Ketogenic nutrition is now known to all of us. For many, however, this form of very-low-carbohydrate and high-fat diet is not just a diet, but also a lifestyle.
In a nutshell: with the ketogenic diet, carbohydrates are permanently removed from the body, the cells look for alternative energy sources and so-called ketosis occurs.
This enables maximum fat burning and an increased volume of ketone bodies in the blood.
A ketogenic diet promises extensive success, especially for losing weight and getting rid of that annoying tummy.
The main advantage of the ketogenic diet lies in keeping the insulin level constantly low and thus stimulating the fat metabolism.
Various studies confirm that the ketogenic diet not only promotes weight loss, but also significantly increases performance and thus general well-being [ 1 ].
Trying out a new form of nutrition can be a challenge, especially at the beginning. What can I eat to get into ketosis, how do I prepare my meals, and how does it work in a restaurant?
Don’t worry – this initial frustration can easily be overcome. It applies: The smarter we are and the more we know, the easier it is to transition to a ketogenic diet and the faster you will feel the first symptoms and signs of ketosis.
Keto Food List: The 15 Best Foods
The ketogenic diet limits carbohydrate intake to 20-50 grams per day, depending on age, gender and weight. This can be a bit intimidating at first, but if you get used to ketogenic-friendly foods, it automatically works a lot better.
We have put together an ultimate list for you that you can always refer to.
These 15 healthy foods are gold pieces in your ketogenic diet. Healthy, tasty, and still low in carbohydrates – perfect!
1) meat and poultry
Meat and poultry should be your go-to staples on a ketogenic diet.
Fresh meat and poultry do not contain any carbohydrates but do contain a large amount of vitamin B and important minerals such as potassium, selenium, and zinc [ 2 ].
Meat and poultry are also excellent sources of high-quality protein. With a low-carbohydrate diet, protein not only keeps you full but also helps to maintain your existing muscle mass, especially when you lose weight.
Ideally, you are trying to only eat meat from animals that feed on fresh grass. Because their meat contains a lot of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and conjugated linoleic acid. These in turn help to reduce the body fat percentage and body weight and in some cases also have an anti-inflammatory effect [ 3 ].
Avocados contain one of the healthiest fats because they are rich in unsaturated fatty acids. These can be used as long-term sources of energy and, thanks to their high fiber content, keep you full for a long time.
Due to the high amount of fiber, the regular consumption of avocados also has an effect on regular digestion.
The power fruit is a real miracle cure and also helps to replenish the body’s electrolyte stores. This is especially important for athletes who lose a lot of electrolytes due to constant sweating after a sport session.
150 grams of the fruit contains 975 milligrams of potassium, a mineral that regulates the body’s fluid balance. This is super important if you are on a ketogenic diet because the body gets very few carbohydrates.
With a low-carb diet, the body stores less water and electrolytes, which can lead to dehydration, dizziness, poor circulation, and other symptoms of the keto flu.
3) nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are usually all high in healthy fatty acids. Each nut and each seed naturally brings different nutrients with it.
For example, a handful of almonds covers 10 percent of your daily calcium requirement, while the same amount of pumpkin seeds covers more than a quarter of your daily zinc requirement.
Top tip: grab some raw vegetable sticks and enjoy them with a few spoons of peanut or almond butter. A healthy, high-fat snack is the perfect snack on a ketogenic diet!
Here you can check the carbohydrate content of all nuts and seeds at a glance (28 grams per serving):
- Almonds: 6 grams
- Brazil nut : 3 grams
- Cashew nuts: 9 grams
- Macadamia nut: 4 grams
- Pecans: 4 grams
- Pistachios: 8 grams
- Walnuts: 4 grams
- Chia seeds: 12 grams
- Flaxseed: 8 grams
- Pumpkin seeds: 5 grams
- Sesame seeds: 7 grams
4) Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
Good news for chocolate lovers: chocolate can also be part of a ketogenic diet! It is important that only dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70% is chosen.
For example, 28 grams of chocolate with 100% cocoa content only has 3 grams of carbohydrates. The same amount of chocolate with 70-85% cocoa content contains up to 10 grams of carbohydrates [ 4 , 5 ].
Fish and seafood are other fixed points in a ketogenic diet. Lots of fat, few carbohydrates and a high content of vitamin B, potassium and selenium – types of fish such as. the salmon are therefore optimal for the ketogenic diet [ 6 ].
You have to be careful with seafood, as the different fruits also have different levels of carbohydrate content. Shrimps and other crab animals contain eg practically no carbohydrates, clams, or mussels again [ 7 ].
Seafood is definitely suitable for the ketogenic diet, but you should choose it carefully to keep carbohydrate consumption low.
Here is an overview of the carbohydrate content in one serving (100 grams) of popular seafood :
- Clams: 5 grams
- Oysters: 4 grams
- Mussels: 7 grams
- Octopus: 4 grams
- Squid : 3 grams
Ideally, you try to eat at least 2 servings of seafood per week!
Eggs are cheap, easy to prepare, and can be cooked in many different ways. Eggs are not only delicious, but they also contain a lot of important nutrients such as choline.
The egg yolk is an ideal source of choline, a substance that has cell-protecting functions. Choline also plays a major role in strengthening the brain, memory, metabolism, and mood, according to the National Health Institute (NIH).
Eggs are also one of the few foods that are high in vitamin D and thus significantly support eye and bone functions, as well as keeping cholesterol levels low.
There are hundreds of different types of cheese – and thank goodness all of them are low in carbohydrates and high in fat, making them perfect companions in ketosis.
For example, a serving of cheddar cheese (around 28 grams) contains only 1 gram of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fat and 20% of the recommended daily intake of calcium [ 8 ].
Cheese has a slightly higher proportion of saturated fat, but studies show that this does not pose an increased risk of heart disease. Some studies even show that regular consumption of cheese even protects against heart disease [ 9 , 10 ].
Cheese also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fat that promotes fat loss and promotes a defined body.
8) Low-carb vegetables & fruits
Vegetables and fruits are indispensable in a ketogenic diet. If you are on a ketogenic diet, however, you should choose vegetables carefully, as many also have a surprisingly high carbohydrate content.
There is no such thing as one perfect, golden rule. If you choose the vegetables carefully, however, then you can easily include most varieties in your diet for the ketogenic diet .
You should limit the following foods:
- Vegetables that are high in carbohydrates. Included are onions, parsnips, garlic, mushrooms and pumpkin.
- Nightshade family. These include tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.
- Citrus fruits, including limes, limes and orange juice or peel in the water.
- Try to avoid starchy vegetables and fruits such as potatoes or bananas entirely.
In general, everything that grows under the ground has more carbohydrates and should be limited in the ketogenic diet.
9) olive oil
Olive oil contains fat that is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and oleic acid. These protect against coronary heart disease, as many studies have found [ 11 ].
Virgin olive oil is also rich in antioxidants, also known as phenols. These substances have a positive effect on protecting the cardiovascular system, as they also inhibit inflammation in the body and improve arterial function.
Since olive oil is a pure source of fat, it does not contain any carbohydrates. This makes olive oil the perfect basis for salad dressings or healthy mayonnaise. Because olive oil, as an unsaturated fatty acid, is not as stable as saturated fats at high temperatures, the oil is ideally used for dishes that are prepared on a low flame.
10) butter and cream
Butter and cream contain healthy fatty acids, which can therefore be part of a ketogenic diet. Both contain a minimal amount of carbohydrates.
Similar to other fatty dairy products, butter and cream contains a lot of conjugated linoleic acid, which in turn promotes fat loss. In addition, butter is one of the most essential ingredients for Bulletproof Coffee – a breakfast drink from the ketogenic diet.
11) coconut oil
Coconut oil is an indispensable part of a ketogenic diet.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), among other things. Unlike long-chain fats, MCTs are absorbed directly by the liver and converted into ketones. These in turn act as immediate and quick energy suppliers.
Lauric acid is one of the fatty acids (C 12) that make up the main component in tropical oils such as coconut oil. It is believed that coconut oil, thanks to the mix of MCTs and lauric acid, promotes a sustainable state of ketosis [ 12 ]. An alternative source of MCTs is concentrated MCT oil.
Blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries are lower in carbohydrates than other fruits and contain loads of beneficial antioxidants and fiber.
Due to the sugar removal in the ketogenic diet, such fruits taste naturally sweet and can be used perfectly as a little snack in between.
- Blackberries: 10 grams
- Blueberries: 14 grams
- Raspberries: 12 grams
- Strawberries: 8 grams
13) Unsweetened tea and coffee
Coffee and unsweetened tea contain next to no carbohydrates. Instead, they contain caffeine, which has a positive effect on your metabolism and can therefore also directly influence performance, alertness, and mood [ 17 , 18 , 19 ].
The addition of a little whipped cream is also not prohibited. But be careful with reduced-fat versions of finished coffees and teas. These often contain fat-free milk and high-carbohydrate flavorings.
14) Low-carb yogurt and cottage cheese
Greek yogurt or quark is a healthy and protein-rich food. Precisely because they have a low proportion of carbohydrates, they can ideally be included in a ketogenic diet.
For example, a serving of Greek yogurt (around 150 grams) contains 5 grams of carbohydrates and 11 grams of protein.
Yogurt also regulates appetite and creates a natural feeling of fullness [ 22 , 23 ]. Ideal with it – a few nuts, cinnamon, and sugar-free sweetener and voila – the perfect ketogenic snack for in between!
15) Other dairy products
On a ketogenic diet, protein-rich products are often added to a meal. However, try to keep your protein consumption at a moderate level. The majority of your meals should include protein, vegetables, and additional fats or oils.
Raw or organic dairy products should be high on the list here. Highly processed foods usually have 2 to 5 times the carbohydrate content of organic dairy products.
In addition, it is always better to use full-fat dairy products than the low-fat variants, as these usually contain more carbohydrates.
Here are a few suggestions as to which dairy products you can include in a ketogenic diet :
- Whipped cream
- Spreads such as cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, mascarpone, creme fraîche, etc.
- Processed cheeses such as mozzarella, brie, blue cheese, Colby, or Monterey Jack
- Hard cheeses such as cheddar, parmesan, feta, Swiss cheese, etc.
However, be careful with the calorie content: Cheese usually already has a lot of calories in small amounts. So if your focus is on losing weight, then cheese consumption should be reduced a bit.
Under the stitch
A ketogenic diet can have positive effects on your body fat content and your performance. Due to the increased protein and fat intake, you are not only full length, but you also consume fewer calories.
In addition, you can look forward to tons of health benefits of ketosis: a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, less body fat, and improved cholesterol levels. A ketogenic diet can also play an important role in certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
If you would like to make your diet more ketogenic, then you should first and foremost avoid carbohydrates and, in addition to sufficient vegetables, focus on healthy fats.