Keto is an interesting diet because it doesn’t restrict any specific foods. It only gives you one goal – get into ketosis. In the first article of this series, we explained that on average, people achieve ketosis by eating less than 50g of carbs per day. That means typical keto meals will have anywhere between 0 to 20 grams of carbs. Keeping this in mind, it’s clear that many types of food simply won’t fit into the keto diet. Keto restricts your choices in an indirect way.
Avoid these foods on keto
There are two main food types that you will have to almost entirely avoid on the keto diet. The reason is simple, they are too rich in carbs and they could push you past the 50g carb limit in a single meal.
Sugary foods – This group is quite obvious. Sugar is a type of simple carbohydrate and, as we know, it’s really easy to eat too much of it. Stay away from the following if you want to have a chance of getting into ketosis: cookies, biscuits, desserts, candy, cakes, pastries, sweetened yogurts, ice cream, breakfast cereals, chocolate bars, and so on. And you have to avoid sugary drinks too. That means all sweetened and sugary drinks, including fruit juices.
Starchy foods – Starch is a type of complex carbohydrate. Certain starchy foods can be good for you, but if you want to stay in ketosis, you will have to limit these foods dramatically. Starchy foods include items such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fries, chips, crackers, legumes, cereal, and oats.
These are keto-friendly foods
Keto still offers quite a wide range of healthy foods you can include. Here are the main food groups to focus on.
• Meats, fish, and seafood
• Nuts and seeds
• Cheese and full-fat dairy
• Non-starchy vegetables
• Oils and fats
When it comes to hydration, you can enjoy water, coffee and tea as long as you don’t add sugar. Alcohol should also be excluded. But if you have a special occasion once in a while, you can probably fit in a single drink of dry wine, champagne, or distilled spirits. Definitely stay away from beers and cocktails, those are simply too sugary.
A day of keto eating
Knowing what types of foods to choose on the keto diet, we can now put together a full keto day. Here is what it could look like.
Eggs are a great choice as a base for a keto breakfast. You can make an omelette, a frittata, or just eggs over easy with some vegetables on the side. Add an avocado as a source of fats and you won’t feel hungry for a long while.
You can base your lunch around a piece of meat, ideally a fattier cut from an organically raised animal. Have it as a steak with a side of veggies or make a big salad with pieces of meat in it.
Nuts are a great keto snack food. You can even combine them with a small amount of low-sugar berries such as strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries if your daily carbohydrate budget allows.
Base your dinner around a fattier fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, or trout. You can enjoy it baked alongside some root vegetables, or even potatoes if you just returned from a long ride.
It’s good to create a few variations of this type of eating based on the allowed food groups. You definitely want to go keto for at least a few weeks to adapt and really experience what ketosis feels like. The next article will be all about tips and tricks for keto beginners, so you can start off on the right foot.