The ketogenic diet has been around for around a hundred years, and has been used all around the world. It has been used in treating epilepsy, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, it protects against cancer and neurological disorders, and it also helps those trying to lose weight. While the ketogenic diet is attractive, this diet high in fat and low in carbohydrate intake may have you feeling stumped as to what to eat besides bacon for every meal. You can try out these keto meal plan ideas and see if they fit your taste.
What is the Ketogenic diet and How Does It Work?
Your body relies on carbohydrates for fuel as they are an easy source of energy for the body to use. Carbohydrates are turned into glucose molecules for energy. However when carbohydrates are used, energy sources like fat are not used. On ketosis, your body looks for other sources of energy as your carbohydrate levels are low. The ketogenic diet involves eating low amounts of carbohydrates and high amounts of fat so that your body gets into the state of ketosis.
A ketogenic diet keeps carbohydrate intake between 20 to 50 grams a day, which are low amounts. The amount you may eat may not necessarily fall within that range, as all bodies are different and have different needs. A ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 fat to carbohydrates and protein is more of a general guideline than a hard rule.
The body can get the energy it needs without carbohydrates. Ketosis is the body’s process of relying on fat for energy. The liver produces ketone bodies, which are used for energy.
Is the Ketogenic Diet for Me?
The ketogenic diet is generally safe for everyone. On the ketogenic diet you may experience some side effects. While these are generally bearable you may base your decision to go on the diet based on whether or not you are comfortable with the following side effects.
While doing the ketogenic diet you may experience the following:
- bad breath which may taste fruity
- digestive issues, such as constipation and diarrhea
- dry mouth
- increased energy
- increased thirst
- increased urination
- insomnia or waking up at night
- reduced hunger
- short-term decreases in physical performance
- short-term fatigue
- weight loss
The ketogenic diet is not for everyone. What may be helpful for someone may hurt someone else. To be on the safe side, consult your doctor or healthcare provider before considering the ketogenic diet. To be on the safe side, do not go on the ketogenic diet unsupervised.
Consult a doctor or healthcare provider before going on the ketogenic diet if you are any of the following:
- you are pregnant
- you are breastfeeding
- you take medication for high blood pressure
- you take medication for diabetes
What Do You Eat on Keto?
On the ketogenic diet, your intake will mostly be fat with little carbohydrates.
Is there anything I cannot eat on Keto?
You can really eat anything on keto. Even if the amount of carbohydrates in some foods are high, you can still have them as long as the portion sizes are controlled. The only reason why vegetables like kale and broccoli are touted as keto vegetables and potatoes are often banned in these diets is because while these vegetables do have carbohydrates like potatoes do, but the amounts in them are way lower than what potatoes have. Go satisfy that craving if you have to, but try to do so in small amounts.
Another way to eat whatever you want on the keto diet is to replace the carbohydrate-heavy ingredients in your favorite meals with substitutes. If you love fried rice too much to part with it, there’s no need to say goodbye to your favorite stir-fry. You can replace the rice with finely-chopped cauliflower.
What Fruits and Vegetables Can I Eat on Keto?
Fruits and vegetables can have big variations in their carbohydrate content. Stick to these fruit and vegetable basics if you want to be on the safe side.
- Low-Carb Fruits:
- Low-Carb Vegetables:
- bell peppers
- bok choy
- brussel sprouts
- green beans
- snow peas
Other Food You Can Eat on Keto
The carbohydrate content of meat varies depending on the part being talked about. It would be safe to assume that the meat you eat is keto friendly, but remember to check out the carbohydrate content of the specific part of meat you have just to be accurate.
Here are some fridge and pantry staples you can eat when on keto:
- oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
- yogurt and greek yogurt
Keto Meal Plan Ideas
Here are some ingredient combinations you can try for your morning omelets:
- mushroom, kale, and tomato
- bell pepper and onion
- cheese, arugula, and tuna
Here are some things you can toss in your yogurt:
- strawberries and orange slices
- cherries, coconut, and hazelnut
For lunch, making something easy and delicious is possible on keto.
Here are some salads you can make:
- arugula, tuna, peaches, cucumber, and spinach with olive oil, vinegar, and salt
- tuna, olives, kale, celery, with a soft boiled egg with salt and pepper for the dressing
- crispy mushrooms
Want to make something easy? Toss these together in the oven:
- butter, salmon, lemon zest and lemon juice
- cream, mushrooms, chicken, and spinach
- onion, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, and cheese on top
Fry these together for a quick dinner:
- diced chicken, onion, tomato, and cheese
- beef, onion, garlic, and broccoli
Here are soups you could make on the side or as a main:
- cream for a base, salmon, haddock, and butter for a chowder without flour as the thickener
- yogurt blended with onions and broccoli for a thick and healthy soup
- beef and cabbage boiled together for a one pot meal