The ketogenic diet, popularly known as the keto diet has gained quitesome popularity over the past few years as it has been promoted byfamous actors and numerous online health sites. This is a diet that is designed to bring down the intake of carbohydrates to about 5 percent while providing an adequate amount of protein (20%) and a high amount of fat (75%).

This high amount of fat is eventually converted into ketone bodies which are an alternative source of energy. The keto diet has a wide range of benefits but its major benefits are its help in reducing the blood sugar level and also weight loss.

If you, however, find yourself taking on the keto meal plan, here’s a list of foods you can and cannot eat when you’re on keto.


Here are the foods you can eat when you’re on a keto meal plan.

1. Meat
The keto diet places more emphasis on animal proteins. However, when you talk about meat, experts stress the importance of choosing organic and grass-fed meat over processed meat which are not keto-friendly. Also, it is important you understand that the keto diet is one with higher fats and moderate protein, so you don’t need a large amount of meat in your meal plan. Consuming a large amount of meat will result in excess protein which would, in turn, be converted into glucose and would make it difficult for your body to kick start ketosis.

2. Fish and Seafood
Fish is known to be rich in B vitamins, potassium, protein and selenium; yet it is essentially carb-free. Wild-caught fish are actually considered the best but you can also consider eating smaller fishes like mackerel, herring and sardines as they are toxin- free. High levels of omega-3 fats have been found to be present in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel. These omega-3 fats are known to lower blood sugar levels and increase the sensitivity of the body cells to insulin

3. Low- Carb Vegetables
In choosing low-carb veggies, non-starchy vegetables should be your choice because they are low in carbs and calories but are high in fibers, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. You can either choose fresh or frozen veggies as both are perfect. Green and leafy vegetables growing above ground are very fine. Examples include cabbage, avocado, broccoli and cauliflower. You can make use of vegetables to give your keto meals a pleasant color and flavor. You can also maximize their delectable tastes to consume regular fat on your meal plan. Starchy veggies such as turnips, sweet potatoes as well as regular potatoes and carrots should be avoided.

4. Low-Sugar Fruits
Yeah, it’s true you’re cutting back on lots of carbohydrates and sugar but some fruits are still permissive on a keto plan. However, it’s important you know that there’s the need to watch the quantity you take so that you still remain in ketosis. One of such fruits that don’t cause a setback in your diet and at the same time appeases your appetite for something sweet is raspberries. Other low-sugar fruits include tomatoes, coconut, lemon, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and avocado

5. Nuts and Seeds
These should be taken in a moderate amount, particularly when you’re using them as snacks because you tend to not get satisfied and end up eating more than necessary and required. Kindly note that cashew nuts contain essentially high carb and as such should be avoided. Go for pecan and macadamia nuts instead. Other types of nuts that you can add to your cart include walnuts, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts. Chia seeds and flaxseed offer omega-3 fatty acids which improve the ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids and this is very vital in lowering the risk of insulin resistance.

6. High-Fat Dairy Products
Butter and cheese are considered high-fat dairy products. Butter and high-fat cheese are both good for cooking. Dairy products are also good sources of healthy protein, fats and calcium. Cheese has zero carbs and is high in fat. This is the reason it’s considered a convenient on-the-go snack. However, snacking on cheese should be in moderate quantity because regularly snacking could impede your weight loss.

7. Natural Fats and Healthy Oils
Olive oil and coconut oil are the two oils approved for a keto meal plan. Oils either from nuts or from fruits are a great source of keto-friendly fats. Olive oil has a lower risk of heart disease being high in oleic acid. Coconut oil is known to boost ketone production.

8. Eggs
Eggs contain high amounts of B vitamins, animal protein, minerals and antioxidants. They contain zero carbs and the presence of antioxidants help to preserve the eye's health. Eggs also trigger the secretion of hormones that keep the blood sugar levels stable.

There’s actually no food that is considered off-limits on the keto diet. It’s all just a function of ensuring total carbs intake remains below the threshold of about 50grams per day. So here’s a list of foods you can’t eat on a keto diet.

1. Grains
Getting your body into the fat-burning state of ketosis requires cutting down on your carb intake. Grains are mostly made of carbohydrates, so avoiding them completely would keep you on track to achieve your low-carb target. Cereals, rice, pasta, oatmeal, bread and beer are all high in carbohydrates. Breakfast cereals containing a high amount of sugar as well as healthy whole-grain cereals are high in carbohydrates and should, therefore, be avoided. You can have a beer in moderate amounts but spirits and dry wine are preferable options. Kindly be aware that alcohol consumption should be very limited.

2. Starchy Vegetables
Vegetables that grow beneath the ground should be avoided. Such vegetables include carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes and regular potatoes. Starchy vegetables contain lots of digestible fibers and as such, their intake should be limited on a ketogenic diet.

3. Sugar
You should limit your sugar intake so as not to spike your blood sugar levels. While there are so many healthy sugar alternatives like raw honey, they are all still sugar and should be avoided so that your body still remains in ketosis. All soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit juice should be avoided. Sugary breakfast cereals, frozen teats, chocolate bars, cookies and cakes should also be avoided.

4. High-Sugar Fruits
Fruits with a high amount of sugar content can also spike your blood sugar levels. Examples of such fruits include
banana, raisins, dates, mango and pears. Most fruits despite being healthy are not keto-compliant. They are usually high in sugar and carbs making them not keto-friendly. If you do need to take fruits, you can opt for those with low sugar such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. They should, however, be eaten sparingly. Fruit smoothies should also be avoided. You can instead have smoothies containing mostly veggies, healthy fats, nut butter and sugar- free liquids like hemp milk or almond milk.

5. Milk and Low-Fat Dairy
The main types of protein to avoid on a keto diet include processed meats and factory-raised meat as well as factory- raised animal by-products. Milk and low-fat dairy should also be avoided. It’s very important you know that not all dairy products are equal. Therefore, in buying keto-friendly products, those with high-fat content are fine but those with low-fat content should be avoided. Yoghurt is one example of a low-fat dairy product. So when buying dairy products, keep in mind that the higher the fat content, the better for you. Dairy products containing fat and protein are very vital for ketosis

You should also avoid milk with moderate or excessive amounts of carbs. Dairy milk is one of such milk as it is not keto-compliant because it contains lactose which is a milk sugar that has a high amount of carbohydrate. Milk also has no fiber to help neutralize the carbs. But if you need to have some milk, you can opt for those with “unsweetened” labels. Also, almond and coconut milk do not have added sugar and are therefore keto-friendly.

6. Factory-Raised Animal Products
Grain-fed meats and dairy have a low amount of omega-3s and should, therefore, be avoided. Factory-raised fish and pork products should also be avoided as they are very high in omega-6 fatty acids which are inflammatory. Processed meats are also a big no-no for a keto diet. They contain nitrates and other additives which are non essential for your body.

7. Unhealthy Fats
Unhealthy fat sources to avoid on a keto diet include processed trans-fats and vegetable oils. Vegetable oils
contain a large amount of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and when this form of fatty acid is not balanced with sufficient omega-3 fatty acid, it could have negative effects on the body’s health. Added trans-fats are the worst fat you could eat on a keto diet. In fact, some health departments have banned some of these trans-fats. You should be careful when purchasing packaged foods because trans-fats are often added to processed foods. They are often substituted for the natural, shelf-stable fats.

Weight management is important in all stages of life despite how challenging and intimidating it may appear. This is why the ketogenic diet is vital as it helps to shed those extra kilos. The ketogenic meal plan drives the body into ketosis and in this state of ketosis, the body utilizes fat as a primary source of fuel. So the basic objective of a keto meal plan is to cut down your daily carb intake while eating more fats and moderate amounts of protein.

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