Top 7 Food Choices for the Ketogenic Diet

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These days, there’s no shortage of new people adopting the ketogenic diet with the hopes of seeing first hand what it’s like to eat fat to lose fat. After all, it’s a pretty cool concept. But there’s definitely an adjustment period, and it takes a little while to learn what can and can’t eat.

So, where should you start?
First, know that calories come from the three macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates. To reach a ketogenic state, your goal is to have 75 percent of your daily calories to come from fat, 20 percent to come from protein and 5 percent to come from carbs.

But how do I use those guidelines to shop for food?
To get the ball rolling, use this list of seven keto-friendly foods to help guide your grocery shopping efforts. Then, visit the link at the bottom of this article for expert guidance.

1. California Avocados

Fat: 21 g per fruit
Carbs: 12 g per fruit (3g net)
Protein: 3 g per fruit*
Avocado for keto diet
Avocados are a go-to for ketogenic dieters because they’re Jam-packed with healthy fats. They’re also loaded with fiber (9 g), which helps drop the net carbs to a keto-friendly level for this popular fruit. What’s more, whether you spread them on toast, toss a few into a salad or eat one raw with a dash of salt and lemon, there are seemingly limitless ways to work them into meals and recipes.

2. MCT Coconut Oil

Fat: 14 g per tbsp
Carbs: 0 g per tbsp
Protein: 0 g per tbsp*
MCT oil for keto diet
First-time keto dieters will find adapting to their new diet significantly easier with a bottle of MCT coconut oil in their pantry. With 100% of its calories coming from fat it can get you off on the right foot first thing in the morning, or counter a carb-heavy dish you had earlier in the day. Mix it in your coffee, use it as cooking oil, apply it as dressing on your salad – its versatility combined with a little culinary creativity will make your efforts to reach and stay in a ketogenic state so much easier.

3. Atlantic Salmon

Fat: 11 g per oz
Carbs: 0 g per oz
Protein: 19 g per oz*

As a general rule of thumb, most types of fish are keto-friendly. However, Atlantic Salmon is the king of fish for keto dieters. In addition to its high-fat content, it contains very few carbs and offers a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which research suggests can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It also can be prepared in a variety of ways with various spices, herbs and sauces to keep your taste buds on their toes. If you don’t feel like cooking, you can always order ready-made, gourmet salmon dish.

4. Scrambled Eggs

Fat: 7 g per large egg
Carbs: 1 g per large egg
Protein: 6 g per large egg*

Eating scrambled eggs for breakfast is a surefire way for keto dieters to kick-start the day. For starters, egg yolks are naturally high in fat and protein, with very few carbs (1 gram per large egg). They also have other healthy properties, like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and various other nutrients. For those who prefer their eggs prepared a different way, sunny side up or poached eggs come with similar health benefits.

5. Brazil Nuts (1 cup)

Fat: 89 g per cup
Carbs: 16 g per cup
Protein: 19 g per cup*

Brazil nuts are high in healthy monounsaturated fat, with a healthy dose of protein and moderate carbohydrates. Don’t let the carb count throw you off though, as these tasty little guys contain so much fat a small serving is unlikely to dent your carb-to-fat ratio for the day. Just be sure to keep it to a single handful. As an added bonus, brazil nuts are renowned for having the richest known food source of selenium, an essential mineral and antioxidant.

6. Green Olives

Fat: 4 g per 10 olives
Carbs: 1 g per 10 olives
Protein: 0 g per 10 olives*

Yet another keto-friendly finger food, pickled olives are an excellent snack to have around the house or at the office when hunger cravings strike. Proportionally, they offer a 4-to-1 fat-to-carb ratio. In addition, they’re a shockingly lightweight for such a flavorful snack, as 10 olives equate to only 39 calories and 1 gram of carbs.

7. Bacon

Fat: 4 g per slice
Carbs: 0 g per slice
Protein: 3 g per slice*

Despite the years we spent painting bacon as a symbol of poor nutrition and bad health, bacon has recently made a comeback with the rise of the ketogenic diet. That’s primarily due to its high-fat content and extremely low carb content. However, while bacon is most definitely keto-friendly, don’t overdo it as it’s high in saturated fat and sodium due to the curing process it undergoes.

* All nutritional data in this article was sourced from the USDA National Nutrient Database.

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written by

James Gardikas

James Gardikas

Contributing Writer