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How to Start a Keto Diet : A Beginners’ Food List (Infographic) 27 November, 2018   


The Keto diet: if you haven’t heard of it yet, you’re probably not interested in healthy food, or you’ve been living under a rock. Short for Ketogenic, the Keto diet was originally developed in the 1920s and ’30s as a cure for Epilepsy. As a modification on a previously tested fasting therapy involving water, in 1916, in a report to the New York Medical Journal, it was reported that epileptic patients had been successfully treated using a diet excluding starch and sugar (both carbohydrates). This was further tested by the Mayo Clinic in 1921, with Dr.Russel Wilder coining the term ‘Ketogenic diet.’ Check out this colorful infographic below to see what you can eat on a Ketogenic diet!


As mentioned above, the Keto diet takes a large portion of low-quality carbohydrates out of the equation, which makes fat, protein and supplements your main source of nutrients (in that order).

What normally happens to carbohydrates is that the body converts them to glucose.

What happens to that glucose? It’s stored as fat (talk about unwanted baggage!).

The logic of the Ketogenic diet is that if you mostly cut out carbohydrates from the equation,

the body will go into Ketosis – a metabolic state where the body turns fat into energy.

Ketones are byproducts of the body converting fats into energy.

Researchers tend to underestimate Ketosis (burning ketones for fuel), maintaining that carbohydrate restriction, and eating fewer calories play a minor role in the benefits of the ketogenic diet.
In the absence of carbohydrates, the body is fooled into thinking it’s fasting.

It adapts by finding new sources of energy for the cells. One of these energy sources is ketogenesis: an alternative fuel source called a ketone body. These ketone bodies can be used by almost every cell in your body for fuel (except for the liver and red blood cells).
Ketone bodies and sugar behave differently.
For example, burning sugar for fuel creates more reactive oxygen species, which cause damage, inflammation, and cell death when they accumulate. This is why consuming too much sugar is known to impair brain function and causes plaque build-up in the brain.
Ketones provide a more efficient energy source and help enhance mitochondrial function and production.
In the absence of carbohydrates, a cellular process called autophagy occurs. This helps to improve cell health and resilience, clean up cell damage and initiate anti-inflammatory processes.
The combination of autophagy and ketone burning is instrumental in helping people with cancer and brain disorders like epilepsy, migraines, and Alzheimer’s.
If you embark on this arduous journey, what’s in it for you?
Here are some possible benefits:

  • Weight (and fat) loss
  • Lower blood sugar levels
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Improved risk factors for heart disease
  • Positive contributions to cancer treatment
  • Better brain function
  • A decrease in inflammation
  • An increase in energy
  • Improved body composition

What’s good to eat in a Keto Diet:

Fats, Proteins and Carbohydrates are the macronutrients in a Keto Diet.

Foods you should definitely eat:

Fats are 90% ketogenic. They steadily supply energy without the disadvantages of mood swings or cravings. Fats vary in quality, so there is a limit to the types and amount of fats that you can consume. If you go above this limit, the excess will be stored as fat, defeating the main purpose of your diet entirely.Since they are mostly consumed over the entire day, your body will be using the glucose that can be produced from (fat) glycerol without you even noticing it’s there.
The only time in the day that you may have to deviate from a consistent fat intake is after a workout. Fats slow down the digestion process and will slow the absorption of the protein you eat after your workout, so they’re not recommended at that time.

Good fats are:
Saturated Fats:

  • Cocoa butter
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Coconut oil
  • Red meat
  • Palm oil
  • Lard
  • Eggs
  • Goose fat
  • Bacon fat

Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs):

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Macadamia nut oil
  • Avocados and Avocado oil

Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs):

  • Naturally-occurring trans fats (vaccenic acid)
  • Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Nut oils
  • Fatty fish and fish oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Dairy fat such as butter and yogurt
  • Grass-fed animal products

Bad fats include:

Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils found in processed foods such as:

  • Margarine
  • Crackers
  • Cookies
  • Cottonseed
  • Safflower
  • Soybean
  • Sunflower
  • Canola oils
  • Lard,
  • Ghee,
  • Tallow,
  • Grass-fed butter
  • Organ meats (liver, bone marrow, tongue),
  • Shellfish (crab, lobster, prawn, shrimp, scallop)
  • Dairy (small quantities of cheese, cream, and Greek yogurt)
  • As nuts and seeds are high in calories, try to limit your portions to 1 – 3 oz per day.
  • Nutritionally, they contain MUFAs, PUFAs , fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Nuts and seeds:

  • Almonds, Macadamia nuts, Pecans, Walnuts, Cashews, Pine nuts, Hazelnuts, Pistachios, Pumpkin seeds, Chia seeds, Hemp seeds, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Sugar-free nut and seed butter (excluding peanut butter), Flax oil, Walnut oil, Macadamia oil.
  • Leafy greens, Bok choy, Cucumber, Celery, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuce, Brussel sprouts, Zucchini, Fennel, Kale, Endive, Radicchio, Mushrooms, Onion, Garlic, Celery, Fresh herbs (such as mint, parsley, chives, basil, rosemary, cilantro)

Other food:

  • 100% Dark Organic Chocolate,
  • Raw cocoa powder,
  • Spirulina,
  • Chlorella,
  • Maca root,
  • Unsweetened nut milk (cashew milk, almond milk, hemp milk, hazelnut milk, coconut milk),
  • Seltzer or mineral water,
  • Herbal tea and coffee,
  • Almond flour, Coconut flour,
  • Fish oil supplements,
  • MCT oil,
  • Bran Octane oil,
  • Collagen and Gelatin supplements.

25% of your diet should contain:

  • Protein
    Protein has essential nutrients: amino acids
    They are the building blocks of body tissue and can be used as a fuel source.
    At 25% it’s a reasonable quantity, as more protein than this will be counterintuitive to ketosis, which is what you’re aiming for.
  • Animal Protein:
    Chicken, Turkey, Wild game, Duck, Beef, Pork
  • Bone Broth:

            Should have as little fat as possible, but plenty of protein and nutrients

Eat a little of this:   

Carbohydrates – the precious few – 5%:

A small amount of carbohydrates is recommended to maintain your diet and is what determines the effectiveness of the Keto Diet. The number of carbs can vary between 20g to 100g, as allowances have to be made for pre-existing health conditions and predispositions.

As with any major dietary, lifestyle or change in activity levels, please check with your physician and/or licensed nutritionist before starting on your Keto Diet.

  • Berries:

               Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Strawberries

  • Fruit:
    Citrus fruit: Lemon and Lime
    Low-sugar fruit such as apples and pears
  • Legumes:
    Green peas and beans (low in starch, and they are the only legumes allowed)

Avoid these foods like the plague:

  • Grains
  • Refined sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Soda
  • Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans)
  • Low-fat dairy products (which are higher in carbohydrates)
  • Peanut butter (which is a legume, not a nut)
  • Sugar alcohols (artificial sweeteners)
  • Refined vegetable oils (canola, peanut, sunflower)

Everyone has a different metabolism, digestive system, and physiological predilections.

As a result, you can vary your proportions of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to suit your body, as long you try to follow the basic rule of avoiding most carbohydrates and low-quality fats.
It’s no free lunch though (bad pun intended).

Over the long term, you should find it easier to overcome your carbohydrate cravings, which means making a lifestyle change and adapting to your new Keto diet.



Keto Diet keto diet food list How to start keto diet

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