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 Splenda can be used in place of sugar.