What is a keto food? What does a keto meal look like? Here are some examples of high-fat low-carb foods on the ketogenic diet food list you can expect to eat lots of if you’re following the ketogenic diet:
You can measure if you’re in ketosis via urine or blood strips, though it’s not really worth it. The urine strips are considered pretty inaccurate (they more answer the question “Am I in ketosis?”), and the blood strips are expensive (up to $5 per strip). If you’re interested in reading more about measuring ketones, click here >
If at any point during the day you begin to feel hungry, make sure to have some ketofriendly snacks on hand. You shouldn’t be hungry between meals, but sometimes in the beginning of your ketogenic diet, you need some time to adjust. These keto-friendly snacks are here to help!
As you can see, keeping your body in ketosis for prolonged periods of time teaches your body to burn fat for energy more efficiently, which is how the keto diet can reduce your overall fat mass. This is how following a high-fat, low-carb can help you lose weight without starvation, especially since high-fat foods are satiating and keep you full for longer periods of time.
In a fasting state, our bodies can break down extra fat that’s stored for the energy it needs. When we’re in ketosis, our body already mimics a fasting state, being that we have little to no glucose in our bloodstream, so we use the fats in our bodies as energy.
Here’s a nutritional list of some of the more commonly consumed vegetables on keto. Keep in mind that the weights are the same of everything listed so that it will impact the skew of the carb counts. For example, in a meal you may have 6 oz. of broccoli in the side, but you would not have 6 oz. worth of berries in the morning. You may mix 6 oz. of berries into a pudding with 4 servings.
Whether you go strict keto or modified keto, I highly recommend you start keto by also trying intermittent fasting (IMF) to double-down on the fat-burning benefits of the keto diet. Simply put, intermittent fasting is going a period of time without food but usually less than a day, such as going without breakfast. (Intermittent fasting for women? I still recommend but keep close tabs on how you’re feeling. Significant hunger pangs, mood swings or fatigue could indicate hormone changes — so fast 2–3 nonconsecutive days per week instead.)
This week we’re getting stricter with our fasting. We had a full week of intermittent fasting and now we’re going to skip breakfast and lunch. Water is our BEST friend here! Don’t forget that you can drink coffee, tea, flavored water, and the like to get your liquids in. Keep drinking to make sure you’re not thinking about your stomach. It MIGHT start growling, just ignore it – your body will adjust with time.
I have PCOS as well. Research a PCOS-specific diet. It often overlaps with Keto or Paleo recipes. But you have to also avoid holstein cow produced dairy products, red meat, pork, soy products (which are in almost every processed food) in addition to carbs and sugar. And absolutely avoid anything you can’t be sure doesn’t have extra hormones injected into it (like many mass-farmed meats). Vigorous exercise is also necessary to lose weight when you have PCOS (It’s much, much more difficult for us to lose weight than people with normal hormonal balances).
In the first week, many people report headaches, mental fogginess, dizziness, and aggravation. Most of the time, this is the result of your electrolytes being flushed out, as ketosis has a diuretic effect. Make sure you drink plenty of water and keep your sodium intake up.
It would be interesting to find out what component in avo’s you are reacting to – is it the actual avocado or chems the farmers may be using or stores are using when washing produce? There is a certain persimmon that I can’t eat, if I want to continue breathing, so I am not denying your reaction to them.
When searching for sweeteners, try to go after liquid versions as they don’t have added binders (such as maltodextrin and dextrose). These are commonly found in blends like Splenda and can add up in carbs very, very quickly. For keto, you want to try to stick with lower glycemic index sweeteners.
Alternating days of higher vs. lower carb intake, especially when timed around workouts if you’re active, is beneficial for cutting your body fat percentage down while still not sacrificing your muscle mass. How many carbs should you aim for if you go with approach? Higher-carb days might include 100 grams of net carbohydrates, while lower-carb days should stay closer to 20–30 grams of net carbs. Exact numbers will differ, with men who are bigger and more active requiring more of both calories and carbs than smaller, less active women.
There’s a small percent of people that experience raised LDL cholesterol as well. These elevated levels are usually fine – though harder to test. The dangers of LDL cholesterol come from the size and density, which are shown to be very healthy on keto. Read more on keto and cholesterol >
Optimal ketosis is reached when they body stays in ketosis for at least a few weeks, when any type of side effects diminish greatly while the benefits are more pronounced with the body becoming a fat burner.
To start a keto diet, you will want to plan ahead. That means having a viable diet plan ready and waiting. What you eat depends on how fast you want to get into a ketogenic state. The more restrictive you are on your carbohydrates (less than 15g per day), the faster you will enter ketosis.
Our entire lives, we’ve been told that the primary source of energy in the body is carbohydrates or glucose. This has been proven false. Ketones are an alternative fuel source under certain conditions.
Remember that carbs are not the enemy — they actually have many important roles in the body! Eating enough carbohydrates at the right time can help “reset your metabolic thermostat” and signal your body to create enough beneficial hormones (like leptin and thyroid hormones) that keep you at a healthy weight, feeling energized and mentally remaining satisfied with your diet overall. Eating a very low-carb diet nonstop can lead some to feel overly restricted, tired and demotivated — but for many adding in carbs at certain times makes it easier to follow a healthy way of eating long-term that won’t cause weight regain or strong carb cravings.
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The classic ketogenic diet is not a balanced diet and only contains tiny portions of fresh fruit and vegetables, fortified cereals and calcium-rich foods. In particular, the B vitamins, calcium and vitamin D must be artificially supplemented. This is achieved by taking two sugar-free supplements designed for the patient’s age: a multivitamin with minerals and calcium with vitamin D.[3] A typical day of food for a child on a 4:1 ratio, 1,500 kcal (6,300 kJ) ketogenic diet comprises:[27]
“I am a 61 y/o female. One year ago I weighed the most I’ve weighed in my life. At 5’9″ and 190 lbs I was not the correct height for my weight! In addition, my blood pressure and blood sugar were climbing. Today, thanks to Raj, the Keto coach, and his easy to follow diet and exercise plan, I weigh 145lbs and have lost a cumulative 33″ between my neck and my butt. My waist is 10.5″ smaller. That’s a 10.5″ inch loss of killer visceral fat. Body fat was making me sick. As a health care provider I know all too well that we are a nation of pill popping people to fix our illnesses. Unfortunately all medications have side effects. This was not a road I wanted to go down. I wanted to take charge of my health. After researching several “diet” strategies I felt a high fat low carb lifestyle would be best. For decades we’ve been told by nutrition experts and the FDA that fat is bad for us and causes high cholesterol. Guess what? That’s not true! CARBOHYDRATES cause inflammation, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and weight gain. Thanks Raj! You gave me my health back! The Keto-coach is a simple, effective way to approach and maintain this healthy lifestyle. If one person reads this and chooses to make this lifestyle change my testimony was not in vain.*”
There’s always going to be foods that are bad for us when it comes to eating. Some foods are particularly sneaky at hiding carbohydrates from us. Here’s a small list of common items that sometimes have hidden carbs:
^ a b Kossoff EH, Laux LC, Blackford R, Morrison PF, Pyzik PL, Hamdy RM, et al. When do seizures usually improve with the ketogenic diet? (PDF). Epilepsia. 2008 Feb;49(2):329–33. doi:10.1111/j.1528-1167.2007.01417.x. PMID 18028405
Spices. As mentioned above, spices do have carbs – but certain ones have more carbs than others. These include onion powder, cinnamon, garlic powder, allspice, and ginger. Always read labels and make sure no added sugar are in your spice blends.
You also want to have a balance between your omega 3’s and omega 6’s, so eating things like wild salmon, tuna, trout, and shellfish can help provide a balanced diet of Omega-3’s. If you don’t like fish, or just prefer not to eat it, we suggest taking a small fish oil supplement. You can also take krill oil for omega 3’s if you are allergic.
Unfortunately, very commonly consumed oils such as soy, canola and corn can trigger insulin resistance. If oil is not organic, it’s likely to be GMO. Try to find a salad dressing or condiment without these oils. Good luck!
Keto meals also need all sorts of non-starchy vegetables. What vegetables can you eat on a ketogenic diet without worrying about increasing your carb intake too much? Some of the most popular choices include broccoli and other cruciferous veggies, all types of leafy greens, asparagus, cucumber, and zucchini.
For those looking for something just a little closer to real sugar, you can use Xylitol. It cooks and tastes very similar to sugar, but it has a slight glycemic impact (13 vs. 100 for sugar). It is great, but please keep in mind that it is very toxic to animals and it will raise insulin levels slightly. These are the two most cited reasons for not using Xylitol.
Be aware of the effects of nightshades on your body; while they are permitted in ketosis, they cause inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis in sensitive people. Nightshades include tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, okra, goji berries and eggplant. For a Bulletproof ketosis, limit onions and garlic, which tend to be moldy and can disrupt your alpha brain waves. Avoid alfalfa sprouts, and be sure to lightly cook oxalate-heavy cruciferous and leafy greens.[5]
Seasonings and sauces are a tricky part of ketogenic diet foods, but people use them on a regular basis to add flavor to their meals. The easiest way to remain strict here is to avoid processed foods. There are many low carb condiments and products on the market, and there’s no way to list them all. A handful of them are great, but the majority use high glycemic index sweeteners – which you want to avoid.
Animal proteins (meat, fish, etc.) have very little, if any, carbs. You can consume them in moderate amounts as needed to control hunger. Overall, choose fattier cuts of meat rather than leaner ones. For example, chicken thighs and legs are preferable to chicken breasts because they contain much more fat.
Excess calcium in the urine (hypercalciuria) occurs due to increased bone demineralisation with acidosis. Bones are mainly composed of calcium phosphate. The phosphate reacts with the acid, and the calcium is excreted by the kidneys.[38]
When you’re eating the foods that get you there (more on that in a minute), your body can enter a state of ketosis in one to three days, she adds. During the diet, the majority of calories you consume come from fat, with a little protein and very little carbohydrates. Ketosis also happens if you eat a very low-calorie diet — think doctor-supervised, only when medically recommended diets of 600 to 800 total calories.
The nerve impulse is characterised by a great influx of sodium ions through channels in the neuron’s cell membrane followed by an efflux of potassium ions through other channels. The neuron is unable to fire again for a short time (known as the refractory period), which is mediated by another potassium channel. The flow through these ion channels is governed by a “gate” which is opened by either a voltage change or a chemical messenger known as a ligand (such as a neurotransmitter). These channels are another target for anticonvulsant drugs.[7]
“I’ve known about the Keto diet for many years and finally decided to try it after struggling to manage my weight. As a 73 year old male with some health issues and physical limitations, I could never seem to get my weight down to where I want it. After trying the 21 day diet plan I’m proud to say that after the first 14 days I’ve dropped 10 lbs and have only 5 lbs to lose to get to my preliminary goal. The diet and the coaching is the best… Easy to follow with quick results! My wife has now started her 21 day plan! Thanks Raj for your help and inspiration!*”
8 Nickols-Richardson, S. M. et. al. (2005). Perceived hunger is lower and weight loss is greater in overweight premenopausal women consuming a low-carbohydrate/high-protein vs high-carbohydrate/low-fat diet. Journal American Diet Association, 105(9): 1433-7.
VITAMINS: Most of the vitamins and minerals you will need come from vegetables, such as in salads . B vitamins are present in whole wheat, but we don’t want to consume grains because they turn into sugar too fast. 
I tried to scale the recipes as best as I could in this meal plan, but not every recipe will be scaled, and some recipes will give leftovers. Make sure you look a few days ahead in the meal plan, as some leftovers are used. Freeze things if you have too much leftovers. You can always re-use this food later on!
If there is not enough vitamin C, you lose collagen, which keeps your arteries strong. This condition triggers a cascade of events: from increase of bad cholesterol (called LDL) to the formation of calcium and white blood to a bandage (plaque), which is known as a clogged artery. The plaque is the effect of the damage caused by high insulin.
Indeed, a common finding is that focusing on eating an alkaline diet in addition to a low-carb keto diet will dramatically help curb side effects for many women (and men too!). The reason is because of high nutrient intake and enhanced detoxification alongside a reduced reliance on “uppers” like caffeine and sugar for energy. Check out my article on the keto diet for women, including my interview of Dr. Anna Cabeca, an Ob-Gyn and Regenerative and Anti-Aging Medicine expert, for more information. 
^ Kossoff EH, Dorward JL, Molinero MR, Holden KR. The modified Atkins diet: a potential treatment for developing countries. Epilepsia. 2008 Sep;49(9):1646–7. doi:10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008.01580_6.x PMID 18782218
Protein is a vital component of any diet. Protein fuels your body with essential amino acids, helps regulate organs and builds muscle and connective tissue. However, it is possible to consume too much protein on keto.
What’s going on is your body is trying to adjust to fat burning. So, this is a good thing. What you need to do is concentrate on getting more vitamins in the diet. Now, the one nutrient you need a lot of to keep the fatigue away and to help you in the metabolism is B5. B5 also helps the adrenals and metabolism along, and keeps that fatigue away. Promise!
Nut and seed flours are great to substitute for regular flour. Commonly consumed on keto, seeds and nuts are frequently seen in baked recipes and dessert recipes. We often see the use of nuts (in almond flour) and seeds (in flaxseed meal) but should be eaten in moderation.
When implementing any new diet — not just keto — it’s important to do so safely, and in a way that supports your unique lifestyle. With this in mind, here are two potential side effects you should know about:
Condiments. It’s almost tradition to add sauce to a meal – but be careful about your favorites. Sometimes condiments and sauces can show minuscule serving sizes which skew the actual carbs that are inside. Make sure you read the nutrition and ingredient lists well.
Diets high in healthy fats and protein also tend to be very filling, which can help reduce overeating of empty calories, sweets and junk foods. (4) For most people eating a healthy low-carb diet, it’s easy to consume an appropriate amount of calories, but not too many, since things like sugary drinks, cookies, bread, cereals, ice cream or other desserts and snack bars are off-limits.
So while the keto diet can result in weight loss, it can also cause nausea, fatigue and constipation. The top way to combat such side effects for women is to try an alkaline ketogenic diet. For some women (and men), the key is to reach an alkaline pH first before beginning keto in order to prevent feeling agitated, anxious, uncomfortable or overly hungry.
The keto diet can reduce the risk of heart disease markers, including high cholesterol and triglycerides. (6) In fact, the keto diet is unlikely to negatively impact your cholesterol levels despite being so high in fat. Moreover, it’s capable of lowering cardiovascular disease risk factors, especially in those who are obese. (7)
Reaction to eggs could be due to the following: Read Healthy Traditions website regarding chickens being fed soy – soy will be in the eggs. If you can’t get truly organic soy corn free eggs, you may order through them. It is said all soy, even organic is contaminated GE, plus it is said by reliable sources that organic soy, if consumed, should only be fermented. Non organic soy and corn are GE and heavily sprayed with diluted white phosphorus and flamydahyde (sp?) embalming fluid i.e. glousphate (sp) in Roundup Ready among other toxic chemical witch’s brews that farmers use requiring wearing hazmat suits.
Researchers believe that the ketogenic diet can also help patients with schizophrenia to normalize the pathophysiological processes that are causing symptoms like delusions, hallucinations, lack of restraint and unpredictable behavior. One study found that the ketogenic diet lead to elevated concentrations of kynurenic acid (KYNA) in the hippocampus and striatum, which promotes neuroactive activity. Some studies even point to the elimination of gluten under the ketogenic diet as a possible reason for improved symptoms, as researchers observed that patients with schizophrenia tended to eat more carbohydrates immediately before a psychotic episode. (2)