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What is a Ketogenic or Keto Diet?

A Keto Diet restricts carbohydrates (carbs), which are primarily found in sugary foods and starches, like bread, rice or pasta. It basically means to lower your intake of carbs, and increase your intake of healthy fats.

How does it work?

When you avoid sugar and starches, your blood sugar stabilizes and the levels of the fat-storing hormone, insulin drop. This increases fat burning and makes you feel more satiated, reducing food cravings and intake, causing you to lose weight.

Foods to Avoid

Any food that is high in carbs should be limited.

Here is a list of foods that need to be reduced or eliminated on a ketogenic diet:

  • Sugary foods: Soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
  • Grains or starches: Wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
  • Fruit: All fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries.
  • Beans or legumes: Peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
  • Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
  • Low-fat or diet products: These are highly processed and often high in carbs.
  • Some condiments or sauces: These often contain sugar and unhealthy fat.
  • Unhealthy fats: Limit your intake of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
  • Alcohol: Due to their carb content, many alcoholic beverages can throw you out of ketosis.
  • Sugar-free diet foods: These are often high in sugar alcohols, which can affect ketone levels in some cases. These foods also tend to be highly processed.

Foods to Eat

You should base the majority of your meals around these foods:

  • Meat: Red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey.
  • Fatty fish: Such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel.
  • Eggs: Look for pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.
  • Butter and cream: Look for grass-fed when possible.
  • Cheese: Unprocessed cheese (cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella).
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
  • Healthy oils: Primarily extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.
  • Avocados: Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole.
  • Low-carb veggies: Most green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
  • Condiments: You can use salt, pepper and various healthy herbs and spices.

 

A Sample Keto Meal Plan For 1 Week

To help get you started, here is a sample ketogenic diet meal plan for one week:

Monday

  • Breakfast: Bacon, eggs and tomatoes.
  • Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil and feta cheese.
  • Dinner: Salmon with asparagus cooked in butter.

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: Egg, tomato, basil and goat cheese omelet.
  • Lunch: Almond milk, peanut butter, cocoa powder and stevia milkshake.
  • Dinner: Meatballs, cheddar cheese and vegetables.

Wednesday

Thursday

  • Breakfast: Omelet with avocado, salsa, peppers, onion and spices.
  • Lunch: A handful of nuts and celery sticks with guacamole and salsa.
  • Dinner: Chicken stuffed with pesto and cream cheese, along with vegetables.

Friday

  • Breakfast: Sugar-free yogurt with peanut butter, cocoa powder and stevia.
  • Lunch: Beef stir-fry cooked in coconut oil with vegetables.
  • Dinner: Bun-less burger with bacon, egg and cheese.

Saturday

  • Breakfast: Ham and cheese omelet with vegetables.
  • Lunch: Ham and cheese slices with nuts.
  • Dinner: White fish, egg and spinach cooked in coconut oil.

Sunday

  • Breakfast: Fried eggs with bacon and mushrooms.
  • Lunch: Burger with salsa, cheese and guacamole.
  • Dinner: Steak and eggs with a side salad.

Always try to rotate the vegetables and meat over the long term, as each type provides different nutrients and health benefits.

Healthy Keto Snacks

In case you get hungry between meals, here are some healthy, keto-approved snacks:

  • Fatty meat or fish
  • Cheese
  • A handful of nuts or seeds
  • Cheese with olives
  • 1–2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 90% dark chocolate
  • A low-carb milkshake with almond milk, cocoa powder and nut butter
  • Full-fat yogurt mixed with nut butter and cocoa powder
  • Strawberries and cream
  • Celery with salsa and guacamole
  • Smaller portions of leftover meals

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