What can I eat on the keto diet?
If you ask someone what you can eat whilst staying keto, most will come back with a set of rigid restrictions.
“You must eat this much…”, “You can’t eat…”, “Male sure you have…”
It’s sounds like more effort than it’s worth, right?
The reality is everybody’s bodies will be slightly different. I need to eat more protein than my mum but she’s more sugar sensitive than I am so my carb count can be lower. And that’s without going into what you actually like to eat.
It’s about working out what works for you.
Here are some rough guidelines for what you want to be eating. Don’t take them as hard and fast rules, your body will tell you what it wants.
What can I eat?
With this way of eating, you want to keep your net carbs as low as you can. I try and keep mine below 20g, but I do know others who work better around the 40g mark, and this can work. It just takes a little longer to get into ketosis.
- Meat – higher quality meat tends to have fewer carbs. Just make sure you check the labels.
- Dairy – Cream, cheese, butter etc. Just keep an eye on how much milk you drink. It has sugars that can add up fast.
- Vegetables – Leafy greens, brassicas, etc.
- Fruit – Yes, you can eat fruit! Just be aware of how many net carbs are in a portion, and watch your portion control.
- Nuts – Assuming you can eat nuts (we can’t have them in our house) they’re a great source of healthy fats.
- Oils – I recommend using extra virgin olive oil as the base for dressings and used for frying, but use your favourite healthy oil.
- Sweeteners – This is often open to debate. Some people will insist that you shouldn’t add sweeteners to anything with this way of eating, others insist it makes no difference. I’m in the middle camp. Some people will have their weight loss slowed by artificial sweeteners, but for me it makes no difference. I’ve gone with and without. See what works for you. If you don’t want them, don’t use them. If you’re like me, and can’t stomach the taste of coffee without sweetener, use as much as you like!
What should I avoid?
- Sugar – Obviously if you’re trying to cut carbs from your diet, you shouldn’t be gobbling up sweets. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a self professed chocoholic, but I try and make sure the sweets I eat now are sugar free. Same goes for natural sugars. Honey, maple syrup, treacle. Try opting for stevia, sugar alcohols, or sugar free pancake syrups.
- Root vegetables – Potatoes (not actually considered a vegetable, because the starch content is too high!), sweet potatoes, swede, turnips, etc.
- Grains and Cereals – Wheat, rice, corn, and breakfast cereal, etc.
- High Sugar Fruits – Bananas are generally the big one. Just keep an eye on how much sugar is in your piece of fruit before you eat it.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Keto Foods
Everything in moderation. And don’t feel guilty if you accidentally go over your carb count for the day. Don’t worry about that slice of birthday cake you couldn’t resist.
Let it go. Breathe. Start again tomorrow.
If you’re still not sure where to start, or think I have missed anything, comment below! I can’t wait to hear from you!