So you read : Ketogenic Diet 101 | Prep Your Brain to Accomplish Keto Diet Successfully and now you said to yourself, “I can do this!”
Wonderful! It is time for you to go into HOW to get this Keto Diet done right successfully.
The first step is to know what you can eat and what you can’t eat.
It might be very obvious, but knowing which food is out of list is crucial to going into Ketosis.
There’s many people wondering why their Keto strip (a method to see whether you are in ketosis or not) is not changing color, while eating granola and oatmeal, thinking “those are healthy!”
WHAT YOU CAN’T EAT
G-S-S rule: NO GRAIN, STARCH, & SUGAR.
Well, I know this is not the ‘perfect’ description of what you can’t eat, but as a beginner, I think this is enough.
In addition to G-S-S, you want to avoid processed food (obviously), as well as to be careful with any ‘gluten-free’ products.
#1 NO GRAIN (NO GLUTEN):
Grains- they are tricky. Some of them seems so healthy in grocery aisles, or ‘healthy recipes’ that you see in Pinterest.
Bu are they really healthy? Over night outs? Wheat bread over white bread? Brown rice over white rice?
First of all, ANY GRAIN, they are usually very high in carbohydrate.
To be precise, grain has two branches and few different groups, but I’ll just break down to two:
Gluten Grain, & Non-Gluten Grain.
Grain with gluten, you definitely avoid those. Gluten is a protein you fine in grains, to sum up, you are talking about Refined Grains & Whole Grains.
Popular ones: Bread, Wheat Bread (yes you think wheat is healthy? not really.) Rye bread, Pastas, Pizzas, Crackers, Cereals….
I think you get the idea. ANYTHING that has “whole wheat flour,” “Bleached flour,” “Wheat Flour,”…. Goes right out of window.
This was really tough- you’ll be surprised how hard it is to find afternoon snack or coffee snack without flour in them.
There’s gluten in some spices and seasoning as well, but to this extent, it is entirely up to you whether you are going to completely eliminate gluten from your diet or not.
I personally recommend eliminating gluten as much as you can, since 30% of the population is considered to be gluten sensitive in recent study.
Gluten is proven to be the cause of migraine, mood swings, depression, ADHD, skin sensitivities, and much more serious illnesses.
If you are having other health issues, you might want to see how eliminating gluten brings positive change to your body.
Popular ones: Corns, Corn Meal, Corn Bread, Rice, Brown Rice and Wild Rice.
Yes, Corn is NOT a vegetable- and brown rice is equally as bad as white rice.
Those are very high in carbohydrates, break down as sugar in your system and… yup, not pretty.
Popcorn is a no-no, they might be low in calorie, but very high in Carb- those ‘healthy’ snacks turns out to be not so much.
#2 NO STARCH:
I really couldn’t find any better way to explain this category, but you need to avoid anything that has ‘starch’ in them.
List above, the grain products also has very high starch, but there are starchy foods that are not grains.
Popular ones: Potato, Sweet Potatoes, Yams, Beans, Bananas.
Slow cooked beans, fried potato, potato chips- those are out of the window as well.
#3 NO SUGAR:
Sugar, including ANY TYPES OF SUGAR. Honey, Brown Sugar, Agave Sugar, refined sugar…. it’s all the same. It’s ALL SUGAR.
In Keto diet, you mainly look at the Carbohydrate, but the amount of sugar is WITHIN the carbohydrate counts, so better get used to the idea of NO SUGAR.
Hardest part is that you would have to give up many fruits as well –(although it wouldn’t kill to have small bite here and there),
if you are going to really commit, few berries per day is your allowance.
AND OF COURSE….
#4 NO PROCESSED FOOD!!!
I did not put this category in No G-S-S list since you would have to avoid most of the processed food if you are eliminating Grains, Gluten, and Sugar.
So I am just mentioning it here as a remainder and to be crystal clear about what you can eat.
Frozen Dinner, Frozen Pizzas, Dried Fruits, Condiments such as Ketchup and BBQ Sauce, Instant Noodles….. list goes on.
Consuming preservatives aren’t good for your body anyways, it’s time to say bye-bye to our guilty pleasures.
#5 WATCH OUT FOR “GLUTEN-FREE” PRODUCTS
I fall into this trap when I first started Paleo and Keto Diet.
My misunderstanding of Gluten, the fact that gluten free doesn’t mean low-carb, tricked me really bad.
For instance, take a look at this Glutino Gluten-Free Original Cracker.
Those photos are from their official website. My friends and family loves those crackers, and loved the fact it is gluten free.
But when I look at the carbohydrate, WOW. for only 8 crackers, you are consuming 22g net carb!!!!
You have those crackers and you are basically done for today’s carb intake.
When you shop at grocery store, make a habit of checking the nutrition label; you never know how ‘healthy food’ bites you back!!
In Keto diet, it is really simple– just look at the ‘Total Carbohydrate’ and subtract ‘Fiber’ from it. There you have “net carb”.
In this article, I am reviewing and introducing the useful iPhone app to calculate the Carb, Calorie, Fat and Protein intake that you might want to incorporate in your kept diet routine.
#1 WHAT YOU CAN EAT
What Can we eat then?
Don’t worry, we actually do have lot to eat!
Here is the Keto Diet pyramid image that I really like (From markcullars.com ).
#1 Fish, and Meat.
Lots and lots of meat and fish.
Bacon, Salami, Sausage, Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Pork, Salmon, Mackerel, Sashimi, Shrimp
Yes, anything meat, or fish, they usually contain 0-less than 1 g of carbohydrate, perfect for Keto Diet.
#2 Oil, Butter, and Eggs.
For oils, you need to stock up your pantry with: Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Olive Oil, and Sesame Oil (No vegetable oil or canola oil).
You can cook with butter, they are good sauce of fat, and lots and lots of eggs.
You might feel sick of eating eggs, but I just LOVE eggs. They are low-carb, high-fat perfect Keto food; Boil them, porch them, fry them, drop it in a soup…
#3 Cheese, Cream Cheese, and Heavy Whipping Cream.
Those are the MUST shopping list, cheese (any type of string cheese or block cheese would be a perfect pick me up).
Cream Cheese and Heavy Whipping Cream will help your sweet cravings (unsweetened whipped cream is actually really satisfying), and I personally LOVE to put splash of HWC in my coffee.
Your shopping list goes: Spinach, Avocado, lettuce, Asparagus, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Egg Plants, and Cabbages.
Those are only 1-3g of net carb per 100g. Make a habit of searching what item has how many net carbs- just type “carrots carb” into google and they will tell you the nutrition details.
Don’t forget to subtract fiber from total carb to get net carb!
You can still eat fruits (WAAAAY better than eating other sugary food), but most of the fruits have sugar and carbohydrate.
What you are allowed in strict Keto Diet is Berries (strawberry, Raspberry, and Black berry– NOT blueberry), here and there. (5g net carb per 100g).
As long as you are tracking your carb intake and stays within 20g per day, enjoy the sweetness of berries! Perhaps with some whipped cream. Yum!!
Out of all the nuts, Pecan & Macadamia Nuts has the least amount of carbohydrate.
However as long as you can control the amount, other types of nuts are perfect for early/late snack time :)!
#7 Low-carb flour.
I can’t live without Almond flour (or coconut flour for some folks), as they can be used to make delicious low-carb pastries and bread.
Check out recipes HERE
Meat, fish, cheese, cream, butter and bacon? I had no problem proceeding to further step into Keto diet, when I first saw this list.
I totally understand that it is a hard choice to make for some people, like who can’t eat because of their dietary limitation, or simply choose not to eat animal products.
If you feel comfortable with this food list, then it is time to go over your pantry and refrigerator, clear out all the G-S-S food that you have.
Try to start new and fresh, and leave no space for you to ‘cheat’ here and there- thought of “it’s ok, just a bite” will make it harder for you to achieve ketosis.
I hope this article helped you to understand which food can’t and can be consumed in Keto diet.
For grocery shopping advice/guide, read: Weekly Grocery list for Keto Dieter