You´ve probably heard about the Keto diet. It’s the newest hype. All the papers are writing about it and the interest online is just exploding. So we decide to share with you our top 10 foods that should be in your keto food list.
The Keto diet is a very low-carb diet. So low in carbs that the body has to switch to mainly using fat for fuel. From example from real foods like eggs, meat, avocados, butter, olive oil, nuts, etc. Even the brain can become fueled by fat. When the body is out of sugar, fat is converted in the liver into energy molecules called ketones that fuel the brain. And the diet that results in this is called ketogenic, meaning it produces ketones. And that’s why the diet is called the keto diet.
Now once you already know what is a keto diet lets talk about what you can eat!
Meat and poultry are considered staple foods on any keto food list. Fresh meat and poultry contain no carbs and are packed with B vitamins and several minerals, including potassium, selenium, and zinc. They also contain varying levels of creatine, taurine, carnosine, and an easily absorbable form of iron. Meat, poultry and seafood are also a great source of high-quality protein, which has been shown to help preserve muscle mass during a very low-carb diet.
To get the most health benefits from your meat, we need to check how the animal was raised. For human health, it is best to have 100% grass-fed pasture-raised red meat and pasture-raised poultry. Meat from animals that are raised in this way has been found to have healthier ratios of omega 3 to omega 6 fats.
However, no land animal can compete with the amount of anti-inflammatory omega 3s that you’ll get from fish and shellfish. Salmon, sardines, mackerel and other fatty fish are the highest in omega-3 fats, which is why many studies have found frequent fish intake to be associated with improved mental health and decreased risk of disease. The omega-3 fats are also associated with lower insulin levels and higher insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese people.
Shellfish are extremely beneficial as well — providing us with an excellent source of zinc, copper, and vitamin B12. Despite how healthy they are, it is important to be mindful of how much shellfish you eat on the ketogenic diet. Some shellfish may contain more net carbs than you might expect.
Here are the carb counts for 100-gram servings of some popular types of shellfish:
Clams: 5 grams
Mussels: 7 grams
Octopus: 4 grams
Oysters: 4 grams
Squid: 3 grams
Crabs: 0 grams
Shrimp: 0 grams
In our second spot in our keto food list is a cholesterol-packed food – eggs – one of the healthiest and most versatile foods on the planet. Many experts even identify the egg as one of the only true “superfoods.”
The most of the beneficial nutrients in the egg are found in its yolk, including thirteen essential vitamins and minerals and the eye-protecting antioxidants known as lutein and zeaxanthin.
Although egg yolks are high in cholesterol, consuming them doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels in most people. In fact, eggs appear to modify the shape of LDL in a way that reduces the risk of heart disease.
Another positive aspect in egg consumption is that has also been found to increase the feeling of fullness and keep blood sugar levels stable, leading to lower calorie intakes for up to 24 hours.
On top of that, one large egg contains less than 1 gram of carbs and fewer than 6 grams of protein, making it the perfect keto-friendly health food.
Similarly to what happened in meats, if you’d like to find the healthiest eggs possible, seek out egg farmers that give their chickens access to pasture — a place where they can eat plenty of insects and live free.
Cheese, butter and cream they have a third place on our list because they have good fats to include in a keto diet.
For many years, butter and cream were believed to cause or contribute to heart disease due to their high saturated fat contents. However, several large studies have shown that, for most people, saturated fat isn’t linked to heart disease.
In fact, some studies suggest that a moderate consumption of high-fat dairy may possibly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke
High-fat dairy is a source of high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and conjugated linoleic acid. The combination of these nutrients is essential for maintaining strength and function as we age.
There is no need to be cheap with the cheese, cream, and butter on the ketogenic diet. Due to the low-carb content of high-fat dairy, you can get away with using a reasonable amount in each meal without having to worry about getting too many carbs.
Olives and olive oil provide impressive benefits for health. One of the most studied compounds present in olives and olive oil is called oleocanthal. This compound possesses similar anti-inflammatory properties as ibuprofen. Which makes olives and virgin olive oil a great addition to our keto food list.
A 28-gram serving of olives contains 2 grams of total carbs and 1 gram of fiber. This works out to a net carb count of 1 gram for 7–10 olives, depending on their size. If you don’t like olives or don’t want the net carbs they contain, then olive oil is a great option as well. Although you won’t get all of the benefits of olives by consuming olive oil.
Keep in mind, however, that some of the fats in olive oil can become rancid when exposed to higher temperatures. For this reason, it is best to cook with it at low temperatures or eat it in its raw form. Try putting it on your salads and vegetables to add some healthy fats. As a pure fat source, olive oil contains no carbs.
Garlic has been used in the kitchen for centuries. It is rich in organosulfur compounds, which give it its potent flavor, taste, and health-promoting properties.
Garlic, onions, leeks, and other vegetables from the Allium family all contain allicin. This is a potent compound that activates anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative activities throughout the body, protecting us from brain diseases.
Although they tend to be higher in net carbs than other low-carb vegetables, it is difficult to consume too many allium vegetables. Feel free to use them in your cooking to enhance the flavor of your keto meals.
All low-carb vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that are essential to all aspects of our health. Cruciferous veggies, however, come with an extra health boost.
What gives crucifers like broccoli and cauliflower a place in our top 10 keto food list is sulforaphane.
Sulforaphane is a compound that is created when we crush or chew cruciferous vegetables. Once it is digested, sulforaphane activates a cytoprotective (cell-protecting) pathway that protects the cells from oxidative. This is one of the main reasons why cruciferous vegetable consumption is linked to improved cognitive function and decreased cancer and heart disease risk. The best part is that you can find these vegetables in any supermarket.
Low-carb veggies make great substitutes for higher-carb foods. For instance, cauliflower can be used to mimic rice or mashed potatoes, “zoodles” can be created from zucchini and spaghetti squash is a natural substitute for spaghetti.
Most fruits are too high in carbs to include on a ketogenic diet, but berries are an exception.
There are lots of different types of berries in the world, and all of them contain different anthocyanins, which are flavonoids responsible for their distinctive colors of red, blue, and purple. These flavonoids also have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Wild blueberries, for example, have been found to improve memory in older adults, and other research suggests that they protect the brain from inflammation. Raspberries and blackberries are loaded with antioxidants that have been credited with reducing inflammation and protecting against disease as well.
Another advantage of this berries is that can be consumed fresh, frozen or even in amazing desserts. (Check our Keto Raspberry Ice Cream)
Although they are small berries should be consumed in moderation due to there relatively higher net carb content.
Here are the carb counts for 100 grams of some keto-friendly berries:
Blackberries: 10 grams of total carbs (5 grams of net carbs)
Blueberries: 14 grams of total carbs (12 grams of net carbs)
Raspberries: 12 grams of total carbs (6 grams of net carbs)
Strawberries: 8 grams of total carbs (6 grams of net carbs)
Coconut oil has unique properties that make it a must-have in any keto food list.
One of the reasons for the health-promoting effects of coconut oil is that it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Unlike long-chain fats that you’ll find in fatty meats and dairy.
Also, another fascinating fact is that coconut oil helps obese adults lose weight and belly fat. One study, in particular, found that supplementing the diet of obese men with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of coconut oil per day lead to an average loss of 1 cm from their waistlines.
Nuts and seeds are a healthy, high-fat and low-carb food that should be present in any diet.
Frequent nut consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, depression and other chronic diseases. Nuts and seeds also contain plenty of fiber, which increases the feeling of fullness and reduces calorie consumption.
Furthermore, nuts and seeds are high in fiber, which can help you feel full and absorb fewer calories overall. Although all nuts and seeds are low in net carbs, the amount varies quite a bit among the different types.
Here are the carb counts for 28 grams of the most widely consumed nuts and seeds:
Almonds: 6 grams total carbs (3 grams net carbs)
Brazil nuts: 3 grams total carbs (1 gram net carbs)
Cashews: 9 grams total carbs (8 grams net carbs)
Macadamia nuts: 4 grams total carbs (2 grams net carbs)
Pecans: 4 grams total carbs (1 gram net carbs)
Pistachios: 8 grams total carbs (5 grams net carbs)
Walnuts: 4 grams total carbs (2 grams net carbs)
Chia seeds: 12 grams total carbs (1 gram net carbs)
Flaxseeds: 8 grams total carbs (0 grams net carbs )
Pumpkin seeds: 5 grams total carbs (4 grams net carbs)
Sesame seeds: 7 grams total carbs (3 grams net carbs)
Dark chocolate and cocoa are delicious sources of antioxidants, and so, a must have in our keto food list.
This guilty pleasure may be as pleasureful for you as it is for your body. The cocoa in dark chocolate contains many flavanols that decrease blood pressure, heart disease risk, and insulin resistance.
In fact, cocoa has been called a “super fruit,” because it provides at least as much antioxidant activity as any other fruit, including blueberries and acai berries.
However, it’is important to heat in moderation, especially on ketogenic diets.
When buying chocolate or any cocoa product, read the label to make sure it has no added sugars.
A ketogenic diet it’s a new trend in diets. It can be used to achieve weight loss, blood sugar control and other health-related goals. Fortunately, it can include a wide variety of nutritious, tasty and versatile foods that allow you to remain within your daily carb range.