KetoDiet is not just about losing weight at any cost; it is about embracing a healthy lifestyle. Contrary to popular misconceptions, ketogenic diets do not focus on bacon, eggs, and cheese. No matter how low your carb count, always pay attention to food quality and burn with real food. A well-made ketogenic diet should include a wide variety of foods – meat, fish, seafood, eggs, nuts, saturated fat milk, vegetables, and sometimes other fruits such as berries.
What Food Should I Avoid?
In a typical ketogenic diet, your daily carb limit will be between 20 to 25 grams of net carbs (or 30 to 50 grams of total carbs). This means that you will need to avoid all high-carb foods including cereals (rice, bread, cereals, pasta, etc.), potatoes, sugar, legumes, and fruits. In addition, you should avoid or limit the consumption of processed foods and inflammatory oils.
YOU CAN EAT THESE FREELY
Grass-fed and wildlife
- Grass meat (beef, lamb, goat, venison), wild fish and seafood (avoid domesticated fish), pork and poultry, eggs, gelatin, ghee, butter – this contains omega 3 healthy fatty acids (avoid sausages and meat covered with slices of bread, hot dogs, meat sauces or hot sauces)
- Offal, fed-grass (liver, heart, kidneys, and other organisms)
- Saturated fats (tallow, chicken fat, duck fat, goose fat, refined butter (ghee), butter, coconut oil, and MCT oil)
- Monounsaturated fats (avocado oil, macadamia oil, and olive oil)
- Polyunsaturated fats: omega 3 fatty acids, mainly from animal sources (fatty fish and seafood)
Non-starchy vegetables and mushrooms
- Leafy vegetables (Swiss chard, bok choy, spinach, lettuce, chard, chives, endive, radicchio, etc.)
- Other cruciferous vegetables such as kale (black leaf), kohlrabi, radishes
- Cucumber, summer squash (zucchini, spaghetti squash), bamboo shoots
- Mushrooms (white, brown, portobello, shiitake, chanterelle, etc.)
Drinks and Condiment
- Water (still), coffee (black or cream or coconut milk), tea (black, herbs)
- Mayonnaise, mustard, pesto, bone broth (homemade), cucumber, cooked food (kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut (homemade) – the most homemade with no additives (my home-made recipes are here)
- All spices and herbs, lemon or lemon juice, and zest
- Whey protein (beware of additives, artificial sweeteners, hormones, and soy lecithin), egg white protein, and gelatin (grass-fed, hormone-free)
YOU CAN EAT THESE OCCASIONALLY
Veggies & Fruits
- Other cruciferous vegetables (white and green cabbage, red cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, fennel, turnips, rutabaga/swede)
- Nightshades (eggplant, tomato, pepper)
- Other root vegetables (parsley root), onion spring, garlic, onion, garlic, winter squash (pumpkin)
- Seafood (nori, kombu), okra, bean sprouts, snap peas, wax beans, globes or French artichokes, water chestnuts
- Berries (berries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, mulberries, etc.)
Grain – Feb animal sources and full-fat dairy
- Beef, chicken, eggs, and ghee (avoid domesticated pork, high in omega 6 fatty acids)
- Dairy products (low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, heavy cream, sour cream, cheese) – avoid products labeled “low fat”, most of which are full of sugar and starch that will only arouse your appetite. You can read more at this post: Milk in a Ketogenic diet.
- Bacon – beware of pesticides and extra starch (nitrates are acceptable if you eat foods high in antioxidants)
Nuts and seeds
- Macadamia nuts (very low in carbs, high in monounsaturated fats)
- Pecans, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, flax, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds
- Nuts in Brazil (beware of high levels of selenium – don’t eat too much of them!)
- Healthy zero-carb sweeteners (Stevia, Swerve, Erythritol, etc.)
- Thickeners: arrowroot powder, xanthan gum (remember that xanthan gum is not paleo-friendly – some people who follow a paleo diet use it, as you need a much smaller amount)
- Sugar-free tomato products (puree, passata, ketchup)
- Cocoa and carob powder, extra dark chocolate (over 70%, preferably 90% and beware of soy lecithin), cocoa powder
- Beware of gums and chewing sugar-free gums – some of which contain carbs from sugar alcohol such as sorbitol, maltitol, and xylitol which can raise blood sugar and cause digestive problems
Other Vegetables, Fruits, Peanuts, and Seeds With Medium Carbohydrate – depending on your daily carb limit
- Watermelons, Cantaloupe / Galia / Honeydew watermelons
- Very small amounts, best avoided: apricot, dragon fruit (Pitaya), peach, nectar, apple, grapefruit, kiwifruit, kiwi berries, orange, plums, cherries, pears, figs (fresh)
Dry red wine, white wine, spirits (sugar-free) – avoid weight loss
STRICTLY AVOID EATING THESE
- Any sugary foods added. Avoid sugary substances that raise blood sugar, cause insulin spikes, arouse your appetite and kick you out of ketosis.
- All grains, even whole foods (wheat, rye, oats, corn, barley, millet, bulgur, sorghum, rice, amaranth, buckwheat, cereal grains), quinoa, and white potatoes.
- Pork and fish grown in the factory have omega 6 fatty acids and flammable fish and poultry can contain PCBs, avoid fish with high mercury.
- Processed foods containing carrageenan (e.g. other almond milk products – see supplements), MSG (e.g. in other protein products), sulfites (eg dried fruit, gelatin), BPA (need not be labeled) !), Wheat gluten
- Artificial sweeteners (Splenda, Equal, sweeteners containing Aspartame, Acesulfame, Sucralose, Saccharin, etc.) – this can create cravings and be linked to other health issues such as migraines.
- Refined fats/ oils (eg sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola, soy, grapeseed, corn oil), trans fats such as margarine.
- “Low-fat”, “low-carb” and “zero-carb” products (Atkins products, soda and beverages, chewing gum, and minutes can be high in carbs or contain artificial additives, gluten, etc.)
- Milk (only a small amount of raw, fatty milk is allowed). Milk is not recommended for a number of reasons. First of all, dairy products are difficult to digest, as they are deficient in “good” bacteria (eliminated by pasteurization) and may also contain hormones. Second, it is very high in carbs (4-5 grams of carbs per 100 ml). For coffee and tea, add milk and cream at reasonable prices. You may have a small amount of raw milk but you know more carbs. Finally, farmers in the United States are using the genetically engineered herbal hormone (rBGH). RBGH is injected into dairy cows to increase milk production. Choose whole milk fat with the label “NO rBGH”.
- Alcoholic beverages, sweet drinks (beer, sweet wine, cocktails, etc.)
- Tropical fruits (pineapple, mango, banana, papaya, etc.) and other high-carb fruits (tangerine, grapes, etc.) Also avoid fruit juices (yes, or 100% fresh juices!) – it is best to drink smoothies if available, but either method is very limited. The juices are similar to sugar water, but the smoothies contain fiber, which is sating at least more. This includes dried fruit (dates, dried, etc.).
Mainly for health reasons, avoid soy products with the exception of a few non-GMO products known for their health benefits. Also, avoid wheat gluten that can be used in low-carb diets. If you stop eating bread, you should not eat any of it. Watch out for cans full of BPA. If possible, use natural BPA packaging as glass jars or make your own ingredients like ghee, ketchup, coconut milk, or mayonnaise. BPA has been linked to a number of health problems such as thyroid function and cancer. Other additives to avoid: carrageenan (eg almond milk products), MSG (eg in some protein products), and sulfites (eg dried fruit, gelatin).