You have definitely decided that you’re going to start one of the trendiest diets ever; the keto diet. But before looking out for what to eat on a keto diet, don’t you think you need to know the benefits and side effects? Well, once you know it all, you can weigh your options and curate a diet that suits your needs.
Keto diet is a low carb and high-fat diet that consists of 65%-70% fat, 20-30% protein, and about 5% of carb. This means you will be consuming around or less than 50 grams of carbohydrates every day.
It is known that the keto diet can help to lose fat and improve health conditions like type 2 diabetes.
The keto diet is tough to follow, especially for those who are starting it. But we will guide you through with the wholesome keto food list for beginners.
Quick facts about keto diet
- Since about 75%-80% of the calories comes from fatty food. So, it is unknown if following the keto diet long term will have health issues.
- The keto diet was initially being used for people with diabetes and kids with epilepsy.
- The most asked questions by beginners is what to eat on keto diet”. The diet involves oily food like butter, ghee, red meat, and more.
What to eat on keto diet?
Here is what you need to eat when on keto:
Non-starchy vegetables are low in carbohydrates. They are extremely high in other nutrients like Vitamin C.
Vegetables contain fiber, which is difficult to be digested by your body. Thus, there are digestible carbs, also known as net carbs, which exclude fiber. The body easily digests net carbs.
A lot of research is needed to understand the effects of net carbs on the body. But we must remember that having a tiny portion of starchy vegetables like beets or potatoes can fill your carb limit for a day. However, net carbs count is a lot less like. A cup of raw spinach has like 1 gram of net carb.
Here are some veggies that are really low in calories:
Cucumbers are easily available and have nutritious value. That’s why almost every salad dishes have this ingredient. You can make a salad or can eat it just like that.
If you eat it without the skin, it has about 2 grams of carbs and with peel about 3.5 grams, which is still a lot less.
If you follow food bloggers on social media, you will know lettuce is a pretty popular ingredient on any diet list.
Iceberg lettuce does not have a lot of nutritious value, but 100 grams contain only 2.97 grams of carbs.
Another veggie to add to your keto diet menu for beginners is spinach. Not only is it easily available but also it is pretty cheap.
Around 3.5 grams of carbs is available on 100 grams of spinach. To have a clearer idea, one average cup has only 1 gram of spinach.
You can mix it with chicken breast and some fruits.
Broccoli is filled with the goodness of nutrients. Average raw broccoli has around 6 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber per 100 grams. So, the net carb is approximately about 4 grams.
A keto diet menu for beginners will have other vegetables to make a salad. If you want to spice it up, add a little bit of olive oil and stir fry it with some garlic and ginger.
The net carb of cauliflower is 2.5 grams per 100 grams with about 4.5 grams carbs and 2 grams fiber.
A lot of keto dieters eat cauliflower instead of rice. It is a great alternative.
Grate it on a mixer and serve. You can have it raw too or as a side dish.
Highly nutritious vegetable has like 3 grams of carbs every 100 grams.
Add them to your salad or eat it with a bit of sea salt.
Zucchini is a food that can be eaten in various ways. You can have them in salsa, grilled, roasted, and even turn them into zoodles.
It is a wonderful substitute for pasta. It is low in carb and has like 3 grams of it per 100 grams.
If you are thinking of what to eat on a keto diet for an evening snack, choose bell peppers. When it is sauteed with other low-carb veggies, it can be a delightful evening snack.
100 grams of bell peppers has around 5.5 grams of carbs.
Another easily available vegetable that you can add to your keto diet menu for beginners.
You can enjoy it raw, or you can mix it with some sea salt and pepper. Also, you can add to your salads or other side dishes.
It has like 3.5 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fiber, making the net carb about 2.5 grams each 100 grams.
You can include a few other vegetables if you want to have more options for beginners’ keto food lists. Few other vegetables are:
- Alfalfa sprouts
- White mushrooms
- Swiss chard
- Green beans
Low carb fruits
It is true most fruits have a high amount of carbs. But few fruits have fewer carbs and a high water level.
There are still a few fruits that you can have. So, your keto diet menu for beginners can have these fruits:
Watermelon has the lowest amount of carbs, about 7.5 grams per 100 grams. Watermelons are low in fiber and help you absorb carbs. The fruit has a high potassium level, vitamin A, and copper, which helps you lower calories.
Peaches have about 10 grams of carbs per 100 grams of serving. It has around 1-1.5 grams of fiber, so the net carb is about 8 grams only.
You can eat it raw as it is one of the sweetest additions to your keto diet.
There are different berry types, and blackberries have the least amount of net carb, whereas strawberries have the least amount of carbs.
Blackberries have 9.5 grams of carbs, about 5 grams of fiber. So, the net carb is 4 grams per 100 grams of serving. Whereas 100 grams of strawberry have like 7 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber, making the net carb about 5.5 grams. Raspberries have 5.5 grams of carbs every 100 grams of serving.
Some more fruits to consider
- Star fruit
For every other diet, we will always see to avoid food like cheese. But if you are following the keto diet, you can have a decent amount of it.
Cheese has a very high value of fatty acids, protein, and calcium. But the amount of carb is low.
If you think what to eat on keto diet, include some recipes with cheese. Try to keep it low, like topping it up on salads or just adding a thin slice to sandwiches.
There a lot of different types of cheese in the market. Luckily, almost all are very low in carbohydrates and high in fat. About 30 grams of cheddar cheese has like 1 gram of carb and 6 grams of protein.
According to studies, it does not increase the risk of any heart problems. Even some studies have shown it has protected against heart issues.
A three-month study of adults has shown that about 200 grams of ricotta cheese every day aids muscle strength. Eating cheese every day might reduce strength, which happens due to aging.
Here is some keto-friendly cheese list for beginners who do not know what to eat on the keto diet:
- Blue cheese
- Cottage cheese
- Goat cheese
- Cream cheese
Meat, poultry, and eggs
If you are contemplating what to eat on keto diet and thinking if meat and eggs are allowed, yes, they are. In fact, they are the staple foods on this diet.
Meat and Poultry
They contain zero carbs when it is fresh. Meat and poultry are highly rich in Vit B(s) and other significant minerals. Since following a low-carb diet you can lose muscle mass as well. Eating these will help you preserve them.
It is advisable to have grass-fed meat. The reason behind this is the animals have a high quantity of omega 3 fat in them.
Not only are eggs easily available and cheap, but they are also one of the most multipurpose foods you can find. Keto diet menu for beginners should definitely add eggs.
Less than 1 gram of carbohydrates is found in an egg. It has about 5 grams of protein, making it amazing to include in your keto food list for beginners.
It is advisable to have at least one egg daily while doing this keto diet.
Seeds and nuts
Seeds and nuts are an ideal healthy food to consume during keto diet. They are low-carb and high fat. They are high in fiber, which will keep you full for a long time.
According to research having nuts daily will reduce the risk of chronic illness.
The net carb of all nuts and seeds is low. However, the quantity differs as there are various types of seeds and nuts.
Some of the seeds and nuts you can include in your keto food list for beginners which has low net carbs:
- Flaxseeds (0 grams)
- Chia seeds (1 gram)
- Pumpkin seeds (2-3 grams)
- Brazilian nuts (1 gram)
- Almonds (1-2 grams)
- Walnuts (2 grams)
- Pistachios (5 grams)
Fish and Seafood
If you want to have food high in selenium, vitamin B, and potassium, you need to consume fish. It is highly rich in protein and absolutely carb-free.
Tuna, mahi-mahi, bay scallops, and salmon are few fishes you can have. They have high in omega 3 fats.
Research has found that regularly having such fishes will protect you from chronic illness and improve your mental health.
Try to consume fish at least 4-5 days every week.
If you still don’t know what to eat on keto diet then here are some recipe ideas which you can easily find on the internet:
- Cheese roll ups
- Meat pie
- Fermented vegetables
- Grilled chicken
- Smoked salmon
- Cabbage stir fry
- Cauliflower burrito
- Sushi rolls
- Coconut yogurt
- Scrambled eggs
Olives have the same benefits as olive oil. They are anti-inflammatory cause the main anti-oxidant is oleuropein. It helps your cells from damage.
A study shows that having olives will decrease BP, protect your heart healthy, and avoid bone loss. However, a lot of research is still needed.
The carb content is low in olive as most of it comes from fiber.
About 30 grams of olive has 1 gram of net carb. It also varies on the size of olives.
Unsweetened tea and coffee
Tea and coffee are healthy drinks and low in carbs.
Caffeine helps to keep you full and will increase your metabolism. It can also help your physical strength.
The risk of getting diabetes is a lot less for people who drink unsweetened tea and coffee. A study said individuals who consume a high amount of coffee have a low risk of having diabetes.
If you want to add some flavor to your drink, you can add some heavy cream but stay away from milky tea and coffee.
Want to have food that is high in anti-oxidants? Try dark chocolate or cocoa. It is said that cocoa and blueberries have the same amount of anti-oxidants.
Consuming dark chocolate will also decrease the risk of any heart disease as it contains flavanols.
Make sure to choose dark chocolate wwith aigh amount of cocoa (about 60%) if possible. Do not binge-eat it, though.
About 30 grams of chocolate (unsweetened) has only 3 grams of net carbohydrates.
Still thinking if you can do the keto diet and can maintain the keto diet menu for beginners? Let’s not sugar-coat anything here:
The keto diet is challenging. Especially if you are staring it out, it isn’t easy to maintain. Your body goes through changes and to adapt is extremely challenging.
But we have suggested quite a lot of foods and recipes if you are still confused about what to eat on keto diet. Every place has different availability of different fruits and vegetables. Try to look out for foods that are easily available in your local stores.
You do not need to make the recipes available on the internet. Create your own recipes and have fun. Even during the keto diet, you will have a lot food options, so always look out for the best ones for yourself.