What is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet that focuses on eating 60-75% of your calories from fat and non-starchy vegetables, a moderate amount of calories from protein (20-35%), and small amount (down to 5%) of your calories from carbohydrates. The keto diet focuses on training your body to burn stored fat for energy instead of stored sugars and carbohydrates. The result is an decrease in stored fat and increase in energy through using these fats as your primary fuel source. When the body uses stored fats for energy, it produces ketones, hence the name for the popular diet.
There are four different types of keto diets, each with their own macronutrient ratio of fats, protein, and carbohydrates.
Why Follow a Keto Diet?
There are many benefits to following a higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet like the keto diet. A keto diet has been shown to improve skin health, cognitive function, memory, hormonal balance and even manage Type 2 diabetes. (1)(2) Personally, I have experience increased energy, less hunger, and clearer skin since replacing many higher carbohydrate foods with healthy fats and fresh vegetables.
What Foods Can You Eat on a Keto Diet?
You can eat a large variety of foods on the keto diet, as long as you stick with the macronutrient ratios described above. The good news for many people is that there are no calorie requirements or calorie restrictions on the keto diet. Since you are getting a majority of your calories from healthy fats and low-carbohydrate vegetables, you will find that you will rarely be hungry making the keto “diet” almost an oxymoron in itself. We will break down the complete list of what can be eaten while on the keto diet by macronutrient, starting with the base of the diet, and the majority of where you calories will be coming from, healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables. Here is the (almost) complete list of foods to eat and avoid on the keto diet:
Fats and Low Carbohydrate Vegetables – 75% of total calories
Proteins – 20-35% of calories
Carbohydrates – 5% of total calories
Foods to Avoid on the Keto Diet
*Why do we list sugar alcohols on the “foods to avoid” list? Don’t they contain zero grams sugars? What about my sweets? See our post here, about why we think these should be avoided.