Keto-Friendly Foods: What to Eat and Why

by nutramicoro

Are you looking for the best keto-friendly foods to eat on the keto diet? Do you want to know their benefits and carb counts? Do you have any questions or doubts about the keto diet? If yes, then this article is for you. In this article, you will learn about some of the most delicious and nutritious foods that you can enjoy on the keto diet, such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, cheese, nuts, seeds, avocados, and berries. You will also get answers to some common questions that you might have about the keto diet and keto-friendly foods. 

If you’re following the keto diet, you might be wondering what foods you can eat and why. The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that puts your body into a state of ketosis, where it burns fat instead of glucose for energy. This can help you lose weight, improve your health, and feel more energetic.

Meat and Poultry

chicken

Meat and poultry are among the most keto-friendly foods. They are rich in protein, which can help you preserve your muscle mass while on a low-carb diet. They also contain no carbs and are high in B vitamins and minerals.

Some of the best types of meat and poultry for keto are:

  • Beef: Beef is a great source of protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. It also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which may help reduce body fat. One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked beef has zero carbs and 18 grams of protein.
  • Chicken: Chicken is another excellent source of protein, as well as selenium, phosphorus, and niacin. It’s also low in calories and fat, making it ideal for weight loss. One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked chicken breast has zero carbs and 24 grams of protein.
  • Pork: Pork is a versatile and delicious meat that can be prepared in many ways. It’s high in protein, thiamine, selenium, and zinc. It also contains some healthy fats, such as omega-3s and CLA. One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked pork loin has zero carbs and 23 grams of protein.
  • Turkey: Turkey is a lean and tasty meat that can be enjoyed on special occasions or as a regular meal. It’s high in protein, tryptophan, selenium, and vitamin B6. It also helps boost your immune system and mood. One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked turkey breast has zero carbs and 26 grams of protein.

When choosing meat and poultry for keto, it’s best to opt for grass-fed, organic, or free-range varieties whenever possible. These tend to have more omega-3 fats and antioxidants than conventional ones.

Seafood

sea food

Seafood is another keto-friendly food group that offers many health benefits. Fish and shellfish are low in carbs but high in omega-3 fats, which can lower inflammation, improve brain function, and protect against heart disease.

Some of the best types of seafood for keto are:

  • Salmon: Salmon is one of the most nutritious fish you can eat. It’s loaded with omega-3s, protein, vitamin D, selenium, and iodine. It also helps lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides. One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked salmon has zero carbs and 19 grams of protein.
  • Tuna: Tuna is another fatty fish that’s great for keto. It’s high in protein, vitamin B12, niacin, and selenium. It also helps boost your metabolism and energy levels. One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked tuna has zero carbs and 25 grams of protein.
  • Shrimp: Shrimp is a delicious shellfish that’s low in calories but high in protein, iodine, selenium, and choline. It also helps improve your thyroid function and brain health. One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked shrimp has zero carbs and 18 grams of protein.
  • Mussels: Mussels are a type of mollusk that’s rich in protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and folate. They also help support your immune system and blood formation. One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked mussels has 4 grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) and 18 grams of protein.

When choosing seafood for keto, it’s important to avoid breaded or battered varieties that are high in carbs. You should also limit your intake of high-mercury fish, such as swordfish, shark, and king mackerel, to no more than once a week.

Eggs

eggs

Eggs are one of the most versatile and affordable keto-friendly foods. They are a complete protein source, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids that your body cannot make on its own. They also contain healthy fats, choline, biotin, and lutein.

Some of the benefits of eggs for keto are:

  • They can help you feel full and satisfied for longer, reducing your appetite and calorie intake.
  • They can improve your cholesterol profile by increasing your HDL (good) cholesterol and lowering your LDL (bad) cholesterol.
  • They can enhance your brain function and memory by providing choline, which is a precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
  • They can protect your eyesight and skin by providing lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that filter harmful blue light and prevent oxidative damage.

One large egg has less than 1 gram of net carbs and 6 grams of protein. You can eat eggs in many ways, such as boiled, scrambled, fried, poached, or baked. You can also add cheese, bacon, spinach, or avocado to make them more delicious and nutritious.

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Cheese

Cheese is another keto-friendly food that can add flavor and variety to your diet. Cheese is made from milk that has been separated into solid curds and liquid whey. The curds are then pressed and aged to produce different types of cheese.

Cheese is low in carbs but high in fat and protein. It also contains calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and zinc. Some of the benefits of cheese for keto are:

  • It can help you lose weight by increasing your satiety and thermogenesis (the process of burning calories to generate heat).
  • It can improve your bone health by providing calcium, which is essential for bone formation and maintenance.
  • It can lower your blood pressure by providing potassium, which helps balance the effects of sodium.
  • It can modulate your gut microbiome by providing probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that improve your digestion and immunity.

One ounce (28 grams) of cheese has about 1 gram of net carbs and 7 grams of protein. There are hundreds of types of cheese that you can choose from, such as cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, brie, feta, goat cheese, and cream cheese. You can eat cheese on its own or use it to make keto-friendly dishes like pizza, lasagna, or cheesecake.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are keto-friendly foods that can provide you with healthy fats, fiber, protein, and antioxidants. They can also help you lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases.

Some of the best nuts and seeds for keto are:

  • Almonds: Almonds are one of the most popular nuts for keto. They are high in monounsaturated fats, magnesium, vitamin E, and manganese. They also help lower your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. One ounce (28 grams) of almonds has 3 grams of net carbs and 6 grams of protein.
  • Walnuts: Walnuts are another excellent nut for keto. They are high in omega-3 fats, copper, manganese, and biotin. They also help improve your brain function and mood. One ounce (28 grams) of walnuts has 2 grams of net carbs and 4 grams of protein.
  • Chia seeds: Chia seeds are a type of seed that’s very high in fiber and omega-3 fats. They also contain calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. They help keep you hydrated and regulate your bowel movements. One ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds has 1 gram of net carbs and 5 grams of protein.
  • Flax seeds: Flax seeds are another type of seed that’s very high in fiber and omega-3 fats. They also contain lignans, which are phytoestrogens that may help balance your hormones and protect against breast cancer. One ounce (28 grams) of flax seeds has zero net carbs and 6 grams of protein.

When choosing nuts and seeds for keto, it’s important to watch your portion size and avoid salted or candied varieties that are high in carbs. You should also soak or sprout them before eating to reduce their phytic acid content, which can interfere with mineral absorption.

Avocado

Avocado is a unique fruit that’s very keto-friendly. It’s high in healthy fats, especially monounsaturated fats that can lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It’s also high in fiber, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, and copper. It also helps improve your skin health and insulin sensitivity.

Some of the benefits of avocado for keto are:

  • It can help you lose weight by increasing your satiety and reducing your hunger hormones.
  • It can boost your brain function and memory by providing healthy fats and antioxidants that protect your neurons and synapses.
  • It can lower your inflammation and oxidative stress by providing glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant that detoxifies your cells and tissues.
  • It can enhance your immune system and wound healing by providing vitamin C, which is essential for collagen synthesis and infection prevention.

One medium avocado (200 grams) has 3 grams of net carbs and 4 grams of protein. You can eat avocado on its own or use it to make keto-friendly dishes like guacamole, salad, smoothie, or toast.

Berries

berries

Berries are one of the few fruits that you can enjoy on the keto diet. They are low in net carbs but high in antioxidants, especially anthocyanins, which give them their vibrant colors. They also contain vitamin C, manganese, and fiber.

Some of the benefits of berries for keto are:

  • They can help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism and fat burning.
  • They can improve your blood sugar and insulin levels by slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbs.
  • They can protect your heart and blood vessels by lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • They can prevent or delay aging and disease by fighting free radicals and inflammation.

Some of the best berries for keto are:

  • Blueberries: Blueberries are one of the most nutritious berries you can eat. They are high in anthocyanins, flavonoids, resveratrol, and pterostilbene. They also help improve your cognitive function and memory. One cup (148 grams) of blueberries has 17 grams of net carbs and 1 gram of protein.
  • Raspberries: Raspberries are another delicious berry that’s great for keto. They are high in ellagic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol. They also help lower your appetite and calorie intake. One cup (123 grams) of raspberries has 7 grams of net carbs and 1 gram of protein.
  • Strawberries: Strawberries are a sweet and juicy berry that’s perfect for keto. They are high in vitamin C, folate, and anthocyanins. They also help boost your immune system and skin health. One cup (152 grams) of strawberries has 9 grams of net carbs and 1 gram of protein.
  • Blackberries: Blackberries are a tart and tangy berry that’s good for keto. They are high in vitamin K, manganese, and anthocyanins. They also help improve your gut health and digestion. One cup (144 grams) of blackberries has 6 grams of net carbs and 2 grams of protein.

You can eat berries fresh or frozen or use them to make keto-friendly desserts or smoothies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions that you might have about the keto diet and keto-friendly foods:

Q: How many carbs can I eat on the keto diet?

A: The amount of carbs that you can eat on the keto diet depends on several factors, such as your age, weight, activity level, health goals, and personal preference. However, a general guideline is to limit your net carb intake to 20-50 grams per day. Net carbs are the total carbs minus the fiber.

Q: How do I know if I’m in ketosis?

A: Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body uses ketones as its main source of fuel instead of glucose. You can tell if you’re in ketosis by measuring your ketone levels using a blood, urine, or breath test. Alternatively, you can look for some signs and symptoms of ketosis, such as:

  • Reduced appetite and cravings
  • Increased energy and mental clarity
  • Weight loss
  • Bad breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination

Q: What are some foods that I should avoid on the keto diet?

A: Some foods that you should avoid on the keto diet are:

  • Grains: Grains are high in carbs and low in fat. They include wheat, rice, oats, corn, barley, rye, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, etc.
  • Legumes: Legumes are high in carbs and low in fat. They include beans, lentils, peas, soybeans, peanuts, etc.
  • Starchy vegetables: Starchy vegetables are high in carbs and low in fat. They include potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, beets, parsnips,
  • turnips, etc.
  • Fruits: Fruits are high in carbs and low in fat. They include apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, melons, pineapples, mangoes, etc. However, some fruits are lower in carbs and can be eaten in moderation on the keto diet, such as berries, avocado, lemon, lime, etc.
  • Sugars: Sugars are high in carbs and low in fat. They include table sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, molasses, etc. They also include sugar alcohols, such as xylitol, erythritol, maltitol, etc., which can cause digestive issues and affect your ketone levels.
  • Processed foods: Processed foods are high in carbs and low in fat. They include bread, pasta, cereal, crackers, cookies, cakes, pastries, candy, chocolate, ice cream, etc. They also include chips, popcorn, pretzels, granola bars, etc. They are usually made with refined grains, sugars, and unhealthy oils that can harm your health and weight loss.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol is high in carbs and low in fat. It includes beer, wine, liquor, cocktails, etc. It can also impair your liver function and prevent your body from producing ketones.
  • These are some of the foods that you should avoid on the keto diet. However, you don’t have to give up all your favorite foods completely. You can still enjoy some of them occasionally or find keto-friendly alternatives that are low in carbs and high in fat.

Conclusion

The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that can help you lose weight and improve your health. However, not all foods are keto-friendly. Some foods are high in carbs and can kick you out of ketosis, while others are low in carbs and high in fat and can help you stay in ketosis.

In this article, we showed you some of the best keto-friendly foods that you can eat on the keto diet. We also answered some common questions that you might have about the keto diet and keto-friendly foods.

We hope you found this article helpful and informative.

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