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With studies showing that the very low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet is effective for weight loss, diabetes, and epilepsy, the Keto Diet has recently proved popular but what foods can you eat on the Keto Diet?
On the Keto Diet how many carbs can you eat per day? The Keto Diet typically comprises between twenty to fifty grams of carbs per day. Restricting carbs to this amount can be challenging, which is why a Keto Diet plan is so important. We recommend The Custom Keto Diet which has shown excellent results for weight loss and other health benefits.
Here are some healthy foods that you can eat while on the Keto Diet.
Fish are a particularly good source of protein on the Keto Diet with salmon rich in B vitamins and potassium, yet practically carb-free. If you are overweight or obese salmon, mackerel, sardines and other fatty fish are very high in omega-3 fats, which lower insulin levels. Frequent fish consumption has also been linked to a decreased risk of disease and improved cognitive health. The American Heart Association recommends that your weekly diet should include at least one but preferably two seafood meals.
It should however be noted that while fish are recommended on the Keto Diet shellfish may not be appropriate as the carbs in several kinds of shellfish may be quite high for the Keto Diet. While shrimp and most crabs are free from carbs, 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of clams, mussels, octopus, oysters and squid contain 4 grams of carbs. While shellfish can still be part of the Keto Diet, it’s important to ensure that you are accurate with your carb-counting when you’re trying to remain within a narrow range of how many carbs per day you can eat.
There are some delicious Keto recipes containing Tuna and Salmon in the free ebook which can be downloaded here:
Meat and poultry are widely considered to be the main type of foods to eat while on the Keto Diet. Fresh red meat and poultry and chicken breast contain no carbs and are rich in B vitamins and a number of other important minerals. Meat and poultry are also an excellent source of high-quality protein, which is important to help preserve muscle mass while on a very restricted carb diet. In fact, a study found that in older women consuming fatty meats led to an increase of 5% of HDL (good) cholesterol levels, source. Consuming grass-fed meat is highly recommended, if possible as grass-fed animals produce meat with an increase of omega-3 fats and antioxidants than are not present in meat from grain-fed animals.
There are some delicious Keto recipes containing beef and pork chops in the free ebook which can be downloaded here:
Eggs are incredibly versatile and are one of the healthiest foods. Importantly, eggs are low in carbs; one large egg contains 1 gram of carbs and 6 grams of protein, making eggs perfect for the Keto Diet. Eggs also increase feelings of satiety as they trigger hormones that increase feelings of being full after eating a meal containing eggs. As the majority of an egg’s nutrients are found within the yolk it is important that the entire egg is eaten. And while the yolk is high in cholesterol, for most people this does not increase levels of cholesterol in the blood. In fact, consuming eggs appears to modify the size of LDL (bad) cholesterol particles in the blood which actually reduces the risk of heart disease, I have written more about this here. Eggs also contain antioxidants that help protect eye health.
There is a delicious egg salad in the free ebook that contains other simple to follow Keto recipes which can be downloaded here:
There are many hundreds of different types of cheese. Fortunately, the majority contain very low levels of carbs and high levels of fat making them perfect for those interested in following the Keto Diet. For example, 28 grams (one ounce) of cheddar contains 1 gram of carbs, 6.5 grams of protein, as well as a rich source of calcium. Importantly, while cheese is high in saturated fat this has not been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. Indeed some studies have shown that cheese may actually help protect against heart disease. Cheese has other weight loss benefits too as it contains conjugated linoleic acid, a fat that has been associated to fat loss and improvements in body composition. Eating 210 grams (seven ounces) of cheese every day can help protect against some of the affects of aging as eating this amount of cheese can increase muscle strength and reduces the loss of muscle mass, source.
Blue cheese, brie, camembert, cheddar, Chèvre, cottage cheese, cream cheese, feta, goat cheese, halloumi, Havarti, Limburger, Manchego, mascarpone, mozzarella, muenster, parmesan, pepper jack, provolone, Romano, Swiss cheese are all a rich source of protein and very low in carbs, so perfect for the Keto Diet.
There are delicious and simple Keto recipes that contain some of these cheese in the free ebook that can be downloaded here:
So far we have mostly been focussing on meat, fish and dairy products. Vegetables comprise an indispensable part of the Keto Diet. Non-starchy vegetables are low in calories and carbs, but are also high in many other essential nutrients such as vitamin C and a number of other minerals. What vegetables can you eat on keto? Most vegetables contain very few carbs so most vegetables are Keto Diet friendly. However, “starchy” vegetables like potatoes, yams, or beets must be avoided as eating one meal containing any of these could put you over your entire carbohydrate limit for the day which may affect ketosis. One cup of raw spinach contains 1 gram of carbohydrate whereas one cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains 7 grams of carbs, so you need to be selective in what vegetables you eat when on the Keto Diet. Vegetables also contain antioxidants that help protect against free radicals and vegetables like kale, broccoli, and cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables have been associated with decreased risk of cancer and heart disease. What is more, some low carb vegetables can replace high carb foods which helps during the keto diet. For instance, recipes that contain rice or mashed potatoes can use cauliflower instead, noodles can be replaced with spiralised courgette/zucchini, spaghetti squash can replace spaghetti.
Aubergine (egg plant), asparagus, avocado, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, courgette (zucchini), cucumber, green beans, green peppers, kale, lettuce, olives (including olive oil, spinach, tomatoes are all excellent low carb vegetables to include in your Keto Diet.
There are delicious and simple Keto recipes that contain many of these vegetables in the free ebook that can be downloaded here:
Plain Greek yogurt is both healthy and high in protein. Yogurt is relatively high in carbs so you need to be careful when introducing it into your Keto Diet regimen, with 105 grams (half a cup) of Greek yogurt containing 4 grams of carbs and nine grams of protein. Greek yogurt however can help with decreasing your appetite and increase feelings of feeling full, like eggs, as we mentioned above. Greek yogurt can also be used as a Keto snack which can help when you first start out on your Keto Diet journey, especially when sprinkled with finely chopped almonds or cinnamon.
There is a really moreish Greek yogurt recipe in the free Keto ebook that can be downloaded here:
Are nuts carbs? As we briefly mentioned in the Greek yogurt section nuts and seeds can be eaten as part of the Keto Diet as they are healthy and have the combination of high fat and low-carbs. Consuming nuts daily has been linked with reducing many conditions including depression, certain cancers and other chronic diseases. Eating nuts has also been associated with reduced risk of heart disease, so nuts have many health benefits in addition to being excellent for the Keto Diet. Like, eggs and Greek yogurt, eating nuts can also increase feeling full which helps eat fewer calories. So the answer to the question, do nuts have carbs? The answer is that not all nuts are created Keto-equal: 28 grams (1 ounce) of flax seed, Brazil nuts, chia seed each contain 1 gram or fewer of carbohydrate. For the same quantity almonds, macadamia, pecans, pumpkin seed, sesame seed and walnuts contain two or three grams of carbohydrate. Whereas cashews (eight grams) and pistachios (5 grams) contain the most carbs so should be eaten in moderation when on the Keto Diet.
There is delicious breakfast porridge recipe in the free ebook that contains some of these nuts and seeds can be downloaded here:
Most fruits must be excluded when on the Keto Diet due to their level of carbs, fortunately for fruit lovers berries are relatively low in carbs making them suitable for the Keto Diet in moderation. Berries have other healthy eating properties such as being rich in nutrients and loaded with antioxidants which as we mentioned above help reduce inflammation and protect against many diseases. How many carbs in blackberries and how many carbs are in blueberries? For those following the Keto Diet 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of blackberries, blueberries, Kiwifruit, raspberries and strawberries contains 11, 9, 6, 11 and 7 grams of carbs, respectively meaning that raspberries contain the fewest carbs whereas blackberries and kiwifruits have the highest.
There are two delicious smoothie recipes that contain berries (raspberry smoothie being one of the recipes) in the free ebook that can be downloaded here:
Butter and cream are high in fat content with negligible levels of carbs, making them ideal Keto fats for followers of the Keto Diet. For many years butter and cream were believed to be responsible for heart disease due to the high levels of saturated fat. However, several large-scale studies have shown that saturated fat is unrelated to heart disease, source. In fact, some studies have suggested that consuming a moderate amount of high fat dairy products in your diet can actually reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, source. Like other fatty dairy products such as cheese, butter and cream are rich in conjugated linoleic acid which, as mentioned above in the cheese section, promotes fat loss.
Many of the delicious and simple Keto recipes in the free ebook use butter and/or cream in them. You can download it here:
Is dark chocolate good for you? Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are excellent sources of antioxidants and they are of course delicious. In fact, cocoa provides at least as much antioxidant benefits as any other fruit, including blueberries. Dark chocolate contains flavanols, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping arteries healthy and lowering blood pressure. However, not all chocolates are suitable for the Keto Diet. Dark chocolate containing a minimum of 70% cocoa solids, preferably more are suitable for the Keto Diet, but of course only in moderation. Twenty-eight grams (1 ounce) of 100% dark, unsweetened chocolate contains only 3 grams of carbs, making it perfect for the Keto Diet, however as the percentage of cocoa solids decreases the number of carbs increases.
The free ebook contains one recipe that contains dark chocolate. You can download it here:
A Keto Diet can be successfully used to lose weight, to help manage level of blood sugar, and increase your overall levels of health. Fortunately, as we show above the Keto Diet can include a wide variety of nutritious, tasty, and versatile low carb foods to help you stay within the low carb requirements of the diet. However, to reap all the health benefits of the Keto Diet these low carb foods should be consumed everyday as part of a comprehensive Keto Diet plan such as the Custom Keto Diet.