fat, no research says the fat could make people susceptible to heart illness. Instead, plenty of reports focus on its beneficial properties. 

Based on a meta-analysis, it seems that cheese could prove useful for protecting the body from cardiovascular disease. That’s what makes it such a key component in a ketogenic diet. But, there is more. 

According to studies, cheese also features conjugated linoleic acid, which is often associated with weight loss and better body composition. So, those who frequently consume cheese in their diet can have stronger muscles and lessen their risk of muscle mass loss. 

6) Avocado

When you are planning your keto grocery list, you should always leave some space for avocados. The more you add avocados to your diet, the more you supply the system with potassium, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. These are all crucial components for metabolism and cholesterol management. 

In fact, its micronutrient profile is so impactful; it can prove useful for serious diseases. Research shows that a high intake of veggies and substantial meals, such as avocado, could be a potential therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. 

Scientists experimented with a ketogenic diet in patients with Alzheimer’s. The volunteers consumed a nutritionally dense meal rich in avocado and veggies-some of the participants adhered to a keto diet. Based on the results, the ketogenic diet proved highly beneficial for their micronutrient intake and effective potential therapy for their disease. 

7) Eggs

Eggs are delicious, versatile, and nutritious foods. But, when paired with a keto diet, they can go a long way. Experts estimate that when people eat eggs, they boost their feelings of satiety and fullness. They also provide the system with potent antioxidants, which are critical for ocular health. 

Many people might be worried about the cholesterol in eggs. While it is true that eggs contain plenty of cholesterol, incorporating them into a diet doesn’t expose the system to constant cholesterol fluctuations.

On the contrary, this type of food seems to help manage the LDL particles and keep the heart in great shape. Therefore, people rely on eggs in a keto diet to lessen their susceptibility to cardiovascular and eye complications.

8) Poultry & Meat

Meat is a substantial source of protein. It delivers a healthy dose of nutrients, such as vitamin B12, zinc, iodine, and essential fatty acids. That makes it a vital component for healthy body development. Of course, there is more to poultry and meat than just healthy growth. 

The iodine aids the system to create thyroid hormones and establish hormonal balance. The iron assists by carrying the oxygen from one organ to the other. While zinc benefits your entire immune system, reproductive health, and skin. 

Most importantly, you are getting a solid brain and heart health boost with Vitamin B12. It’s a key factor for a properly functioning nervous system. But, to get the desired result, you would need to avoid processed meals and choose organic lean cuts instead. That way, you get to skip the saturated fat and excess salt. 

9) Bone Broth

Although it is not your typical food, bone broth is a satisfying, hydrating, and nourishing beverage to sip on when on keto. It supplies the body with plenty of energy and warms the system. Experts believe bone broth can have some amazing benefits for the digestive system and joints. 

Since you will be using tissues and bones to make the broth, the beverage will feature all those minerals and nutrients present in these tissues. This makes it a practical dietary supplement for keto flu. It is flavorful, reduces inflammation, and keeps the gut health in check. 

According to a recent Neuropsychopharmacology report, the amino acids found in bone broths might promote sleep. They contain natural therapeutic properties that may lessen fatigue. 

With better sleep and a fully functioning metabolism, it becomes easier to shed the excess weight. Not only does the body feel fuller after eating, but it also limits the calorie restrictions. This is exactly what you want to achieve when on keto. 

So, if you want to eat a meal that doesn’t have too many calories but is tasty and satiates your hunger, the bone broth makes for an ideal choice. People often use it when making a simple soup and pair it with some vegetables. 

10) Olive oil 

Olive oil contains natural bioactive polyphenols. These polyphenols are estimated to reduce the risk of neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, including cancer. Due to their potent antioxidant compounds, they could lessen the effect of reactive oxygen and neutralize carcinogens.

Extra virgin oil is a perfect choice for a keto meal. Not only is it high in antioxidants, but it is also rich in monounsaturated fats, which are crucial for the heart. You can add it in mayonnaise, dressings, or use it in cooked meals. 

The polyphenols in olive oil are particularly interesting. Studies show they can help boost your immune system and supply the body with anti-inflammatory compounds. Due to their highly beneficial effects on metabolism and overall health, this ingredient has become a popular addition in many cuisines-specifically a Mediterranean diet

11) Olives

The olive fruit consists of 50% water and 20% fats. The rest of it is secondary metabolites, cellulose, nitrogenous compounds, and sugars.

Olives have the exact same nutritional benefits as olive oil. The key to their effect lies in the Oleuropein. This is their primary antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory compounds

According to reports, olives have the highest concentration of phenolic compounds, which can reach up to 140mg/g. This gives the foods a high antioxidant activity and possible properties that may help with cancer, heart disease, and inflammatory illness prevention. 

Additional studies suggest that those who eat olives might also reduce blood pressure and avoid bone loss. However, more research and human trials are necessary to confirm these benefits. But, overall, they make for a great choice for keto.  

12) Greek Yoghurt 

Many yogurt products are packed with artificial sweeteners, fruits, and other ingredients. According to the National Institutes of Health, only 2 out of 101 children’s fromage frais and yogurts are low in sugar.  

Greek yogurts and natural yogurts are the go-to choices. They are drastically low on sugar, have less energy than high-fat yogurts, but are rich in calcium and other minerals. For a keto lifestyle, you will eat simple Greek yogurt because of the protein it contains. 

However, this is the type of food you will eat in moderation. This keto snack will keep you satiated, which is why it makes for a solid addition to any meal plan. When you pair it with some cinnamon, chopped nuts, or your favorite spices, you can make a delicious keto treat. 

13) Berries

High carb fruits like grapes, bananas, mangoes, and figs may not be a good addition to a keto diet. But berries are different. They are low carb fruits packed with fiber. As a matter of fact, blackberries and raspberries have the same amount of fiber as digestible carbohydrates. 

The total carbs in 100g (3.5 ounces) of blackberries are 15g. Plus, you get 11g of net carbs. While strawberries have 9g total carbs and 7g of net carbs. No matter the type of berries you pick, you will still supply the body with nutrients that can lessen the susceptibility to disease and reduce inflammation. This is exactly what you need when you want to achieve ketosis. 

Note: Be careful with blueberries. These fruits can have twice as many carbohydrates as strawberries. So, when on keto, you can eat them occasionally and in moderation. 

14) Butter & Cream 

For a long time, cream and butter were linked to heart complications and disease. Because of their high saturated fat content, many have tried avoiding these foods. But, recent research proved otherwise. Based on clinical reports, saturated fat is not associated with cardiovascular illnesses. 

These reports suggest that when you eat them in moderation, you can lessen the probability of stroke or heart attack. Just like any other dairy product on the market, these two contain linoleic acid, which is critical for weight loss. Plus, good fats are important for keto. With cream and butter, you get exactly that any more. In the long run, it can prove useful for heart health.

  • Does That Mean I Can Eat Nut or Peanut Butter?

Peanuts are legumes, which technically eliminates them from keto. However, peanuts are higher in protein and fat compared to other beans. With the all-natural peanut butter, you get low carb food. It is packed with fiber, healthy fat, and enough protein. 

While nut butter has plenty of beneficial minerals and vitamins, it is a mix of macadamia nuts, almonds, and sunflower protein. This gives them a “green light” for a keto diet. That’s why both peanut and nut butter is suitable for any keto meal plan. 

15) Sugar-Free Tea and Coffee 

Tea and coffee do not contain any carbs. That’s why you can include them in your keto diet. Since they contain caffeine, especially black tea, you can use them to boost your physical performance, focus, mood, and alertness. 

To achieve these results, it is important to avoid adding any sweeteners to your drink. That way, you can make the most of the ketosis and decrease the risk of developing a metabolic condition. It is not uncommon for keto dieters to add heavy cream to their drinks. But, it’s a good idea to avoid tea lattes or light coffee. They usually have carb flavorings and nonfat milk. 

If you are not a fan of coffee, then you can try almond milk or coconut milk. Both of these milk alternatives are perfect for keto. Compared to typical cow’s milk, they are low in carbs and high in fat, making them an ideal choice. You can choose fresh or canned milk if you like; it will still be suitable for a keto diet. 

16) Dark Chocolate 

Dark chocolate may not be your favorite treat, but it does make for a perfect keto snack. Due to its high antioxidant concentration, dark chocolate is bitter. However, its nutritional composition and anti-inflammatory properties make it one of the most functional foods on a keto diet. 

Research indicates dark chocolate has a positive impact on the central nervous system, heart, and inflammation. People love it because of the flavanols it contains. These compounds can decrease the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. 

Do have in mind that the higher the cocoa solids, the healthier the chocolate. When you choose dark chocolate, opt for at least 70% cocoa. Anything higher than that can prove useful. Make sure to eat it in moderation.   

Conclusion 

Whenever you think about a diet, the first things that come to mind are the drastic limitations and food restrictions. The keto diet is not that intimidating. There are various food choices you can add to your meal plan that is delicious, nutritious, and filling. 

All of the options listed here can benefit the body in more ways than one. They can be useful for losing weight, managing blood sugar, avoiding chronic health complications, etc. Most importantly, they will help you achieve the health goals you’ve always strived for. 

Just don’t forget to get creative with your food. Include a variety of healthy options that go well with keto. Now that you have a practical list, it will be much easier to manage that carb intake. Remember, to reap the keto benefits, you would need to eat these foods on a day-to-day basis. The more you supply the body with the necessary vitamins and nutrients, the easier it is for the system to achieve ketosis. The keto diet food listed here will keep you on the right track. 

Sources

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