The Ketogenic Diet has become a very popular way of eating recently. This high-fat, low-carb, moderate-protein diet is recognized by those trying to lose weight as well as those simply seeking better long-term health. The goal is to have your body reach a state of ketosis, in which your body burns fats rather than healthy carbs and protein for fuel.
Some of the most common programs include Keto OS, 7-Keto, the Coconut Ketogenic Diet, and the Ketogenic Bible. But among the myriad programs there is a single list of food items that all things “Keto” root from. Below is an approved food list designed to help you accomplish the diet with success!
The Complete Keto Diet Food List
Understanding the proper role of fats in our diets is key to any sort of weight loss and overall health. In terms of the Keto Diet, fats are actually more than half of your ideal calorie intake. Do go easy on the nuts, though, as some of them can be very high in calories for the amount of healthy fats you’re getting. The approved list of saturated and unsaturated fats contains:
- Avocado Oil
- Cocoa Butter
- Coconut Butter
- Coconut Oil
- Egg Yolks
- Fatty Fish (anchovies, salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, Chilean Sea Bass)
- MCT Oil (Medium-Chain Triglyceride; this is a specialty oil)
- Nuts (fattier nuts are recommended, i.e. almonds or macadamias)
- Nut Butters
- Olive Oil
Proteins play a moderate position in the ketogenic diet. That said, it is important to pay close attention to your meat and egg intake. Also, try your best to choose pasture-raised or grass-fed meats. Remember, a fatty side dish or sauce with your protein will do you well! Below is a list of general proteins and specific cuts and types:
- Beef: Fattier cuts (i.e. ground beef, roast, steak, stews, and veal)
- Eggs: Boiled, deviled, fried, or scrambled
- Fish: Catfish, cod, halibut, salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, mahi-mahi
- Organ Meats: Heart, kidney, liver, tongue, offal
- Pork: Bacon, ground pork, ham, pork chops, pork loin, pork tenderloin
- Poultry: Chicken, duck, turkey, quail, wild game
- Shellfish: Clams, crab, lobster, mussels, oysters
Leafy greens are usually a better first bet when it comes to picking veggies. Go for low-carb and non-starchy for best results.
- Bell Peppers
- Bok Choy
- Brussels Sprouts
- Lettuces (Romaine, Red and Green Leaf, Iceberg)
- Swiss Chard
As you will notice, the fruit options are rather sparse—because most are high in sugar (natural, but still sugar). Fruit should only be eaten in very small amounts in the Ketogenic diet.
Sauces and Condiments
Homemade is always the way to go, especially when it comes to sauces and condiments on the Ketogenic diet. Below is a list of approved pre-made condiments that do not typically have a lot of added carbs and sugars. Maybe turn homemade sauces into something fun to do in your free time!
- High-fat salad dressings with low or no added sugars
- Hot Sauces
- Ketchup without added sugars (or sugar alcohols)
- Mayonnaise (preferably made from cage-free eggs)
- Worcestershire sauce
- Yellow Mustard
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and Spices are definitely the way to go when it comes to the Keto diet, as long as they do not contain added sugars. Use any from the list below to add some fantastic flavor!
- Cayenne Pepper
- Chili Powder
- Lemon or lime juices
- Salt and pepper
This is where the Keto diet gets a little tricky. The ultimate advice is to avoid sweeteners and sugar as much as possible. However, sometimes that is nearly impossible, in which case there a few rules. Make sure to choose sweeteners with a low glycemic index for preserving blood sugar levels and keeping the carb count down. Another important note is to stay away from any sweeteners that use fillers (i.e. dextrose or maltodextrin). The following sweeteners are generally your best options:
- Monk fruit
Last, but definitely not least. The dairy options are pretty abundant, as these foods typically contain a high amount of fat. Fat is your friend with the Keto diet.
- Full-fat Cottage Cheese
- Full-fat Cream Cheese
- Full-fat yogurts
- Hard Cheeses (i.e. Cheddar, Feta, Parmesan, Swiss)
- Heavy Cream
- Full-fat Mayonnaise
- Soft Cheeses (i.e. Bleu Cheese, Brie, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella)
- Full-fat Sour Cream