A ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with Atkins and other low-carb diets. The goal of the keto diet is to enter a state known as “ketosis” where your body becomes more efficient at burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. This can lead to many health benefits such as weight loss, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improved mental clarity and focus, better sleep quality, and anti-aging benefits as well!
At 49 years old, I’ve been on a ketogenic lifestyle for over five years and on top of losing 60 pounds, my energy levels have skyrocketed and I’ve never felt – or looked – better in my life. The keto diet has been highly discussed and has become a social media darling – and in many cases, gets a bad rap in part because many of the so-called “keto influencers” out there promote unhealthy recipes and in my opinion, haven’t researched the diet beyond the fad. As a certified nutritionist, my approach to the keto diet is to eat WELL and HEALTHY to make this a long-term lifestyle that will keep you fit and young!
So that said, in this blog post, we will talk about 10 top foods you should eat on a ketogenic diet despite what others recommend!
1. Healthy fats: Including olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and MCT oil in your diet is important because they help you stay in ketosis. Healthy fats also promote heart health, cognitive function, and anti-aging benefits.
2. Green Vegetables: Green vegetables are a key part of the keto diet and should make up a good portion of your food intake. Choose nutrient-dense, fiber-rich vegetables like dark leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts.
Top keto-friendly vegetables:
- Spinach – 0.17g net carbs per cup (boiled)
- Broccoli – 0.46g net carbs per cup (cooked)
- Asparagus – 0.49g net carbs in a half-cup serving of asparagus (raw, chopped or cooked)
- Brussels sprouts -0.14 g net carbs in one boiled Brussels sprout )and is an excellent source of vitamin K, fiber, and antioxidants!
- Cabbage – 0.17g net carbs per cup of shredded cabbage (raw)
- Green beans – 0.31 pot carbs in half a cup of green beans (cooked)
3. Eggs: Eggs are the perfect food for the keto diet and are high in protein and healthy fats. They make a great breakfast or snack option.
Healthy egg dishes to try:
- Vegetable frittata – This dish is loaded with vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, and onions and has only about four grams of net carbs per serving!
- Egg Muffins – These little muffins are packed with protein and healthy fats and have zero grams of net carbs each! Make a batch on Sunday night to have quick, keto-friendly breakfasts all week long!
4. Olives – Olives are a great source of healthy fats and have zero grams of net carbs per serving! They are also a great source of antioxidants and have many health benefits including weight loss.
A few healthy olive recipes to try:
- Olive Tapenade – This delicious spread is full of flavor but has zero net carbs per serving! It’s loaded with nutrients as well so it makes for the perfect keto-friendly appetizer or snack any time you want something decadent without all the guilt. The best part about this recipe is that it uses olives (duh) which will keep your carb count low while still giving you tons of other good stuff in addition to those tasty little gems like fiber, vitamin A, potassium, copper, iron…and did I mention it tastes amazing?
- Kalamata Olive Quinoa Salad – This salad is perfect for a light lunch or dinner and has only about six grams of net carbs per serving! It’s also high in protein and healthy fats to help keep you fueled all day long.
- Greek-Style Marinated Olives – These olives are the perfect keto-friendly snack! They’re low in carbohydrates, high in healthy fats and antioxidants, and have a delicious salty flavor that will curb your cravings without kicking you out of ketosis.
5. Nuts and Seeds – Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. They make a great snack or addition to any meal.
Healthy nut and seed recipes:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls – These little balls are loaded with flavor and nutrients! They’re high in protein and healthy fats, low in carbohydrates, and have zero grams of net carbs each!
Sunflower Seed Butter Cups – These cups are the perfect keto-friendly dessert! They’re made with sunflower seed butter which is low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats. They’re also loaded with antioxidants and have only four grams of net carbs per serving!
6. Cheese – Cheese is a great source of calcium and protein, making it an essential part of any keto diet.
Healthy cheese recipes:
Cheese Crisps – These easy-to-make snacks are high in good fats (the type you want) with zero grams of net carbs per serving! They’re also very simple to make so you can whip up a batch on Sunday night for snacking all week long without much effort at all.
Easy Cheesy Cauliflower Tots – The perfect side dish or snack for anyone on the keto diet who loves cheesy goodness without all the guilt! These little bites are made from cauliflower rather than potatoes which means that they have no grains at all but still taste like a crispy fried potato would. They also come out nice and crunchy thanks to baking instead of frying them up too.
7. Avocados – Avocados are actually my #1 keto food because they are delicious, versatile, and are a great source of healthy fats and have zero grams of net carbs per serving.
Healthy avocado recipes:
8. Lean Meats like Chicken and Lean Beef: Lean meats are a great source of protein and other essential nutrients like iron and zinc.
Here are a few round-ups of my favorite recipes for chicken and beef:
9. Grass Fed Butter – Grass fed butter is a great source of healthy fats, including omega-three fatty acids. It’s also a good source of vitamin A and other essential nutrients.
10. Cauliflower: Cauliflower is a great source of vitamins like vitamin K, potassium, folate, thiamin B-vitamin E while being super low in calories yet high in fiber content. You can eat it raw or cooked but I actually find that I prefer the taste when it’s roasted because it brings out a deeper flavor than steaming or boiling does. Roasting cauliflower also makes the florets look so pretty!
Healthy cauliflower recipes:
There you have it! My top ten keto friendly foods. What are some of your favorite keto-friendly foods? Leave a comment below and let me know. I’d love to hear from you!