ketosis food list for ketosis meals to make you keto healthy
Here in one place to find resources for Foods You Can Eat on the healthy Ketogenic Diet · Fish and Seafood · Low-Carb Veggies · Cheese · Plain Greek Yogurt and Cottage Cheese · Avocados · Meat and Poultry
The ketogenic diet is made up of mainly a high-fat, a percentage of moderate-protein and very low-carbohydrate diet. Studies show that carbohydrates are the body’s preferred go to source of energy, but on a relatively strict ketogenic diet, less than 5 percent of energy intake is from carbohydrates (learn more in the Maxx Ketosis beginner’s guide for the ketogenic diet). In the gude we reveal reduction of carbohydrates puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis. Ketosis is when the body starts effetely breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone and then to use ketones for energy, in the absence of circulating blood sugar from food. Once the body successfully reaches ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until you start eating carbohydrates again.
This was discovered almost by mistake, because traditionally, the ketogenic diet was only used in clinical settings to reduce seizures in children with epilepsy. “Now there is a lot of interest in the diet’s effectiveness in helping with other neurological conditions, cancer, diabetes, PCOS [polycystic ovary syndrome], obesity, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease,” says Emily Stone, M.S., R.D.
People also using the keto style of eating to lose weight.
Even if you know that you need to eat a very low-carb, high-fat, moderate protein diet—it can be confusing to know which foods to eat. Here’s our guide to foods you can eat, foods you should avoid and foods you can sometimes have when you’re following a ketogenic diet also known as the ketogenic lifestyle.
ketosis food list
Fish and Seafood
Almost everyone’s favorite Fish and Seafood
Fish is rich in B vitamins, potassium and selenium; it’s also protein-rich and carb-free. Salmon, sardines, mackerel, albacore tuna and other fatty fish boast high levels of omega-3 fats, which have been found to lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
Frequent fish intake has been linked to a decreased risk of chronic disease as well as improved mental health. Aim to consume at least two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish weekly.
Type 2 diabetes patients will benefit from the keto diet because it will regulate and improve insulin sensitivity, while keeping their blood glucose levels stable.
Nonstarchy vegetables are low in calories and carbs, but high in many nutrients, including vitamin C and several minerals.
They also contain antioxidants that help protect against cell-damaging free radicals. Aim for nonstarchy vegetables with less than 8 g of net carbs per cup. Net carbs are total carbohydrates minus fiber.
Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, bell peppers, zucchini and spinach fit the bill.
Cheese has zero carbohydrates and is high in fat, making it a great fit for the ketogenic diet. It’s also rich in protein and calcium.
But, a 1-ounce slice of cheese delivers about 30 percent of the daily value for saturated fat, so if you’re worried about heart disease consider portions when noshing on cheese.
Wedge Salad Skewers
Salad on a stick is a fair food we can get behind. Threading salad ingredients onto a skewer makes for a fun presentation of this tasty salad. Be careful not to overcook the bacon as crispy bacon can be hard to skewer.
1 (1-inch-thick) slice red onion, layers separated, cut into 1-inch pieces
¼ cup reduced-fat plain yogurt
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon chopped scallion
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ head iceberg lettuce, cut into 1-inch slices and then into 24 1-inch chunks
16 cherry tomatoes
4 slices cooked bacon, each slice cut into 4 pieces
I Step 1 Soak onion in ice water for 10 minutes.
Step 2 Meanwhile, combine yogurt, blue cheese, scallion, vinegar, pepper and salt in a small bowl.
Step 3 Drain the onion. Alternately thread 3 chunks of lettuce, 2 tomatoes, 2 pieces of bacon and 2 pieces of onion on each of 8 skewers. Spoon the yogurt dressing over the skewers.
To make ahead: Refrigerate dressing (Step 2) for up to 2 days.
Serving Size: 1 salad skewer & 1 tablespoon dressing
55 calories; protein 3.5g; carbohydrates 3.6g; dietary fiber 0.9g; sugars 2.3g; fat 3.1g; saturated fat 1.4g; cholesterol 8mg; vitamin a iu 496.4IU; vitamin c 6.2mg; folate 18.7mcg; calcium 48.2mg; iron 0.3mg; magnesium 10.4mg; potassium 189.4mg; sodium 164.1mg; thiamin 0.1mg.
1/2 high-fat protein, 1/2 vegetable
Foods You Can Eat on the Ketogenic Diet
Carb counts for 1 oz. (28 g) of nuts and seeds (net carbohydrate equals total carbs minus fiber):
- Almonds: 3 g net carbs (6 g total carbs)
- Brazil nuts: 1 g net carbs (3 g total carbs)
- Cashews: 8 g net carbs (9 g total carbs)
- Macadamia nuts: 2 g net carbs (4 g total carbs)
- Pecans: 1 g net carbs (4 g total carbs)
- Pistachios: 5 g net carbs (8 g total carbs)
- Walnuts: 2 g net carbs (4 g total carbs)
- Chia seeds: 2 g net carbs (12 g total carbs)
- Flaxseeds: 0 g net carbs (8 g total carbs)
- Pumpkin seeds: 2 g net carbs (4 g total carbs)
- Sesame seeds: 4 g net carbs (7 g total carbs)
Carb counts for 1/2 cup of some berries:
- Blackberries: 3 g net carbs (7 g total carbs)
- Blueberries: 9 g net carbs (11 g total carbs)
- Raspberries: 3 g net carbs (7 g total carbs)
- Strawberries: 3 g net carbs (6 g total carbs)
- 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 (total carbs minus fiber),” says Stone.
Dority adds, “Individuals who are really active can eat more carbs (maybe more at the 40-gram level) than someone who is sedentary.”
Other Things People Avoid on the Keto Diet
Stick to plain yogurt to limit added sugars (aka carbohydrates). Greek yogurt is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates compared to regular yogurt.
Fruit juice-natural or not-is high in fast-digesting carbs that spike your blood sugar. Stick to water.
Honey, syrup and sugar in any form
Avoid sugar, honey, maple syrup and other forms of sugar, which are high in carbohydrates and low in nutrients.
Chips and crackers
Avoid chips, crackers and other processed, grain-based snack foods, which are high in carbohydrates and low in fiber.
Gluten-free baked goods
Gluten-free does not equal carb-free. In fact, many gluten-free breads and muffins are as high in carbohydrates as traditional baked goods. They usually lack fiber too.
High-Carb Foods That Most People Avoid on the Keto Diet
Cereal, crackers, rice, pasta, bread and beer are high in carbohydrates. Even whole-wheat pasta and the new bean-based pastas are high in carbs. Consider alternatives like spiralized vegetables or shirataki noodles, which are healthier low-carb options. Sugary breakfast cereals and healthy whole-grain cereals are high in carbohydrates too and should be avoided or minimized. “A slice of bread is 11 grams of carbs on average so technically you could have one slice a day maybe but that’s spending all your carbs on pretty poor nutrition so I wouldn’t recommend it when for the same carbs you could have A LOT of veggies,” says Dority.
Beer can be enjoyed in moderation on a low-carb diet. Dry wine and spirits are better options but all alcohol should be very limited.
Starchy vegetables and high-sugar fruits
Starchy vegetables contain more digestible carbohydrates than fiber and should be limited on the ketogenic diet. These include corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes and beets. Limit high-sugar fruits too, which spike your blood sugar more quickly than berries and have more carbohydrates (get a full list of low-carb fruits ranked from lowest to highest).
Carb counts for high-sugar fruits:
- Banana (1 medium): 24 g net carbs (27 g total carbs)
- Raisins (1 oz. / 28 g): 21 g net carbs, 22 g total carbs)
- Dates (2 large): 32 g net carbs (36 g total carbs)
- Mango (1 cup, sliced): 22 g net carbs (25 g total carbs)
- Pear (1 medium): 21 g net carbs (27 g total carbs)
Carb counts for starchy vegetables:
- Corn (1 cup): 32 g net carbs (36 g total carbs)
- Potato (1 medium): 33 g net carbs (37 g total carbs)
- Sweet potato (1 medium): 20 g net carbs (24 g total carbs)
- Beets (1 cup, cooked): 14 g net carbs (17 g total carbs)
Foods and Drinks You Can Sometimes Have on the Keto Diet
You can technically have any food on the keto diet if it falls within
your daily carbohydrate goal, but these foods fall in the middle between
high-carb and low-carb.
your daily carbohydrate goal, but these foods fall in the middle between
high-carb and low-carb.
Milk is an excellent source of calcium, potassium and several B vitamins. But, 1 cup has 12 grams of sugar (lactose). Choose almond, coconut or another low-carb milk instead.
Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are high in fiber and protein and are part of a heart-healthy diet but are also high in carbohydrates. They may be included in small amounts on a ketogenic diet. However, it’s often recommended to avoid them altogether.
Pros of the Ketogenic Diet
is solid evidence to support use of the ketogenic diet in individuals
with epilepsy who have seizures that are drug resistant,” says
Dority. In the short term, people who follow the diet report weight
loss. Dority says, “There is certainly some good recent research showing
promise in disorders such as autism, traumatic brain injury, brain
tumors, migraines and Alzheimer’s (to name a few but the list could go
on), as well as some great research on ketogenic diets and type 2
diabetes reversal including dramatically reducing insulin needs, fasting
blood sugar levels, lowering A1C and obtaining significant weight
Cons of the Ketogenic Diet
most highly restrictive diets, it is difficult to meet nutritional
needs while doing keto,” says Stone. “It often comes with uncomfortable
side effects like constipation and the ‘keto flu.’ Also, the long-term
health consequences are not well understood.” Learn more about the negative side effects of the keto diet.
The Bottom Line
It’s not a one-size-fits-all prescription, and it’s crucial to work with a dietitian to ensure you’re getting essential nutrients while maintaining ketosis. There’s promising research on the benefits of the ketogenic diet for many conditions, but some people can’t keep it up for the long haul, plus the long-term effects are poorly understood. If you decide to go keto, work with a dietitian to help you create a plan.