Are you starting out on the ketogenic diet? If so then it’s important to know which foods are keto-friendly and which ones you should avoid. This will help you to get into the state of ketosis and avoid getting kicked out.
You should take the time to make a keto meal plan and shopping list. This will help you to plan out your meals for a day or week and make sure you have all the foods you need. That includes meats, fish, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and dairy. When you’re better organized it will be easier to pick the right ingredients and meals so you can stay under 50g of carbs while making sure you also get enough fats in your diet.
What foods should you be focusing on? This is a low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diet that requires you to get most of your calories from fats. The macro split should be 70|% fats, 20% protein, and just 10% carbs. This can be tough to plan out if you’ve been eating a high-carb diet.
It’s critical to avoid high amounts of carbohydrates. This can cause blood sugar spikes and thus prevent you from staying in ketosis. That’s a situation you’ll definitely want to avoid.
What Can You Eat on Keto?
This is easily the most important macronutrient on this diet. It’s critical to make sure you’re consuming a maximum daily total of 50g of carbs. After you’ve been on the diet for a while you could drop carbs as low as 20g, which is quite low.
The main goal of going low carb is to prevent your body from going out of ketosis. If that happens then it will start getting energy again from carbs and stored blood sugar. This is actually the body’s first option but you’ll want to get your energy from liver-made ketones and stored fat instead.
2. Above-ground Veggies
Most vegetables are low-carb. The main exceptions are root vegetables including:
- Potatoes/Sweet potatoes
The “problem with these foods is they are starchy vegetables that are higher in carbs. For example, a large white potato has nearly 60g of carbs. That’s more than is allowed for a whole day while on the Keto diet.
Root veggies are actually quite healthy. However, you still have many options that are lower carb. They include green leafy veggies, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, herbs, and spices.
3. Non-sugary Fruit
It might be surprising but most fruit is actually too high in carbs for Keto. The best options include berries like raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. Other good options include lives, avocados, and coconuts.
4. Full-fat dairy
When on Keto make sure you go with full-fat dairy since you’ll be getting more healthy fats. Milk is somewhat high in carbohydrates. Other better options include heavy cream, butter, cream cheese, and Greek yogurt.
These are low-carb and high-fat foods you should consider eating more of. Tree nuts include almonds, walnuts, cashews, and Macadamia nuts. Peanuts are another good option even though they’re technical beans.
You can also pick various seeds like sunflower, sesame, flax, chia, and pumpkin. These are high in good fats, protein, fiber, etc.
Keto Meal Plan and Shopping List
Meal planning is always a good idea when you’re on a particular diet. It helps to save time, effort, and money. This is also true when you’re on Keto. When you plan ahead for the next day or week, you’ll be better organized.
Make sure to know what your macro split should be. What’s your target carbs, protein, and fat for the day? You can find online calculators to calculate which macro ratio is best for you.
You can also find a wide range of online recipes. These include breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas. You can even find snacks like Fat Bombs (mini cheesecakes), cheese crisps (bake cheese), and chocolate mug cake.
When you do meal planning based on your macro split you’ll also know what to add to your shopping list. This will make your shopping experience better since it takes out the guesswork. You’ll know what to get in terms of meats, produce, dairy, etc.
Here are some go-to foods you should definitely include on your Keto shopping list:
- Breakfast sausage
- Chicken breast (boneless/skinless)
- Ground beef
- Pork finds
- Butter (unsalted)
- Cheese (cheddar, mozzarella)
- Cottage cheese
- Cream cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Heavy cream
- Bell pepper
- Onions (green, white)
- Romaine lettuce
SPICES, HERBS, AND OILS
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Ginger (ground)
- Oil (olive, coconut)
- Sea salt
This list doesn’t include everything you’ll need every week. The key is to do meal planning so you’ll know which ingredients you’ll need for the next week for different meals. You can even add some staples to make sure you have extra stuff for making whatever you need.
It’s best to do meal planning for a full week. If you plan for just one day it provides some benefits. However, it’s tougher because you’ll be more likely to make more trips to the grocery store and market.
Food to Avoid on the Keto Diet
The most important foods to avoid are high-carb ones. They include sugary fruits, starchy veggies, white sugar, and refined flour. These foods can cause blood sugar spikes even if they’re a natural food.
For example, mango is a superfood and healthy tropical fruit. However, it also has 50g of carbs, which is quite high for the fruit.
Starchy vegetables are another food to avoid at the store. This includes sweet potatoes, turnips, potatoes, parsnips, and others. Some root veggies like carrots aren’t high-carb. However, many of them are so they’re foods you should avoid.
Another important food to avoid buying at the store is highly-processed. That includes cookies, cakes sodas, energy drinks, and others. These foods are more likely to cause blood sugar spikes. That can prevent you from staying in the state of ketosis.
Another food to watch out for is all sugars. This includes ones that are sugarcane-based and others. Maple syrup, corn syrup, and raw honey aren’t from the sugarcane plant. However, they’re quite high in natural sugars so they can cause your blood sugar to spike.
What out for foods that have hidden sugar. They include pre-packaged foods like desserts, frozen food, and so on. Several pre-packaged foods contain sugar even though you might not them to have any.
You should also watch out for synthetic additives. They might be low or even zero carb. However, they can cause other health issues if they’re still highly processed. For example, there are synthetic sweeteners that aren’t natural options.
Make sure to watch out for pre-packaged dessert foods. These can be sky-high in carbs. Besides that, they’re also more likely to have unhealthy trans-fats and artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Make sure to focus on foods that are natural/organic and processed a little to none when making the keto meal plan and shopping list.