A ketogenic or keto diet is a low-carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. Ketosis refers to a natural body process which helps us survive when food intake is low. It produces ketones, due to the breakdown of fats in the liver. The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state.
If you’re looking to start a keto diet, here are the top foods that you must eat:
1. Low Carb Vegetables
Vegetables and plants contain fiber, which your body doesn’t digest and absorb like other carbs. Non-starchy vegetables are low in carbs, but high in nutrients such as vitamin C. By avoiding starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams or beets, you can keep your carb limit in check. Low-carb veggies are also a great substitute for high-carb foods.
The delicious and nutritious cheese is very low in carbs and high in fat, which makes it excellent for a ketogenic diet. Cheese is high in saturated fat, but hasn’t been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. 28 grams of cheddar cheese provides 1 gram of carbs, 7 grams of protein and 20% of recommended daily intake for calcium. Eating cheese regularly may also help reduce loss of muscle mass and strength.
Avocados are extremely healthy. Half of a medium avocado, or 100 grams, contain 9 grams of carbs. 7 of these are fiber so its net carb count is only 2 grams. Avocados are high in several vitamins and minerals, including potassium. This may help transition to a keto diet easier.
4. Meat and Poultry
Meat and poultry are an integral part of a ketogenic diet. Fresh meat and poultry contain no carbs and are rich in B vitamins and minerals, including potassium, selenium and zinc. They are also a good source of high-quality protein which helps preserve muscle mass during a low-carb diet.
Eggs are one of the healthiest foods available. A large egg contains less than 1 gram of carbs and fewer than 6 grams of protein, making them an ideal food for keto diet. They also cause you to feel full and keep blood sugar levels stable, leading to lower calorie intakes for up to 24 hours. Most of the egg’s nutrients are in the yolk and it is important to eat the entire egg.
6. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are healthy, high-fat and low-carb foods. They are high in fiber and keep you feeling full for longer. Consuming nuts regularly may also reduce the risk of heart disease, cancers, depression and other chronic diseases.
If you’re looking to gain the benefits of a ketogenic diet, some of the above foods may be a good choice. There are several other foods that can help you create a good meal plan for optimum health.