These days people are following a Keto diet for weight loss, diabetes and epilepsy. This diet is also beneficial for diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer and others.
Food to eat during Ketogenic diet
The food options that you should include in your diet are:
Spices to include in your food
Spices have carbs in them so you should adjust your diet based on them. You should opt for sea salt over table salt.
Some common herbs and spices that you can include in your keto diet are: chilli powder, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, basin, cilantro, cayenne pepper, parsley, rosemary and thyme.
Condiments and Sauces
If you make your own sauces, you should use guar or xanthan gum. It is a thickener that has low carbs.
Some pre-made condiments that you can add to keto diet are: Ketchup (go for products with low or no added sugar), hot sauce, mustard, mayonnaise (go for cage free and if possible go for avocado oil), sauerkraut (go for low or no added sugar), relish (go for low or no added sugar), horseradish, salad dressings (try to opt for fattier dressings like ranch, caesar and unsweetened vinaigrettes).
Fishes are rich in vitamin B, potassium and selenium and are carb-free. Different kinds of shellfish have different amount of carb content. Shrimp and crabs have no carbs but other shellfish have varying amount of it.
Salmon, sardines, mackerel and some other fatty fishes are rich in omega-3 fats which helps to reduce the blood glucose levels and improves mental health. You should include at least 2 servings of seafood in your diet on a weekly basis.
Non-starchy vegetables have low carbs and calorie content but are rich in nutrients. If you consume one serving of starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams or beets then you will be above your carb limit for the day.
Vegetables like kale, broccoli and cauliflower which reduce risk of cancer and heart disease. Low-carb veggies are a good option for high-carb food.
There are a variety of cheese and they are all low in carbs and high in fat but it doesn’t show any risk of heart disease. It helps to reduce fat and improve body composition. It also reduces the loss of muscle mass and strength which is caused due to aging.
Avocados are rich in vitamins and minerals like potassium. 100 grams of avocado contain 9 grams of carbs. It helps to keep the cholesterol levels in control and improve triglyceride levels in the body.
Meat and poultry
Fresh meat and poultry are rich in vitamin B and minerals like potassium, selenium and zinc but contain no carbs. They are also rich in proteins and helps to maintain the muscle mass and keeps the cholesterol levels in check.
Eggs are a good option for a ketogenic diet. It makes you feel full and controls your hunger. It helps to keep the blood sugar levels in control.
Eggs major nutrient content is found in yolk which helps to protect the eyes. Egg yolks are high in cholesterol but intake of eggs doesn’t raise the cholesterol in the majority of people but they help to reduce heart disease.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides that are used by the liver and converted into ketones to produce energy. It is specially used for Alzheimer’s disease and brain and nervous system disorders. It is also helps to lose belly fat.
Plain greek yogurt and cottage cheese
Plain greek yogurt and cottage cheese are rich in protein. They contain some amount of carbs but are safe to be included into you Keto diet. They decrease appetite by making you feel full. You can combine them with nuts, cinnamon and some sugar-free sweetener.
It is very good for your heart and decreases the risk of heart attack. It also decreases inflammation and improves the functioning of arteries. It has no carb content and is a pure source of fat. You can use it as a base for salad dressing and healthy mayonnaise.
Nuts and seeds
They are high-fat and low-carb foods. They help to reduce depression, risk of heart disease, chronic diseases and cancer. They are rich in fiber so they make you feel full and controls your cravings.
Berries are low in carbs and high in fiber. They have antioxidants which reduce inflammation and shields against diseases.
Butter and cream
They are good fats which contains traces of carbs. Studies have shown that moderate consumption of high fat dairy products reduces the risk of heart disease and promotes fat loss.
These noodles are made from Glucomannan fiber. It forms a gel which slows the movement of the food through the digestive tract.
This reduces the hunger and lowers the blood glucose levels in the body which makes it very beneficial for weight loss and diabetes.
Olives are healthy just like olive oil but they come in solid form. They contain Oleuropein which helps to reduce inflammation and protects the cell from getting damaged. It also prevents bone loss and decreases blood pressure.
Unsweetened coffee and tea
Coffee and tea are carb free drinks. They contain caffeine which improves your performance, alertness, mood and boosts metabolism. They also reduce the chances of diabetes Use non-fat milk while preparing them.
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
They contain antioxidants. They reduce the risk of heart disease by controlling the blood glucose levels and keeping the arteries healthy. You should go for dark chocolate that has 70% or higher cocoa content.
Food options that you should Avoid
These are the food options you should avoid or limit.
When you are on a keto diet, there are several oil you should avoid. These are: Soybean oil, Canola oil, Corn oil, Grapeseed oil, Peanut oil, Sesame oil, Sunflower oil and Safflower oil.
These are considered to be of low quality and are harmful to your body. They all come under inflammatory processed oils containing high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. Too much of omega 6 consumption is intolerable by our digestive tract.
Artificial sweeteners are considered to be unhealthy in the keto diet. They are chemical based. You should avoid them as they can spike your blood sugar and add extra chemicals to your body.
These are: Equal, Splenda, Acesulfame, Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose. If you consume these artificial sweeteners, it will not curb your cravings but will play a role in increasing them which can lead to overeating. They are also not good for your kidneys and liver.
Bread and grains
Bread and grains are high in carbs. If you have a bagel, sandwich or a burrito there are chances it could put you over your carb limit for the day. If you are a bread lover, you can make your own low-carb loaf at home and include it in your meal.
There are many fruits high in carbs but it has been observed that high intake of fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of heart diseases and cancer.
For low-carb diets you should avoid taking sweet and dried fruits as they have a high carb content. Bananas, raisins, dates, mangoes, pears are some of the fruits that have high carb counts.
There are many vegetables that have a high-starch content. They should be consumed within a limit when you are on a low carb diet. You should avoid corn, potato, sweet potato and cooked beets.
It is the most convenient food option but has a high carb count. Whole-wheat pasta is a slightly a better option.
So you should avoid including pasta when you are on a low carb diet unless you are up for a very small portion which is nearly not possible when it comes to pastas. If you want to stop your craving you can opt for vegetable spiralled pasta or Shirataki noodles.
Some of the breakfast cereals contain high carb count. You should opt for less processed cereals like the steel-cut oats which are much healthier compared to oatmeal.
A bowl of cereals can easily put you over your daily carb limit even without adding milk. So cereals are a big NO if you want to follow a low carb diet.
You can have alcohol but in moderation. Hard liquors have no carbs and dry wine have few. But beer is high in carbs. It is seen from studies that liquid carbs boosts weight gain quicker than solid carbs as they are less filling and doesn’t make you feel full.
Plain yogurts are low in carbs but fruit flavoured, sweetened low-fat or non-fat yogurts are high in carbs.
It is one of the worst beverages as it has a high amount of fast-digesting carbs which rapidly raises the blood glucose levels. It is another liquid carb which doesn’t make you feel full and stop your hunger cravings.
Low-fat and fat-free salad dressing
Low-fat and fat-free salad dressing have more carb counts. If you are on a low carb diet include creamy and full fat dressing to lower your carb count.
Beans and legumes
They help to reduce inflammation and risk of heart disease. But they contain a good amount of carbs Lentils, peas, black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas and kidney beans have good amount of carbs.
Honey or sugar
Food items that are rich in sugar like cookies, candies or cake can put you beyond your carb limit for the day. Natural forms of sugar also have a high carb count as white sugar. So opt for healthy sweetener to sweeten your food without adding carbs.
Chips and crackers
They are everybody’s favourite but have a high carb count. We have a tendency of consuming processed snacks in large quantities in a short time so avoid them to control your carb intake.
It has many nutrients and is a good source of calcium but has a high carb count. Avoid milk when it comes to preparing milk or tea. Go for cream or half and half to restrict your carb count. For smoothies and lattes use unsweetened almond or coconut milk.
Gluten free baked goods
Gluten free baked food options have been people’s favourite when it comes to being healthy but they are high in carbs as the flour which is used in baking these items has starches and grains which rapidly increases blood glucose. So say No to gluten free baked items.