A low-carb, high-fat diet, the ketogenic diet limits carb intake to 20-50 grams per day. There’s good evidence to suggest this diet promotes weight loss and is good for diabetes, which accounts for its rising popularity in recent years.
By inducing the metabolic state called ketosis, in which the body burns fat instead of carbs for energy, the keto diet can significantly reduce blood sugar and insulin levels. It may also help prevent heart disease and help control Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and certain cancers.
To boot, the meals you get to eat can be quite delicious.
Best Keto Foods
While the keto diet isn’t what you’d call harsh, finding keto foods to add to your diet can be challenging, especially when you’re just getting started with it. To help you, here’s a list of some of the best foods for a ketogenic diet. These keto foods are low in carbs, nutritious, and extremely tasty.
1. Non-Starchy, Low-Carb Vegetables
Being on a keto diet doesn’t mean you have to give up on vegetables. You can still enjoy low-carb ones, and the list is long: broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, green beans, asparagus, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and more.
2. Walnuts, Pecans, and Almonds
Most nuts are good keto foods because of their high-fat, low-carb content, but these three have fewer net carbs per ounce than cashews or pistachios. Nuts are good keto foods because they are very filling. A handful of nuts can help you curb your hunger and take in fewer calories.
Rich in protein, high in fat, yet low in carbs, cheese is a well-loved staple of the keto diet. And the best part is that any cheese goes – whether it’s cottage cheese, Swiss cheese, or gorgonzola. What’s more, cheese may even help with weight loss because of its linoleic acid content.
Salmon has almost no carbs, and most other fish and shellfish are also great keto foods. In addition to healthy omega-3 fats, fish contains potassium, selenium, B vitamins, and other nutrients. Fish and shellfish are some of the best foods for a ketogenic diet.
A medium-sized avocado contains only about 4-5 grams of net carbs and is rich in potassium, a mineral that may help your body adapt to the keto diet faster. You can add avocados to salads and side dishes, blend it with fruit to make smoothies, or use it for guacamole.
6. Olive Oil
Olive oil doesn’t have any carbs, but it packs plenty of healthy fats, including oleic acid. It’s ideal for salad dressings, mayonnaise, sauces, and cold dishes.
You can drizzle olive oil over fish and avocado. You can also mix it with spices to use it as a dip. Consumed moderately, olive oil reduces inflammation in your body and protects your heart.
One of the challenges of following the keto diet is that most fruits contain plenty of carbs, which means you have to avoid them. But berries are much lower in carbs than other fruits.
Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all great for the keto diet. They are also packed with antioxidants which help protect your body against disease.
8. Dark Chocolate
Worried that being on a keto diet means you have to give up on sweets? Don’t be. Dark chocolate can be a delicious alternative to most desserts.
It’s rich in antioxidants and contains flavanols, which lower blood pressure. The best dark chocolate for the keto diet has 85% or more cocoa solids.
Don’t Give Up on Taste
The keto diet may require you to make changes to your diet, but you don’t have to give up on flavor. The best foods for a ketogenic diet on our list are not just healthy and nutritious but quite delicious. Add them to your menu now!