It is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits for the body and mind as well.
The majority of your meals should be based around these foods:
Meat: red meat, steak, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey.
Fatty fish: such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel.
Eggs: Look for whole or omega-3 eggs.
Cheese: Unprocessed cheese (cheddar, goat, cream and mozzarella).
Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
Healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil.
Avocado: A whole avocado.
Low-carb vegetables: most green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
Condiments: You can use salt, pepper, various healthy herbs and spices.
Base the majority of your diet on foods such as meat, fish, eggs, butter, nuts, healthy oils, avocados, and lots of low-carb vegetables. It is also preferable to base your diet on whole, single-ingredient foods that are low in carbohydrates.
Foods that you must avoid
Here is a list of foods you need to limit or eliminate on the keto diet:
Sugary foods: soda, juices, cakes, ice cream, candy, etc.
Grains or starches: Wheat-based products, rice, pasta, grains, etc.
Fruit: All fruits, except for a few types such as berries and strawberries.
Legumes: peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
Low-fat or diet products: These are highly processed and often high in carbohydrates.
Certain condiments or sauces: often contain unhealthy sugar and fats.
Unhealthy fats: Limit your intake of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, and more.
Alcohol: Due to the large carbohydrate content, many alcoholic drinks should be avoided.
Sugar-free diet foods: Often high in sugar alcohols, these foods tend to be highly processed.
In general, you should avoid carbohydrate-based foods such as grains, sugars, legumes, rice, potatoes, candy, juice, and even most fruits.
Snacks that you must eat
In case you feel hungry between meals, here are some healthy, keto-approved snacks:
Fatty meat or fish
A handful of nuts or seeds
Cheese with olives
1-2 boiled eggs
Dark chocolate 90%
Low-carb milkshake blended with almond milk, cocoa powder and nut butter
Full-fat yogurt mixed with nut butter and cocoa powder
Strawberry and cream
Smaller portions of the remaining meals
Supplements for the keto diet
Although no additives are required, some can be useful.
MCT oil: Added to drinks or yogurt, MCT oil provides energy.
Minerals: Added salt and other minerals can be important when starting out due to shifts in water and mineral balance.
Caffeine: Caffeine can aid with energy, fat loss, and performance.
Creatine: provides many benefits for health and performance. This can help if you combine the keto diet with exercise.
Whey: Use half a tablespoon of whey protein in shakes or yogurt to increase your daily protein intake. You can find many delicious products in the markets.
Example: the keto diet for one week
To help get you started, here’s a sample one-week keto diet meal plan:
Breakfast: fried eggs with bacon and mushrooms.
Lunch: burger with sauce, cheese and guacamole.
Dinner: steak and eggs with a side salad.
Always try to rotate vegetables and meat over the long term, as it provides many types of nutrients and has various health benefits.
Breakfast: Bacon, eggs and tomatoes.
Lunch: chicken salad with olive oil and feta cheese.
Dinner: salmon with asparagus cooked in butter.
Breakfast: eggs, tomatoes, basil, and goat cheese.
Lunch: Almond milk, peanut butter, and cocoa powder.
Dinner: Meatballs, cheddar cheese, and vegetables.
Breakfast: prepared milkshake.
Lunch: shrimp salad with olive oil and avocado.
Dinner: steak with parmesan cheese, cauliflower and salad.
Breakfast: Omelette with avocado, peppers, onions and spices.
Lunch: a handful of nuts and celery juices with guacamole.
Dinner: chicken stuffed with pesto cheese, with vegetables.
Breakfast: Sugar-free yogurt with peanut butter, cocoa powder, and stevia.
Lunch: fried beef cooked in coconut oil with vegetables.
Dinner: burger with bacon, eggs and cheese.
Breakfast: Cheese-and-cheese omelette with vegetables.
Lunch: Sliced beef and cheese with nuts.
Dinner: White fish, eggs and spinach cooked in coconut oil.
You can eat a variety of delicious and nutritious meals on the keto diet.
Side effects and how to avoid them
Although the keto diet is safe for healthy people, there may be some initial side effects as your body adjusts, and this condition is often referred to as the keto flu and usually resolves within a few days.
The keto flu includes poor energy and reduced mental function, increased hunger, trouble sleeping, nausea, digestive upset and decreased exercise performance.
To reduce this, you can try a regular, low-carb diet for the first few weeks. This may teach your body to burn more fats before completely eliminating carbohydrates.