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20 Healthy Foods to Eat on A Keto Diet

20 Healthy Foods to Eat on A Keto Diet

  • Genna Heintzkill
  • Oct 16, 2018

The ketogenic diet has become quite popular recently.

Studies have found that this very low-carb, high-fat diet is effective for weight loss, diabetes and epilepsy.

There's also early evidence to show that it may be beneficial for certain cancers, Alzheimer's disease and other diseases, too.

A ketogenic diet typically limits carbs to 20–50 grams per day. While this may seem challenging, many nutritious foods can easily fit into this way of eating.

Here are 20 healthy foods to eat on a ketogenic diet.

 

1.) Seafood

Fish and shellfish are very keto-friendly foods. Salmon and other fish are rich in B vitamins, potassium and selenium, yet virtually carb-free.

However, the carbs in different types of shellfish vary. For instance, while shrimp and most crabs contain no carbs, other types of shellfish do.

While these shellfish can still be included on a ketogenic diet, it's important to account for these carbs when you're trying to stay within a narrow range.

 

2.) Cheese

There are hundreds of types of cheese. Fortunately, all of them are very low in carbs and high in fat, which makes them a great fit for a ketogenic diet.

One ounce (28 grams) of cheddar cheese provides 1 gram of carbs, 7 grams of protein and 20% of the RDI for calcium.

Cheese is high in saturated fat, but it hasn't been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. In fact, some studies suggest that cheese may help protect against heart disease.

Cheese also contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is a fat that has been linked to fat loss and improvements in body composition.

 

3.) Red Meat

It's best to choose grass-fed meat, if possible. That's because animals that eat grass produce meat with higher amounts of omega-3 fats, conjugated linoleic acid and antioxidants than meat from grain-fed animals.

One study in older women found that consuming a diet high in fatty meat led to HDL cholesterol levels that were 8% higher than on a low-fat, high-carb diet 

 

4. ) Eggs

Eggs are one of the few foods that should be classified as "superfoods."

They are loaded with nutrients, some of which are rare in the modern diet.

 

5.) Low Carb Vegetables

Non-starchy vegetables are low in calories and carbs, but high in many nutrients, including vitamin C and several minerals.

Vegetables and other plants contain fiber, which your body doesn't digest and absorb like other carbs.

Therefore, look at their digestible (or net) carb count, which is total carbs minus fiber.

 

6.) Yogurt

While it contains some carbs, it can still be included in a ketogenic lifestyle.

5 ounces (150 grams) of plain Greek yogurt provides 5 grams of carbs and 11 grams of protein. 

 

7.) Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has unique properties that make it well suited for a ketogenic diet.

To begin with, it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Unlike long-chain fats, MCTs are taken up directly by the liver and converted into ketones or used as a rapid source of energy.

In fact, coconut oil has been used to increase ketone levels in people with Alzheimer's disease and other disorders of the brain and nervous system

8.) Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a low-calorie cheese with a mild flavor.

Its popularity has grown in the last few decades, and it's often recommended as part of a healthy diet.

Cottage cheese doesn't only offer a lot of protein — it's also packed with essential nutrients. 5oz of cottage cheese provides 5 grams of carbs and 18 grams of protein.

 

9.) Poultry

Meat and poultry are considered staple foods on a ketogenic diet.

Fresh meat and poultry contain no carbs and are rich in B vitamins and several minerals, including potassium, selenium and zinc.

They're also a great source of high-quality protein, which has been shown to help preserve muscle mass during a very low-carb diet

 

10.) Avocados

Avocados are incredibly healthy.

3.5 ounces (100 grams), or about one-half of a medium avocado, contain 9 grams of carbs.

However, 7 of these are fiber, so its net carb count is only 2 grams .

 

11.) Berries

Most fruits are too high in carbs to include on a ketogenic diet, but berries are an exception.

Berries are low in carbs and high in fiber.

In fact, raspberries and blackberries contain as much fiber as digestible carbs.

 

12.) Butter

Some studies suggest that a moderate consumption of high-fat dairy may possibly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Like other fatty dairy products, butter is rich in conjugated linoleic acid, the fatty acid that may promote fat loss.

 

13.) Cream

Replacing your creamers in your coffee with heavy cream is a great way to reduce your carb intake.  Cream is a source good fats and contains only trace amounts of carbs per serving.

 

14.) Shirataki Noodles

Shirataki noodles are a unique food that's very filling yet low in calories.

These noodles also contain a type of fiber that has impressive health benefits.

In fact, this fiber has been shown to cause weight loss in numerous studies.

 

15.) Unsweetended Tea

Unsweetened tea contains no carbs and can help boost your metabolic rate, as well as physical and mental performance. It can also reduce your risk of diabetes.

 

16.) Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate and cocoa are delicious sources of antioxidants.

In fact, cocoa has been called a "super fruit," because it provides at least as much antioxidant activity as any other fruit, including blueberries and acai berries (88).

Dark chocolate contains flavanols, which may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and keeping arteries healthy (89, 90, 91).

Somewhat surprisingly, chocolate can be part of a ketogenic diet. However, it's important to choose dark chocolate that contains a minimum of 70% cocoa solids, preferably more.

One ounce (28 grams) of unsweetened chocolate (100% cocoa) has 3 grams of net carbs. The same amount of 70–85% dark chocolate contains up to 10 grams of net carbs.

 

17.) Coffee

Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages.

Thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients, it also seems to be quite healthy.

Studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of several serious diseases.

 

18.) Oilve Oil

Olive oil provides impressive benefits for your heart.

It's high in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that has been found to decrease heart disease risk factors in many studies.

 

19.) Olives

Olives are small fruit that grow on olive trees (Olea europaea).

They belong to a group of fruit called drupes, or stone fruits. They are related to mangoes, cherries, peaches, almonds and pistachios.

Olives are very high in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. Studies show that they are good for the heart, and may protect against osteoporosis and cancer.

 

20.) Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are healthy, high-fat and low-carb foods.

Frequent nut consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, depression and other chronic diseases.

Furthermore, nuts and seeds are high in fiber, which can help you feel full and absorb fewer calories overall.

 

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