Eat Bacon & Lose Weight – What to Eat on Ketogenic Diet
There are numerous variations of the ketogenic diet. Cyclical, strict, lazy, dirty – all of them have the same basic rules and the same list of foods that are keto-friendly.
Depending on how fast you want to enter ketosis, you can restrict your carbohydrate intake to the minimum (up to 20 g total carbs) or you can go a bit higher (20-50 g total carbs).
Except limiting your carbs, you also want to pay attention to the sources of your carbs. The majority of it should come from vegetables, nuts, dairy products. Fruits are “allowed” in moderation (avocado, berries), although in the beginning, I advise avoiding them.
Meat and poultry – if possible, the best option is grass-fed meat and poultry. Fresh meat and poultry is the staple food in the ketogenic diet. It is your main source of protein and fats, and it contains 0 carbs. It is rich in vitamin B and many minerals like potassium, selenium, and zinc.
Eggs – when you start keto diet, you realize how much eggs are important and versatile. One egg contains less than 1 gram of carbs and they are also high in antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect eye health.
Fish and seafood – though some shellfish contains some carbs, seafood is still very keto-friendly. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are very high in omega-3 fats, which are very beneficial for lowering insulin levels.
Dairy – cheese in so many forms is the base of the ketogenic diet for a lot of (lactose-tolerant) people. Most cheeses have less than 1g of carbs per portion and they are rich in calcium, protein and fatty acids. Butter and cream are almost carb-free but they should be consumed in moderation due to their high saturated fat contents. Greek yogurt and cream cheese are also acceptable options, though they are a bit higher in carbs.
Vegetables – your best vegetable options are leafy greens like spinach, kale, lettuce etc. since they are the lowest in carbs. With vegetables, you should check the net carbs before eating them. There are no rules, except for avoiding starchy veggies pumped with carbs. You should stick to cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, tomato (in moderation) etc.
Fruits – as I mentioned before, at the beginning it might be best to avoid fruit completely. As you get closer to your goal, you can gradually introduce some berries to your diet (raspberries strawberries, blueberries…). This did not work for me, to tell you the truth. Life without fruits is too damn difficult.
Avocado – this one is officially a “fruit” but and probably one of the staple foods on the ketogenic diet. Avocado is one of the healthiest low carb fruits with mere 2 net carbs per 100 grams. Avocados should be on the top of the keto-approved shopping list.
Nuts and seeds – highly recommended (if you are choosing between the two, go for the seeds) in moderation since all of them have carbs. Your first picks should be pecans, macadamia nuts, and walnuts. If you are using nut butters, be careful to check the ingredients and nutritive value. Acceptable seed options are flax, sunflower, chia, pumpkin seeds… You can use them to make crackers, salads, jams, and puddings…
Fats – animal fats like lard and tallow, high-fat dairy products (butter, ghee, heavy cream) and plant-based oils like coconut and MCT oil as well as cocoa and coconut butter are all great choices of saturated fats. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated keto-approved fat sources include fish oil, extra virgin olive, avocado, flaxseed, sesame, and macadamia nut oil.
Sweeteners – you can go three ways when choosing your sugar substitute: natural sweeteners, sugar alcohols, and artificial sweeteners. My personal choice is erythritol (sugar alcohol), rarely stevia (natural sweetener), but just recently I found a blend of the two which works perfectly for me. Other acceptable options are monk fruit, xylitol, maltitol, allulose, inulin, tagatose… just check your labels before buying any!