20 Best Keto Diet Foods and Meals You Should Be Eating
It is now a known fact that keto-friendly foods are the hottest trends in terms of nutrition in the world today. Although it still has its criticisms amongst doctors, dieticians, and other experts in nutrition, scientific researches and observations prove it is still a high diet to go on. A keto diet can help you improve metabolic rates and control hunger levels. If your main aim of keto diets for beginners is to lose weight, then you should adhere strictly to the principles of the diet. One of its main principles, however, is knowing the right foods to eat and eating them in the right amounts.
A keto diet generally should be made of about fifteen to twenty-five percent protein, ten percent or even less of carbs, and the remainder should be made up of healthy fats. Eating these kinds of diet will help you achieve ketosis (the metabolic process occurring when the body switches from burning glucose for fuel to burning fat, because of depleted glucose reserves).
In other words, sticking to a keto diet for beginners simply means a reduction or total elimination of carbs and sugars, and a higher intake of foods with healthy fats. There is some evidence that keto dieting is beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease, certain cancers, and other health-related conditions. Eating this kind of diet may be daunting at first, but the benefits far outweigh the initial discomfort. One mistake in the choice of meals can effectively kick you straight out of ketosis, according to some experts. So, you must follow the diet strictly, especially for starters.
What Qualifies As Keto-Friendly?
Staying in ketosis is the main reason dietary meal planning is so important to maintaining low carb, high-fat diets. Eliminating carbs from your diet could shrink your menu list dramatically. That could sometimes lead to nutrient deficiency if you are not careful. To prevent this, non-starchy vegetables that contain a lot of dietary fiber, and a lot of healthy fats should be on the list of keto diets for beginners. Keto-friendly foods and practices are those things that help you stay on the path to ketosis.
Who Should Not Do Keto?
You should keep in mind that the keto diet is not suitable for everyone, and in that case, is capable of causing health hazards. For example, if you are at risk of heart diseases or have a history of any eating disorder, you might want to find an alternative to losing weight. It’s either that or you run the risk of symptoms aggravation, and maybe going back to some unhealthy eating habits.
The trick to staying on a keto diet is channeling attention towards what you should eat, and not towards what you should not eat. If you are having difficulties picking those things you should eat, then this article is just right for you. So, the question is, are you committed to going keto? If the answer is yes, keep reading this article and learn more about making a healthy meal plan, and remember to always consult with your dietitian for professional guidance. Below is a list of carefully selected, keto-friendly foods, enjoyable, and will still help you achieve your goals. Don’t be scared that you might not meet up; they are easy keto meals.
- Avocado: Thanks in no small way to their low carb count and high level of healthy fat content, avocado is one of the top keto foods around. All you have to do to adhere to the keto principle is to avoid eating it with toast or chips. There are other ways you can enjoy this fruit, like topping to salads, as an addition to your morning eggs and bacon, or baked with eggs inside. Avocados contain high levels of minerals and vitamins, including potassium (which people seem to last most of the time). A higher intake of some of these micro and macronutrients makes it easier for your body to make the transition from glucose to fat burning. Avocados improve triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
- Nuts: These are excellent sources of protein and fat, making them healthy choices for not only keto diets but other meal plans as well. Seeds and nuts are healthy foods that also contain high fat and low carbs. Although frequent consumption of nuts and seeds could lead to heart diseases, depression, certain cancers, and other chronic diseases, they also contain high levels of fiber, keeping you full without consuming so many calories. Their zero sugar and high-fat content make it almost impossible for someone on the keto diet not to have them.
- Almonds: These foods are highly protein-packed, and make a great choice for you as a keto dieter. The perfect combination of fiber, fat, and protein is ideal when you want to stop cravings and eliminate hunger.
- Cauliflower: Be it as rice or as a stand-in for mashed potato, cauliflower is ideal for the replacement of many snacks and starchy meals. It is safe to eat anyway, as long as there are as little as two grams of sugar.
- Eggs: Boiled, fried, poached, or scrambled, every variety of eggs is welcome on keto meal plans. Eggs are known to activate hormones that cause your stomach to be full and keep sugar levels stable, making you take fewer calories. You should eat the entire egg, as the nutrients and antioxidants are scattered all over. Since they are high in cholesterol, they don’t spike cholesterol levels, leading to lesser risks of heart diseases. Having a perfect blend of protein, fat, and the right amount of macronutrients, eggs are a great fit for keto dieters.
- Mushrooms and berries: Mushrooms are low in carbs and sugar, which is priceless for keto dieters. Also, their meaty texture keeps you filled, one of the reasons it is satisfying. Berries are high in fiber, and low in carbs, making them stand out amongst other fruits. They are also filled with antioxidants that protect against diseases and reduce inflammation.
- Coconut oil: Due to the controversies, this pure tropical oil has faced over the years, people have long overlooked its health benefits. However, its high level of healthy fat has made it a mainstay for those on keto diets. Whether you use it to sauté steak cuts or in salad dressings, it still offers the same nutritious content. Coconut oils also possess the ability to increase levels of ketones in people living with Alzheimer’s disease, and many other brain or nervous disorders. It also contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and lauric acid. It is also helpful in reducing belly fat and weight loss in obese adults.
- Cheese: Since the aim of the keto diet is to maximize intake of fat, cheese, being delicious and nutritious, is a great suggestion for keto dieters. There are many types of cheese, but all contain high fat and low carb. It helps in reducing the risk of heart diseases and contains linoleic acid, a fat that can cause the improvement of body composition and fat loss. It also helps fight the loss of muscle strength and mass, which comes with aging. So, when eating your next meal, don’t be scared to add a slice or two of cheese.
- Bacon: A weight loss diet that accommodates bacon may sound impossible, but with keto diets, impossible is nothing. Feel free to eat your bacon at any time, and enjoy its zero sugar and carb benefits.
- Cream and butter: For years, cream and butter were believed to be the causes of heart diseases due to their level of saturated fats, but this is not true. On the contrary, they reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack and also contain fatty acids that promote loss of weight. Are you trying to reduce carb intake? Almond butter will be a healthy choice over other kinds of butter and peanut varieties. An equal ration of regular or peanut butter contains more quantity of carbs and less quantity of healthy fats than almond butter.
- Seafood: Fish is a healthy choice for most people on the keto diets and most other dietary plans. They contain vitamin B, selenium, and potassium, and are carb-free. They also contain omega-3 fats, which increase the sensitivity of insulin and reduce insulin levels. They have also been found to improve mental health. Salmon, the pink-colored fish, is, however, more nutrient-filled and sustainable than its counterparts.
- Vegetables low in carbs: These types of non-starchy keto veggies contain high levels of nutrients and vitamins, and are also low in carbs and calories. They also contain fiber which keeps you filled and antioxidants that protect the body cells. Leafy greens like spinach are rich in fiber, potassium, iron, and other nutrients that have great health benefits.
- Beef and poultry: These staple foods on keto diets, and contain no carbs. However, they are rich in minerals, vitamins, and proteins. Grass-fed meat is the best choice because they contain more omega-3, vitamins, antioxidants, and linoleic acid than regular meats.
- Olive oils: Olive oils are filled with heart and keto-friendly vitamins and monounsaturated fats. They also contain antioxidants like phenol, which reduce inflammation and improve artery function. So, try using olive oils for cooking some of your keto diets to enjoy rich nutrients and flavor.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are different from other fruits because they contain lycopene, a substance linked with many health benefits. It also contains low carbs and reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
- Ghee: This food may be unfamiliar to most people, but it makes this list. That is due to its abundance of fat and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins E, A, and D. It is most popular among Indians. Still, keto dieters are adopting it into their meal plans because of its huge benefits.
- Cocoa powder and dark chocolate: These are delicious and great sources of antioxidants. Cocoa is even hailed as a super fruit, as it contains a high level of antioxidants. Dark chocolate has flavanols, known to reduce heart disease risks by making arteries healthy, and reducing blood pressure. Even though chocolate is allowed in keto diets, it should contain at least a 70% level of cocoa solids.
- Tea and unsweetened coffee: These drinks are carb-free and healthy drinks that are keto-friendly. They also contain caffeine, known to increase metabolic processes, mood, alertness, and physical performances. Coffee and tea could also reduce the risk of diabetes.
- Plain keto yogurts: These keto yogurts contain high healthy proteins. Though they contain carbs, it is still okay to incorporate them into a keto lifestyle because they are keto-friendly foods, promote the feeling of fullness, and reduce appetite. They may be combined with cinnamon, chopped nuts, and sweeteners that are sugar-free to make keto treats.
- Brussels sprouts and asparagus: These keto veggies are a favorite for keto dieters because of their high amounts of vitamins and nutrients (micro and macro). Asparagus, in particular, is a low carb veggie that should be present in your diets, keto, or no keto. That is because it contains high levels of glutathione, a substance requires in fights against cancer, and cell regulation and protection.
The foods mentioned above are not the only foods available to someone on a keto diet. There are other different foods available that still contain high levels of healthy fats and low levels of carbs.
Keto diet snacks can also be taken in between the keto-friendly meals. These foods include Caesar salad bites, salmon salads, keto sushi rolls, collard green sandwich wraps, veggie sticks with nut butter, Caprese salad skewers, avocado egg salad, bone broth, keto smoothies, mixed nuts with fermented veggies, buffalo cauliflower bites, etc.
Some of the foods to avoid eating are beans, lentils, peas and peanuts, grains (rice, oatmeal, and pasta), low-fat dairy foods, sweeteners and sugars, sugary beverages, traditional snacks like crackers, potato chips, pretzels, and the like.
Sticking to a keto diet may seem challenging in the beginning because of the side effects and restrictions, but keep your eyes on the benefits that come with it, and you will lead a healthier life in the long run.