Ways To Make Your Keto Diet Meal Plan Healthier And More Balanced
When properly planned, the keto diet can be a healthful diet, says Elia. Five tips for making it work:
1. Dont get stuck in a rut. In any diet, variety is the spice of life, says Elia. That means varying your foods every day, rather than sticking with the same things every day. That can be tough when on a more restricted diet, but looking at keto cookbooks and blogs can help you branch out.
2. Make carbs count. Keto may be a very low-carbohydrate diet, but that doesnt mean the cardinal rule is try to avoid carbs. Its about maximizing the carbs you do eat. In every food choice, ask yourself this question: ‘What is the value of the food Im about to consume?’ says Elia. Make sure carbs are nutrient-dense. That means nuts, seeds, and avocado not a small cookie.
3. Focus on quality. In a diet where youll be eating a lot of fat and some meat, you want to focus on buying the best-quality food you can afford, says Glassman. For example: Buy wild seafood, organic eggs, and grass-fed butter and steak, she says.
Almost Zero Carb Nuts And Seeds
All nuts and seeds have some net carbs in them, but there are a few varieties worthy of the almost zero carb list:
- Raw macadamia nuts 1.6 grams of net carbs per ounce
- Raw pecans 1.2 grams of net carbs per ounce
- Raw brazil nuts 1.2 grams of net carbs per ounce
- Chia seeds 1.7 grams of net carbs per ounce
- Flaxseeds 0.5 grams of net carbs per ounce
It is relatively easy to eat a lot of nuts without realizing it, so make sure you eat them in moderation. Although they are a great way to meet your fat needs, the net carbs and calories can add up quickly if you are not careful.
Foods To Avoid On Keto
Check out the list of the fruits we can eat here…
Not being able to eat most fruits makes me somewhat sad, but when I focus on how well I feel when my insulin levels are under control, I really am okay with it.
I have cut down completely on my fruit intake, except for berries and lemon, but occasionally I have a strong craving for bananas.
When this happens I have one.
I know I can also look for a different source of potassium, but I feel that a keto lifestyle requires me to listen to my body and that when my body tells me strongly that I need something I listen.
Update: I don’t crave bananas anymore. I now find them extremely sweet.
These cravings are different to the out of control cravings I used to have when I fueled my body with sugar and starchy carbs.
If I had to go on a starch binge tomorrow and have cravings after that, I will know what they are. They are very different to my body’s real need for a nutrient that I may have neglected.
One of the big benefits of removing these highly addictive foods from my diet, is that I no longer have out of control cravings.
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Processed/packaged Food Products Condiments And Ingredients That Should Be Avoided On Keto
Manufacturers tend to stuff packaged products with extra sugar, trans fats, preservatives, and other junk to make their food less perishable and more palatable.
In general, it is best to avoid packaged and processed foods like:
- Baked goods
- Ice cream and other frozen treats
Even most packaged foods that are labeled as low-carb or zero-carb should be approached with caution. Many of these products try to trick you with small servings sizes that look keto-friendly while a reasonable serving has a much higher net carb content. These products also typically use gluten, artificial additives, or other ingredients that may not be good for your health.
Some common ingredients in low-carb products to look out for are:
And steer clear of these condiments:
- Salad dressings made with unhealthy oils
- Sauces, ketchup, and any other condiments that have added sugar
- Anything labeled as low-fat
If you want to add some flavor, use herbs, spices, and homemade condiments instead.
Are You Following The Ketogenic Diet Correctly
The Keto diet is one of the only popular diets that provide us with a precise way to tell if you are implementing it properly. Are you in ketosis consistently or not?
If you answer yes to this question, then you are technically on the keto diet.
If the answer is no, then you are on a low carb diet and most likely need to eat fewer carbs until you can achieve and sustain ketosis.
Although other variables matter much more than how many ketones you are producing, including your overall health and weight loss results, to experience all the benefits of the keto diet you must be in nutritional ketosis.
The primary variable that separates you from nutritional ketosis? The food you eat.
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Now That Youve Got The Food List Check Out More Info About The Keto Diet:
Do you feel like your normal body energy is all over the place? Are you constantly losing focus after a meal containing high levels of carbohydrates? Well, try to consider the Ketogenic Diet, also known as Keto for short. Just like the normal diet, this one aids in weight loss and is considered a fat loss diet. However, it is not really like the average diet. It stands out on so many levels. It comes with its own Keto diet food list, see below. Keto diet is famous for improving the health of people suffering from cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimers disease and many other health issues . It is simple yet requires paying attention to what you eat.
What is Keto Diet?
The Keto diet is a diet where you eat very low amounts of carbohydrates, moderate amounts of proteins, and a high amount of fats. It seems like you are cutting down on all the good stuff, but this is actually more beneficial to your health than most diets. Most people are generally addicted to carbohydrates and sugars, especially those of the working class due to the high energy levels they have to sustain and the minimal free time they get. However, this diet is sure to wean you off this addiction sooner than you think.
Are you a beginner and want to learn HOW TO DO KETO? Weve teamed up with Leanne and want to share her awesome product, THE KETO BEGINNING with you:
Nuts Seeds And Healthy Oils
Nuts and seeds are full of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, fiber and protein. They also are very low in net carbs. Olive oil and coconut oil are the two oils recommended on the keto diet. Olive oil is high in oleic acid and is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Coconut oil is high in saturated fat but contains medium-chain triglycerides , which can increase ketone production. MCTs may increase metabolic rate and promote the loss of weight and belly fat too. Measure portion sizes when consuming any type of healthy fat.
Carb counts for 1 oz. of nuts and seeds :
- Almonds: 3 g net carbs
- Brazil nuts: 1 g net carbs
- Cashews: 8 g net carbs
- Macadamia nuts: 2 g net carbs
- Pecans: 1 g net carbs
- Pistachios: 5 g net carbs
- Walnuts: 2 g net carbs
- Chia seeds: 2 g net carbs
- Flaxseeds: 0 g net carbs
- Pumpkin seeds: 2 g net carbs
- Sesame seeds: 4 g net carbs
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Youre Eating Too Much Saturated Fat
One of the common keto diet mistakes that people make is eating too much saturated and trans fats. Yes, the keto diet is a high-fat diet, but there is still a difference between the types of fats that you should eat.
Healthy fats are the ones that should make the up the most of your fat intake.
The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your saturated fat intake. Too much saturated fat can increase your bad cholesterol, and, therefore, your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
While it is impossible to completely eliminate saturated fat from your diet, dont let it make up the majority of your diet.
On the other hand, healthy fats, which are monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats, are the ones that raise your good cholesterol. So, stock up on your nuts, avocado, and fatty fish intake. Your body will thank you for it.
Weve been trained to be afraid of fat, but that doesnt need to be the case, especially on the keto diet. Again, the key is consuming the right types of fats.
According to doctors and nutritionists, including Kelly Kennedy, RD, some of the best fat sources you should be consuming on this diet include:
- Wild-caught salmon
The fats that you should avoid at all costs are:
If you are going to consume the majority of your calories from fats and proteins, make sure they are unprocessed and clean. By clean, we mean eating meats that are grass-fed and pasture-raised, avoiding dairy, and staying away from processed junk foods.
Bread Pasta Rice & Grains
Bread is probably the worst and most common food to avoid on a ketogenic diet because its full of carbs! A plain bagel can have as many as 48 grams of carbs .
Bread, Pasta, Rice, & Grains to avoid:
- Potato chips
While its not technically a food, beer should also be avoided given most brews are made from grain and barley and contain a hefty amount of carbs per glass!
Hip Tip: New to Keto? Check out this 5-day meal plan with a grocery shopping list to help get you started!
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What Can You Eat On A Keto Diet
Keto is a macro based low carb diet, meaning no food items are excluded as long as you hit your daily keto macronutrient goals. Of course certain food items can make this harder or easier. Additionally, the quality of these food choices can impact your overall health and ability to lose weight on this meal plan .
Youre Having Too Many Cheat Meals
Unfortunately, on a keto diet, you cant really have a cheat meal like you may be able to do on other diets.
This is because a cheat meal will typically be high in carbs. This will take you out of ketosis and then you will have to start all over again to get your body back into it.
You can try having low-carb versions of your favorite meal, such as cauliflower crust pizza. Or, if you want to order it from your local pizza store, choose thin crust over thick or deep pan. This way, you can indulge, while still staying as low-carb as possible.
If you do cheat, keep in mind that just a single transgression is likely to throw you out of ketosis, and youll have to begin the process again. It can take a minimum of two to four days to get back on track , so ask yourself if the pizza is worth it before you indulge.
For different ideas, try looking online for some keto recipes. Youd be surprised which foods have keto-friendly recipe adaptations. Theres even a way to make Reeses Peanut Butter Cups compliant with keto!
If youre up for a challenge, see how much weight you can lose on the 28-Day Keto Challenge.
Another way to have a cheat meal on the ketogenic diet is to actually make the meal is worthwhile. Dont just mindlessly snack, but really just eat something that youre craving and enjoy every bite of it.
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Soda Isnt Allowed On Keto But Unsweetened Sparkling Water Is A Great Choice
The keto diet often marks a drastic shift in eating habits. If you are a soda drinker, youll have to get it out of your diet completely, says Herrmann. It may be tough to do at first, but these are packed with sugar, and eating less of the sweet stuff will benefit your health, regardless of whether youre on keto, he says. In fact, drinking soda has been associated with greater odds of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to a Circulation. Ultimately, youre making a march toward a healthier pattern of eating, so working with a registered dietitian whos knowledgeable in the keto diet can help you figure out how to cut back and replace it in your diet.
Because its carb-free, diet soda is technically an okay option. But sparkling water is an even better choice when you want that fizz, since it doesnt even contain the artificial sweeteners present in diet drinks. These sweeteners may stimulate appetite and increase the risk for weight gain, per a study published in March 2014 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Choose naturally flavored but unsweetened versions of sparkling water, like those from brands LaCroix or Waterloo. Both have zero grams of carbs.
Meat Seafood And Eggs
Meat and seafood are allowed on the keto diet, and the options are pretty much endless. Anything processed should be limited on the keto diet.
Meats and seafoods you can eat when going keto include:
“You can have fruit on keto if you stick to five percent or less total carbohydrates. Stick with berries, or even a Granny Smith apple with peanut butter, as long as it fits your ratios and total carbs for the day,” Wells says. “Some people who have a high amount of lean body mass and/or a large amount of muscle may have higher carbohydrate needs, and thus may be able to include more fruit.”
Also Check: Ketokarma.com/macros
Seafood And Fatty Fish
Fish is abundant in B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium, and potassium and is high in protein and low in carbs. Omega-3 fats in sardines, salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, and other fatty fish significantly reduce blood sugar levels and boost insulin sensitivity.
Frequent fish intake has also been related to a lower probability of chronic illness and enhanced psychological health. To get the best out of this group of keto foods, you need to aim for at least two 3-ounce portions of fatty fish per week.
Can You Eat Watermelon Once You’ve Gone Keto
Watermelon seems like a safe choice on a keto diet, but in reality, it isn’t a great substitute for an afternoon snack or evening dessert. This is because watermelon has a high amount of natural sugar.
“This amount of sugar and carbs can raise blood sugar and insulin levels and shut off ketone production,” registered dietitian Sarah Koenck, member of the clinical team at Virta Health, told Popsugar. “To maintain nutritional ketosis, most people need to stick with around 50 grams of carbs or less. Given the high-carb content in watermelon, it is not a good option to include in your ketogenic meal plan.” She explained that a bite of this fruit may not throw you out of ketosis, but it can be difficult to limit yourself to such a small portion.
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Prime Rib With Italian Herb Sauce
Consider this prime rib recipe your ace in the hole for the holiday season. It’s an impressive dish that feels incredibly fancy, but requires nothing more than a quick rubdown and a few pulses from the food processor. With the herb-based sauce replacing horseradish cream, this roast outsizzles any prime rib you’d find at a buffet carving table.
Other Keto Approved Ingredients
Cooking most of your meals at home is one of the easiest ways to control your ingredients and portion sizes, ensuring you are sticking to your ketogenic diet goals. But you’ll want to understand which sauces, seasonings, and added ingredients fit your keto lifestyle.
There is a growing abundance of keto approved sauces, sweeteners, mixes, and low carb substitutes available to make preparing your own carb conscious meals easier than ever.
Here are some of the most popular keto ingredients to look for that can help curb cravings and won’t mess with your overall nutrition.
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List Of Foods You Can’t Eat On The Keto Diet:
- Starchy vegetables and high-sugar fruits
- Sweetened yogurt
- Honey, syrup or sugar in any form
- Chips and crackers
- Baked goods including gluten-free baked goods
Don’t get too discouraged. Dietitians Stone and Laura Dority, M.S., R.D., L.D., with Keto Knowledge LLC, say that no foods are really off-limits on the keto diet. It’s about total carbohydrate intake and how you choose to “spend” your carbs. Generally, you should stay under 20-40 grams of carbohydrates per day. “The exact amount needed to achieve ketosis can vary on the individual, though, with carb prescriptions ranging from 10 to 60 grams per day. This total is for net carbohydrates ,” says Stone.
Dority adds, “Individuals who are really active can eat more carbs than someone who is sedentary.”
Benefits Of A Keto Diet
The main health benefits of a keto diet can include:
Some people do find that a keto diet helps them lose weight. However, what works for one person may not work for another. A comprehensive review of scientific evidence published in 2019 in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology looked at the effect of low-carbohydrate and very low-carbohydrate diets like keto on body weight and other factors. It found that keto-style diets are no better than other types of diets, such as low-fat diets, at bringing about long-term weight loss.
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