Following the keto diet makes it possible to burn fat, accelerate weight loss, and skyrocket your energy levels, all without restricting calories or eating bland, boring meals. But to fully reap the benefits of a ketogenic diet, you must know which foods are encouraged on the keto diet food list and which foods to avoid.
Why Follow a Keto Diet?
The keto diet is a high fat/low carb diet that’s become increasingly popular for weight and fat loss. As we explain extensively in our keto diet mastery, the principle of the keto diet is to “eat fat to burn fat.” By heavily restricting carbs — your body’s primary fuel source — your body begins to burn your fat stores for fuel instead, which produces ketones. This state of elevated ketones in the bloodstream is called ketosis, hence ketogenic diet (1).
In addition to weight loss and energy, the keto diet has been shown to improve skin health, cognitive function, memory, hormonal balance, and even managing type 2 diabetes (2)(3). Now, let’s dive into the keto diet nutrient ratios and the keto diet food list.
How Much Fat Do You Need on the Keto Diet?
On the keto diet, you’ll be eating a small amount of protein and very few carbs, which leaves the rest of your micronutrient consumption to fats — anywhere between 60-75%.
There are four different types of keto diets you can follow. Each version is high fat/low carb but with different macronutrient ratios.
For example, the standard ketogenic diet (SKD), which is the most popular version of the keto diet (and the one we’re referring to throughout this article) recommends 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs.
On the other hand, the high protein keto diet, which is geared mostly towards extremely active people or athletes, recommends 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
If your reason for following the keto diet is to lose weight, you typically won’t eat more than 20-25 g of carbs per day. To put that into perspective, a medium sized banana is around 27g of carbs— so even eating just one banana would be enough to prevent the average person from entering ketosis (people who are extremely active are the exception, as they require more fuel).
As you can see, the macro nutrient ratios of the keto diet can vary depending on your personal needs, but your fat ratio must always be significantly higher than carbs and proteins.
The keto calculator can give you a general sense of how much fat you should be eating, although your individual nutrient requirements may vary if you have pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes or metabolic syndrome. In this case, it’s best to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner to determine your unique nutrient needs so you can achieve the results you’re looking for.
Now, let’s get into which foods you’ll be enjoying most often on the keto diet, which foods you can eat occasionally, and which foods are off limits.
Keto Diet Food List
The good news is that the keto diet food list offers plenty of variety. And with fats being the most satiating macronutrient, you’ll find it’s impossible to go hungry on a keto diet. In fact, there’s no calorie restrictions on the keto diet— you can eat what you please as long as you stay in ketosis.
*Note: these percentages are based on the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD).
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Download The Keto Diet Food List & A Cheat Sheet
We know that’s an insanely long food list, so to keep things simple, we included a simple cheat sheet of keto diet approved foods to choose from in the PDF format. You can refer back to this keto cheat sheet to help guide your choices when it comes to grocery shopping, meal prep and eating out at restaurants.
You can get the results want from the keto diet by setting yourself up for success. We recommend:
- Bookmarking this page on your laptop or smartphone for quick references.
- Printing off our downloadable Keto Diet Food List (click the above button) and take it with you when you go grocery shopping.
- Trying out our new keto recipes each week.
The ketogenic diet can be rewarding when it comes to weight loss and increased energy levels, but the nutrients from the unprocessed, nutrient dense foods you’re eating on the keto diet foods list will also boost your health on every level.
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