What To Eat on a Ketogenic Diet

What to eat on a ketogenic diet?A ketogenic diet works on the principle that when no carbohydrate is stored in the muscles for energy, the body will power itself using its fat stores as its fuel source (a process called ketosis) causing you to lose weight quickly, efficiently and safely.

To attain ketosis, you need to eat a diet that is very low in carbohydrate (amounts will vary depending on the plan you are following and the stage of that plan you are on, but to begin with can be as low as 20 grams a day). This means your diet is based mostly on fat, protein, and green vegetables which make up most of the carbs you eat but give you vital nutrition. Here is a list of some suitable foods for someone following a ketogenic diet:

Ketogenic Diet Foods List:

  • Any meat (such as beef, venison, pork, veal, lamb) in any just about any cut or preparation, though check the carb content of processed meat products like sausages and ensure you don’t buy anything cured with sugar or honey.
  • Any poultry (chicken, turkey, quail, duck etc.). It is preferable to leave the skin on poultry to increase the fat content. Poultry must not be breaded or battered, but can otherwise be prepared any way you like, roasted, stir fried, deep fried, baked, grilled or barbecued.
  • Fish and shellfish. They should be fresh – things like imitation crab meat often contain added carbs – and if you buy canned fish make sure it hasn’t been preserved with added sugar. Again, it must not be breaded or battered.
  • Eggs. You will probably find that eggs become a staple when you are on a ketogenic diet.
  • Cheese. Most types of cheese are suitable for a ketogenic diet, though they do contain some carbs, so make sure you include these in your daily carb count to ensure you stay below your limit.
  • Vegetables. Vegetables will be the source of most of the carbs you eat, but you still need to choose the lowest carb vegetables with the best nutritional value. Green leafy vegetables are the best, such as spinach, all kinds of lettuce and cabbage, watercress, Brussels sprouts and kale. You can also eat broccoli and cauliflower, celery, cucumber, asparagus, bean sprouts, radishes and more, but must strictly limit you intake of sugary vegetables like peppers, onions and tomatoes, and avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes.
  • Nuts can be eaten in moderation as a snack.
  • Most kinds of oil, butter and cream can be used in cooking.
  • Fresh herbs and dry spices can be used for flavor.
  • Mayonnaise and oil based salad dressings are usually OK, but check the carb content on the bottle.
  • Artificial Sweeteners such as Stevia and EZ-Sweets can be used in place of sugar.
  • More meal ideas and an awesome Keto Snack List available on our Sample Ketogenic Diet Menu
  • LowCarbDieting.org has an incredible Low Carb Snack List

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7 Responses to What To Eat on a Ketogenic Diet

  1. peggy graves December 16, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    is there any type of bread or crackers that you can eat with low carbs

    • Anthony M May 28, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

      Yes! They’re called Flackers and they’re a Flax Seed based cracker. The Dill, Rosemary, and Savory flavors have 8g of carbs and 7g of fiber, meaning only 1 net gram of carbs per serving.

      You can read the nutrition facts here. I usually pick them up from Amazon, which is super convenient.

  2. Barbara Cohen April 16, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    Can brown rice and/or quinoa be included in a ketogenic diet?

    • Anthony M May 28, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

      Unfortunately brown rice and quinoa are not keto-friendly. I would recommend cauliflower rice as a great substitute. This website has a video showing a super easy way to make cauliflower rice. I would also highly recommend bacon-fried cauliflower rice

  3. Renay May 28, 2013 at 12:33 am #

    I’ve been following a keto diet for the past year, and i love it!!!! I have never ate better tasting food. Although I do miss bread from time to time. I have found an alternative that maybe some would like if you research “oopsy bread” you’ll find it suitable for the keto lifestyle another thing is for sugar I now use stevia, it’s way better for your health. Oh by the way I love your site, it’s very clear and helpful to folks who might want to do the keto diet, thanks!

    • Anthony M May 28, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

      Thanks Renay, glad to hear that you like the site! And I’m a big fan of oopsie rolls! I use this recipe and they’re delicious. Also a big fan of Stevia – it quickly replaced Splenda in my apartment.

  4. Terry November 11, 2016 at 7:56 pm #

    What about squash such as zuchinni? Keto Friendly?

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