The list of foods for the keto diet is longer than you might think. There’s loads of choice once you understand the terms of the diet, and know what the options are. In this guide, you can quickly get an overview of the diet itself, the types of foods that suit the diet, and whether the keto diet is suitable for you.
About the keto diet
The ketogenic (keto) diet is an extremely low-carb diet. The idea being, to induce the ketosis state within the body and hold it there.
What exactly is the ketosis state you ask. The ketosis state is where the body breaks down and uses fats for fuel, instead of carbohydrates (carbs). By severely limiting the carbs going in, you force your body into using fat reserves as the primary fuel source.
The largest percentage of calorie intake for the keto diet will be from fats. Protein will form the next highest percentage, and carbs will form the rest. The total amount of carbs shouldn’t exceed 20 – 50 grams daily. For the keto diet, the carb total is calculated by total carbs minus the total fiber. For the purpose of the lists in this article –
- total carb – fiber = Keto Carbs
The key takeaway points of the keto diet –
- Most calories from fats.
- Second most calories from protein.
- Least calories from carbs.
- Max of 20 -50 grams carbs per day.
- Total carbs calculated by carb minus fiber.
Benefits of the keto diet
The main benefit of the keto diet is that it’s specifically a fat-burning diet. It’s very effective in promoting weight loss because of this. Of course, this still assumes following a daily overall calorie deficit.
Risks of the keto diet
As with everything in life there are risks involved. One of the main ones being the risk of sudden nutrient deficiency.
As with any radical change in diet, there’s a chance key nutrients will be omitted, or severely lowered. This is particularly true for diets that radically reduce, or omit major foods groups, which the keto diet does with the carb group.
Know your normal nutrient intake before starting the diet, and find out what the new intake will be. This way you can compare old versus new, and easily identify, and adjust for possible deficiencies.
To find out your current nutrient intake this site is very useful – https://www.nutritionvalue.org/
List of foods for the keto diet
In all the below lists I have used either 100g or 100ml as the serving size. Keep in mind that this will be way more, or way less, than a normal portion size for some foods. I chose an equal unit for everything to give a better ability to compare the different foods and their nutritional content.
#2 Oils (100g)
|Sesame seed oil||844||100g||0g||0g||0g||0g|
#3 Proteins (100g)
#4 Vegetables (100g)
|Green bell pepper||20||0.2g||0.9g||4.6g||1.7g||2.9g|
|Red bell Pepper||31||0.3g||1.0g||6g||2.1g||3.9g|
#5 Fruits (100g)
#6 Dairy (100g)
|Goats cheese (soft)||264||21g||19g||0g||0g||0g|
#7 Nuts and Seeds (100g)
#8 Condiments and sauces (100g)
|Salsa sauce (red)||56||4.4g||0.8g||4.3g||1.8g||2.5g|
|Red wine vinegar||19||0g||0g||0.3g||0g||0.3g|
#9 Dressings (100g)
|Oil and vinegar||449||50g||0g||2.5g||0g||2.5g|
|Thousand island dressing||379||35g||1.1g||15g||0.8g||14.2g|
|Blue cheese dressing||484||51g||1.4g||4.8g||0.4g||4.4g|
#10 Drinks (100ml)
Nutritional info for different serving sizes?
Find out all nutritional info on almost any food type, and serving size, using this site – https://www.nutritionvalue.org/
- Search the name of the food you want info on in the search box.
- Adjust the serving size to whatever value that suits.
- The nutritional values will then display for that serving size.
This will give you all nutritional info, in addition to carbs, fats, and protein. It will be useful if you are looking to add further to this list of foods for the keto diet.
Articles related to the keto diet
Find out more about the process of losing weight in our other article – How long does it take to get fit and toned. The article goes a bit more in-depth about the process of losing weight and expected timelines. It doesn’t talk further about the list of foods for the keto diet or anything but will help increase your knowledge of the weight loss process in general. This will be of particular interest if your goal of the keto diet is to get toned.
Is the keto diet good for working out?
Some believe the diet benefits long-duration aerobic exercise. The thinking is that it promotes, and improves the ability to fuel from fats sources at higher intensities. This is important for endurance exercise. It means the ability to go further, faster.
My own view is that it should improve the body’s ability to burn fat while exercising at a high effort. However, I do think that aerobic exercise is going to feel much harder than on a carb-rich diet, at the start anyway.
My own experience with fat becoming the exclusive fuel source (aka bonking, hitting the wall) is greatly reduced performance. Think along the lines of run pace dropping from 7.00 mins per mile pace to 10.00 mins per mile pace. Along with that, perceived effort goes from feeling comfortable to feeling like you need to move heaven and earth, to just keep running.
Over time the body is likely to become more and more adjusted and improve, at exclusively using fat as a fuel source. This adjustment will likely take a month or more, as opposed to days or weeks.
Introducing the keto diet to someone who is currently very high-level fitness is likely to have a negative impact. It’s just not going to suit them. They won’t be able to sustain their normal high pace while their body adjusts for however long. Disastrous in the middle of a training plan. This will result in fitness level going down, even though their perceived effort goes through the roof.
It makes more sense to introduce the keto diet to someone starting a training plan. Running 2 or 3 miles while your body adjusts will be less stressful, and more beneficial, than while doing a 15-mile long run. It will be easier adjusting while building mileage.
Key takeaway points on the keto diet and working out
- It should improve the body’s ability to use fat as fuel at higher paces than before.
- Adjustment to using fat exclusively as fuel, at high effort, will likely take at least 1 month or more.
- The perceived effort will likely increase during the adjustment period.
- Introducing keto diet mid-training plan while almost certainly have a negative effect.
- The Keto diet will make the most sense when introduced at the start of a training plan.
This article is intended as a quick guide and basic overview of what the keto diet entails. By no means is it a complete list of foods for the keto diet. That list could go on for a long time.
Sometimes too much info, and too much fine detail, is overwhelming and as bad as too little information. However, this list should be more than enough for someone to spark their interest and dip their toes in the world of keto.
Leave a comment if you think this guide helped you. I would particularly interested to hear about any experiences using it while on an exercise plan, and how it works out.
Always consult your GP before undertaking any form of weight loss, fitness, or exercise.
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