And here are excerpts:
The ketogenic diet has become quite popular recently.
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 16 healthy foods to eat on a ketogenic diet.
However, the carbs in different types of shellfish vary. For instance, while shrimp and most crabs contain no carbs, other types of shellfish do (5).
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.
Aim to consume at least two servings of seafood weekly.
2. 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.
Most vegetables contain very few net carbs. However, consuming one serving of “starchy” vegetables like potatoes, yams or beets could put you over your entire carb limit for the day.
Low-carb veggies make great substitutes for higher-carb foods. For instance, cauliflower can be used to mimic rice or mashed potatoes, “zoodles” can be created from zucchini and spaghetti squash is a natural substitute for spaghetti.
Cheese is both nutritious and delicious.
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 (20).
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 (25).
Avocados are high in several vitamins and minerals, including potassium, an important mineral many people may not get enough of. What’s more, a higher potassium intake may help make the transition to a ketogenic diet easier (26, 27Trusted Source).
5. Meat and 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 (29).
Eggs are one of the healthiest and most versatile foods on the planet.
One large egg contains less than 1 gram of carbs and fewer than 6 grams of protein, making eggs an ideal food for a ketogenic lifestyle (33).
In addition, eggs have been shown to trigger hormones that increase feelings of fullness and keep blood sugar levels stable, leading to lower calorie intakes for up to 24 hours (34Trusted Source, 35Trusted Source).
It’s important to eat the entire egg, as most of an egg’s nutrients are found in the yolk. This includes the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect eye health (36Trusted Source).
Although egg yolks are high in cholesterol, consuming them doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels in most people. In fact, eggs appear to modify the shape of LDL in a way that reduces the risk of heart disease (37Trusted Source).
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 (38Trusted Source).
The main fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid, a slightly longer-chain fat. It has been suggested that coconut oil’s mix of MCTs and lauric acid may promote a sustained level of ketosis (39Trusted Source, 40Trusted Source).
What’s more, coconut oil may help obese adults lose weight and belly fat. In one study, men who ate 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of coconut oil per day lost 1 inch (2.5 cm), on average, from their waistlines without making any other dietary changes (41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).
8. Plain Greek Yogurt and Cottage Cheese
Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are healthy, high-protein foods.
While they contain some carbs, they can still be included in a ketogenic lifestyle.
Either one makes a tasty snack on its own.
However, both can also be combined with chopped nuts, cinnamon and optional sugar-free sweetener for a quick and easy keto treat.
9. Olive Oil
Olive oil provides impressive benefits for your heart.
In addition, extra-virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants known as phenols. These compounds further protect heart health by decreasing inflammation and improving artery function (49Trusted Source, 50Trusted Source).
As a pure fat source, olive oil contains no carbs. It’s an ideal base for salad dressings and healthy mayonnaise.
Because it isn’t as stable as saturated fats at high temperatures, it’s best to use olive oil for low-heat cooking or add it to foods after they have been cooked. You can find olive oil online.
10. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are healthy, high-fat and low-carb foods.
Although all nuts and seeds are low in net carbs, the amount varies quite a bit among the different types.
- Almonds: 3 grams net carbs (6 grams total carbs)
- Brazil nuts: 1 gram net carbs (3 grams total carbs)
- Cashews: 8 grams net carbs (9 grams total carbs)
- Macadamia nuts: 2 grams net carbs (4 grams total carbs)
- Pecans: 1 gram net carbs (4 grams total carbs)
- Pistachios: 5 grams net carbs (8 grams total carbs)
- Walnuts: 2 grams net carbs (4 grams total carbs)
- Chia seeds: 1 gram net carbs (12 grams total carbs)
- Flaxseeds: 0 grams net carbs (8 grams total carbs)
- Pumpkin seeds: 4 grams net carbs (5 grams total carbs)
- Sesame seeds: 3 grams net carbs (7 grams total carbs)
Berries are low in carbs and high in fiber.
In fact, raspberries and blackberries contain as much fiber as digestible carbs.
- Blackberries: 5 grams net carbs (10 grams total carbs)
- Blueberries: 12 grams net carbs (14 grams total carbs)
- Raspberries: 6 grams net carbs (12 grams total carbs)
- Strawberries: 6 grams net carbs (8 grams total carbs)
12. Butter and Cream
Butter and cream are good fats to include on a ketogenic diet. Each contains only trace amounts of carbs per serving.
For many years, butter and cream were believed to cause or contribute to heart disease due to their high saturated fat contents. However, several large studies have shown that, for most people, saturated fat isn’t linked to heart disease.
Like other fatty dairy products, butter and cream are rich in conjugated linoleic acid, the fatty acid that may promote fat loss (23Trusted Source).
13. Shirataki Noodles
They contain less than 1 gram of carbs and 5 calories per serving because they are mainly water.
In fact, these noodles are made from a viscous fiber called glucomannan, which can absorb up to 50 times its weight in water (75Trusted Source).
Viscous fiber forms a gel that slows down food’s movement through your digestive tract. This can help decrease hunger and blood sugar spikes, making it beneficial for weight loss and diabetes management (76Trusted Source, 77Trusted Source, 78Trusted Source).
Shirataki noodles come in a variety of shapes, including rice, fettuccine and linguine. They can be substituted for regular noodles in all types of recipes.
Olives provide the same health benefits as olive oil, only in solid form.
Oleuropein, the main antioxidant found in olives, has anti-inflammatory properties and may protect your cells from damage (79Trusted Source).
Olives vary in carb content due to their size. However, half of their carbs come from fiber, so their digestible carb content is very low.
A one-ounce (28-gram) serving of olives contains 2 grams of total carbs and 1 gram of fiber. This works out to a net carb count of 1 gram for 7–10 olives, depending on their size (82).
15. Unsweetened Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea are incredibly healthy, carb-free drinks.
What’s more, coffee and tea drinkers have been shown to have a significantly reduced risk of diabetes. In fact, those with the highest coffee and tea intakes have the lowest risk of developing diabetes (86Trusted Source, 87Trusted Source).
Adding heavy cream to coffee or tea is fine, but stay away from “light” coffee and tea lattes. These are typically made with non-fat milk and contain high-carb flavorings.
16. Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder
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 (88Trusted Source).
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.