As with all new diets, understanding what you can and can’t eat can be confusing. If you’ve just started the keto diet, it can be even more confusing! How many fats are acceptable to eat? What amount of carbohydrates do you need to stay under to put the body into Ketosis?
Although it can be confusing, the basic principle of the Keto diet is to reduce the number of carbohydrates in your diet and replace them with healthy fats and proteins. Doing so puts your body into Ketosis or fat-burning mode. Studies have shown that by following a Keto diet, you can reduce your blood sugar levels, insulin levels and burn fat quickly and effectively, meaning it’s perfect for those at risk of diabetes.
This post looks at the top 5 foods you can eat on a Keto diet and why they’re so great.
Protein is an essential part of every diet as it helps repair muscle fibres and aids cell growth. When following a keto diet, it’s important that protein only makes up around 25% of your daily calorie intake as too much will kick your body out of Ketosis. Biltong is a great snack for anyone following a ketogenic diet as it contains zero sugar, is naturally low in fat and is high in protein, all of which the body needs to stay in Ketosis. Because it’s much higher in protein than fats, we recommend pairing it with boiled eggs or Cheese as this will help keep cravings at bay and keep you feeling satisfied until your next meal. Find out more about what is biltong here.
High-fat dairy products such as Cheese are an excellent choice for anyone trying Keto, but you need to be careful as some can be higher in carbs than others. Cheeses such as Brie, Camembert and other soft-ripened cheeses contain the lowest amount of carbs per 100 grams, whereas cream cheeses contain higher amounts per 100g servings due to the amount of lactose (sugar) in the products.
Leafy green vegetables
Without carbs, it can be hard to feel satisfied on Keto. That’s why it’s so important to pair high-fat foods with plenty of low-carb leafy green vegetables such as Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage and Kale, as they can help you feel fuller for longer. Cook in butter or Cheese and flavour with garlic for a tasty side dish.
You’d be right if you were thinking that most fruits are laced with natural sugars and carbohydrates. But there are few exceptions to the rule that can be enjoyed on a Ketogenic diet, including Berries. Berries such as Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries and Blackberries are all naturally lower in carbohydrates than other fruits, making them a great choice for a Ketogenic snack. You should limit the number of times you eat berries so you can ensure your body stays in fat-burning mode for as long as possible.
Tea and Coffee
One of the main struggles on a Ketogenic diet is finding a drink you will really enjoy. If you regularly drink tea or coffee throughout the day, we bring good news as you can continue to enjoy these on a Keto diet. Avoid adding sugar and sweeteners to your drink, and if you like a milky brew, try and replace this with butter or heavy cream. If you can’t go without milk or sugar, you can give herbal teas a try! They are jam-packed full of flavour and contain virtually zero carbs making them the perfect tea and coffee alternatives.
If you’re thinking of trying the Ketogenic diet to shed some pounds or to try and reverse some of the symptoms of pre-diabetes, we always recommend consulting your doctor or healthcare professional before embarking on a new plan. While the Ketogenic diet can include some incredibly healthy foods (leafy greens, we’re looking at you), many others have to be kept at bay due to the number of carbs they contain.
Once you’ve been given the green light to take on the Ketogenic lifestyle, you can use this guide as a starting point for your shopping list. There are so many foods you can still consume while on a keto diet, hopefully, this article helps you get started. In general, fats are the most important food group for a Ketogenic diet, but as we mentioned there are so many more foods you can eat and enjoy whilst following, as we’ve outlined above.