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Avoid starchy food

Avoid starchy food

All starches turn into sugar when digested.

Starchy foods to avoid include bread, tortillas, pasta, rice, couscous, potatoes, French fries, chips, crisps, bagels, crackers, legumes (most dried beans), cereal, porridge, oatmeal, and muesli. Even whole grains and grain-like foods such as quinoa are just other forms of starch.

There are many delicious substitutes for these foods that work on a keto diet. Try them out and you may not miss the carbs:

  • Keto breads
  • Keto “pasta”
  • Keto “rice”
  • Keto porridge.

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Avoid sugary food

Avoid sugary food

  • Avoid sodas, candy, sports drinks, cookies, biscuits, desserts, cakes, pastries, sweetened yogurts, ice cream, and breakfast cereals.
  • Most fruit has too much sugar for keto. Mangoes, grapes, and bananas have an entire day’s worth of carbs in a one-cup (about 200 gram) serving.
  • Even savory products, such as ketchup, pasta sauce, and salad dressings often contain sugar. Read labels carefully to avoid these.
  • Natural sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, and agave are sugars. There are dozens of names for sugar. Try to avoid it, regardless of the name.

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Meat, poultry and substitutes

Meat, poultry and substitutes

Meats and meat substitutes

  • beef
  • deli meats
  • game
  • lamb
  • organ meats
  • pork
  • poultry
  • sausages
  • tempeh
  • tofu, extra firm.

Meats are perfect for keto. You can have beef, pork, lamb, wild game, and poultry of all kinds. Soy products like tofu and tempeh also work. You can also have deli meats like sausages and cold cuts. Choose items with no added sugars, starches, or breading to keep your carbs low.

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Fruit and berries

Fruit and berries

Best keto fruits and berries

  • blackberries
  • coconut
  • lemons
  • limes
  • raspberries
  • strawberries.

Most tart fruits, such as berries, lemons, and limes are fine if you keep the serving size small. The same is true for melons because of their high water content. But almost all other fruit contains too much sugar. A small scoop of fresh berries served with real whipped cream and shaved dark chocolate makes a lush, delicious keto dessert.

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Cheese and full-fat dairy

Cheese and full-fat dairy

Cheese, butter, and cream can all be part of a keto diet. Greek yogurt, in particular, makes for a protein-rich breakfast with few carbs. Avoid flavored low-fat yogurt that is often full of added sugar.

Avoid drinking milk as the milk sugar quickly adds up (one glass = 15 grams of carbs). However, you can use it sparingly — a tablespoon or so — in your coffee. Also, regularly snacking on cheese when you’re not hungry is a common mistake that can slow down weight loss.

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Fish and seafood

Fish and seafood

Keto-friendly fish and seafood

  • anchovies
  • crab
  • fish of all types
  • lobster
  • shrimp
  • squid
  • tuna.

Most fish and shellfish are keto-friendly. Fatty fishes such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring are excellent choices, as are mild white fishes such as cod, halibut, and trout. Choose fish and seafood without added sugars or breading to keep your carbs low.

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Keto-friendly vegetables

Keto-friendly vegetables

Best keto vegetables

  • cauliflower
  • avocado
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • zucchini
  • spinach
  • asparagus
  • kale
  • green beans
  • brussels sprouts.

Enjoy unlimited non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens and crunchy salad veggies such as cucumber, celery, and radishes. Other favorites include cauliflower, cabbage, avocado, broccoli, and zucchini. Fresh or frozen, most vegetables that grow above-ground are keto-friendly. You can even eat a vegetarian keto diet.

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Fats and sauces

Fats and sauces

Don’t fear fat. It can help you feel fuller longer. Most of your fat should come with protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. But you can also cook with olive oil, top your veggies with cheese, and add dressings to salads.

Rich sauces — think Bearnaise sauce, garlic butter, and mayo — can also be part of a keto diet, but if you are trying to lose weight, use only enough to make your meals enjoyable.

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Eggs

Eggs

Eggs are delicious, portable, and vegetarian-friendly. Try them boiled, fried in butter, or in an omelet for a quick, inexpensive meal. Enjoy eggs as often as you’d like because when you avoid carbs, you don’t have to avoid dietary cholesterol.

Ways to eat eggs

  • boiled, hard or soft
  • fried
  • in quiches or frittatas
  • omelets
  • poached
  • scrambled.

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Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds

Best keto nuts and seeds

  • almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • hazelnuts
  • macadamia nuts
  • peanuts
  • pecans
  • pine nuts
  • walnuts.

Many nuts and seeds are low in carbs. Don’t eat too many! Start with just a few or up to ¼ cup (about 25 grams) for a snack. And the kind of nut you choose matters. Some nuts, such as cashews, are much higher in carbs than others, such as pecans or macadamia nuts. You can also enjoy pumpkin, sunflower, and other seeds on keto.

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Limit special keto or low carb products

Limit special keto or low carb products

Keto cookies, chocolate bars, and similar products are usually highly processed. Although they may contain less sugar and flour than their high-carb counterparts, they provide little nutritional value and may cause carb cravings. Overall, they can slow down weight loss progress.

Ideally, avoid or limit them and go for nutrient-dense whole foods instead.

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Drinks

Drinks

Drink water, coffee, tea, or the occasional glass of wine. For other ideas, choose from these:

  • Water is the number one option. Have it right out of the tap or add flavor with a slice of cucumber or a couple of berries.
  • Coffee has no carbs. If you must have it sweetened, replace the sugar with a non-caloric sweetener. A small amount of milk or cream can be used.
  • Tea – Black, green, Orange Pekoe, mint, or herbal – most teas are carb-free.
  • Diet soda is good choice for some, but not for others. You might find diet soda is a helpful way to stop drinking sugary sodas.
  • Bone broth is full of nutrients and electrolytes.

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Alcoholic drinks

Alcoholic drinks

  • Dry wine (red, rosé, and white) and champagne are keto-friendly in limited amounts. Wines that are typically low in carbs are merlot, pinot noir, cabernet, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, and chardonnay.
  • Distilled spirits, such as whisky, tequila, brandy, and vodka, have zero carbs.
  • Low-carb beer can be a good option. Beer usually has too many carbs for keto, but a few super low-carb beers do exist.
  • Keep in mind that the more alcohol you drink, the harder it is to lose weight because your body has to burn off alcohol calories first.

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CURATED BY

kalebb

"Never look back unless you are planning to go that way." - Henry David Thoreau

All you need to know about what to eat and what to avoid on a keto diet.

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