“Ketogenic” is a term used for a high fat, low-carb diet with adequate protein content. The main idea of this diet is to get more calories from fats and very few from carbohydrates. In simple words, the keto diet is a diet with no carbs or minimum carbs to boost weight loss. This makes your body burn fats rather than carbohydrates which helps in losing weight. To follow the keto diet you need to cut back most of the carbs from your diet like bread, potatoes, banana, and sugar.
How Keto Diet Works
Consuming less than 40-50 grams of carbohydrates a day will make your body run out of blood sugar, this typically takes 3 to 4 days. After this, your body will start to use protein and fats for energy. This process of breaking down fats and protein for energy is known as ketosis.
A common question by the people following this diet is, is following a keto diet healthy? Although, the keto diet should always be followed for a short period as it’s mainly focused on weight loss and not on nutrients.
The ketogenic diet is also an effective way to treat hard to control epilepsy in children. Studies have shown that about 10% to 20% of children who followed the keto diet had 90% fewer seizures. The term keto diet and epilepsy is around since it was developed in 1920. This diet is so effective for epilepsy that it completely stops seizures in as many as 2 in 10 children.
A ketogenic diet burns fats rather than carbohydrates which promotes extreme weight loss. This diet has been tested and used moderately for diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
There are a lot of low-carb foods that can be added to your keto diet. I’ve selected a few of them according to their nutritional value and low carb content.
Here are the 10 best foods to consider while following a keto diet
1. Unsweetened Greek Yogurt
Yogurt is an ancient dairy product that has been consumed since 100 BC. This food is prepared by fermentation of milk to produce lactic acid which causes milk to clot and create yogurt. The comparison of greek yogurt vs regular yogurt is the higher content of protein and minimum carbohydrates. So is greek yogurt good for you?
Greek yogurt is a high-protein dairy product that contains low amounts of carbs therefore it can be consumed in moderate amounts on the keto diet. In addition to protein, it is also high in essential vitamins and minerals that support your health.
Adding this amazing food to your diet will not only deliver a high amount of protein but is also highly effective in weight loss. You can enjoy unsweetened Greek yogurt in smoothies or simply plain without any ingredients.
Eggs are one of the best and most healthy sources of protein. One egg contains around 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of healthy fats, and less than 1 gram of carbohydrates. This makes it a great fit for low-carb diets like keto. Eggs have mostly every important nutrient in them that improves your health. These nutrients include Omega-3 fats, Vitamin A, E, B12, folate, and selenium.
In addition to their nutritional value, eggs can affect your appetite by triggering hormones that boost feelings of fullness. Eggs are the best source of a very important nutrient known as choline. This nutrient is important for building cell membranes and for the proper functionality of your brain.
Cheese is a famous dairy product that comes in a variety of textures and flavors. Most of these varieties are high in fat and low in carbohydrates, making them a perfect choice for the keto diet. Cheese is produced by blending bacteria into milk and then preparing cheese from the solid parts of the milk. The taste and texture of cheese depend on the process and the milk used.
One ounce of cheddar cheese contains less than 1 gram of carbs, 6 grams of protein, and a good amount of healthy fats and calcium. It also includes CLA, which is linked to weight loss according to some studies. Some famous types of cheese are mozzarella, blue cheese, cottage cheese, cheddar, swiss, and parmesan.
4. Green Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are the best sources of important nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all together in one food. They’re also very low on carbohydrates which makes them an excellent choice for the keto diet. Leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach are loaded with vitamin K and iron.
Green vegetables add quantity to your meals without increasing calorie intake and making you feel full. Green Herbs like oregano and rosemary have no carbs but still, add strong flavors to your food.
Adding at least one meal containing green leafy vegetables to your diet has numerous health benefits. These benefits include a lower risk of heart diseases, moderate blood pressure, and controlled blood sugar levels. Some of the most popular green vegetables are lettuce, spinach, kale, cabbage, and collard greens.
Avocados are one of the most delicious and staple food in the world. Some people refer to avocados as fruits but in reality, they’re berries. They are high in healthy fats, fiber, and protein with minimum carbohydrates. Avocados are loaded with many important nutrients that are mostly lacking in modern diets.
These nutrients include magnesium, vitamin B6, C, E, folate, and potassium. The potassium content in avocado can provide up to 10% of the daily value of this nutrient. Studies have found that eating at least one avocado per day can reduce the risk of heart disease and lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in your body.
6. Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are one of the most popular food. They are extremely healthy, and high in fat. From vegan to keto, nuts and seeds are enjoyed on a variety of diets. The amount of carbs varies on the type of nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia, and brazil nuts, chia seeds and flax seeds have less than 2 grams of carbohydrates. These nuts and seeds are a great option to add to your keto diet.
Nuts and seeds are also a great source of many nutrients like vitamin E, selenium, and magnesium. Despite their high-fat content, nuts and seeds are very effective in losing weight. According to some studies, consuming nuts and seeds daily can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, depression, and heart diseases.
Seafood like fish and shellfish is an important food for many people. They’re rich in vitamin B 6,12, protein, healthy omega 3 fats, iron, potassium, and selenium. While common seafood like fish and oysters contain low carbohydrates, the amount in shellfish differs by type. You can still add shellfish to your keto diet while tracking the amounts of carbohydrates present.
Adding seafood to your diet has many health benefits like better brain functionality, and boosting immunity against various harmful diseases. Eating fish is also associated with improved blood sugar levels in obese people.
8. Meat And Poultry
Meat and poultry are loaded with high amounts of protein and are considered staple food on a keto diet. Along with protein, meat provides many essential nutrients like vitamin B12, iron, zinc, iodine, and omega 3 fats. Meat and poultry have a minimum quantity of carbohydrates which makes them so popular for the keto diet. Adding this type of food to a low-carb diet like keto will help in maintaining muscle mass in your body.
Studies have shown that consuming meat with healthy fats can improve levels of HDL (good) cholesterol in your body. Avoid processed meats as they contain high amounts of salt and saturated fats.
9. Unsweetened Plant Based Milk
There have been many different varieties of plant-based milk in the last few years. These varieties of milk differ according to the amount of protein and carbs present. Most of these varieties are keto-friendly and contain high amounts of healthy fats and very few carbs. Some examples of these plant-based milk are soy, almond, and coconut milk.
The unsweetened versions of these varieties are the best option for a strict low-carb diet like keto. Avoid oats milk as even the unsweetened version contains fairly high amounts of carbohydrates.
Broccoli is related to cruciferous vegetables like kale, cabbage, cauliflower, reddish and Brussel sprouts. Around 100 grams of raw broccoli contains around 6 grams of carbs out of which 2 grams is fiber. The protein content in broccoli is the highest of most the other vegetables. Broccoli also contains many nutrients like vitamin C, K, iron, potassium, and fiber.
Many people enjoy broccoli either raw or cooked. But recent studies have shown that steaming broccoli preserves most of the nutrients and provide many health benefits. Regular intake of broccoli can improve insulin levels in type 2 diabetics and reduce the risk of cancer.