Sweetened Yogurt Or Dairy
Natural yogurt and dairy products can vary in their carb content.
When adding dairy to your diet, steer clear of flavored or sweetened varieties, which will add to your carb count. This is especially common in flavored yogurt and cottage cheese.
Whole milk has 11 grams of carbs per cup . While you can enjoy it occasionally, know that unsweetened almond milk has just 3 grams of carbs in the same serving size, making it a more keto-friendly substitute .
Aim for plain full fat yogurt or cottage cheese. Strained varieties like Greek yogurt or Icelandic skyr are a good fit. For example, 1 tub of Greek yogurt has about 6 grams of carbs and 16 grams of protein .
Unsweetened coconut milk-based yogurts can also be a good option. Because theyre made from coconut milk, they generally have more fat and fewer carbs, around 16.5 grams of fat and 7.5 grams of carb per 3-ounce serving .
Be mindful of what you pair with these foods. Nuts, MCT or coconut oil, or unsweetened peanut butter can make this a filling keto-friendly snack, while granola or fruits can increase their carb count.
How Much Protein Will You Eat On The Keto Diet
A typical keto diet may include 20 to 25 percent of calories coming from protein, says Keene. One common misconception is that this is a high-protein diet, when in reality, its moderate in protein. Too much protein can be converted and broken down as sugar to be utilized as an energy source, she says.
That said, you dont want to go too low in protein. You want to be able to stay in ketosis without sacrificing lean body mass if you lose weight, says Whitmire. This can loosely equate to 1.2 to 1.5 g of protein per kilogram of body weight. Therefore, a 140-lb woman may aim for 76 to 95 g per day. For reference, one 3.5-ounce skinless chicken breast offers 31 g of protein.
One of the best on a keto diet is fatty fish , says Keene, as it offers a source of heart-healthy protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Eggs are another good choice one large egg contains 6 g of protein and 5 g of fat.
While a keto diet may focus on fat, that doesnt mean you have to eat bacon and sausages all day. There is room for leaner proteins, like chicken or cod just remember to add fat to these lower-in-fat sources, she says. Many cuts of beef are also considered lean or extra lean, as they contain 10 g or less of total fat, as well as a modest amount of saturated fat . These include eye of round roast and steak, sirloin tip side steak, top round roast and steak, bottom round roast and steak, and top sirloin steak, notes the Mayo Clinic.
The 6 Best Sweeteners On A Low
Following a ketogenic diet involves cutting back on high-carb foods like starches, desserts and processed snacks.
This is essential to reaching a metabolic state called ketosis, which causes your body to begin breaking down fat stores instead of carbs to produce energy.
Ketosis also requires reducing sugar consumption, which can make it challenging to sweeten beverages, baked goods, sauces and dressings.
Fortunately, there are various low-carb sweeteners that you can enjoy.
Here are the 6 best sweeteners for a low-carb keto diet plus 6 you should avoid.
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Can You Drink Alcohol On The Keto Diet
Yes. Even though there are carbs in alcohol, you can still drink it in limited amounts, says Keatley. Realize that on days when you do choose to consume alcohol, depending on what you choose, you may have to adjust your carbs from other sources. This may mean making tough decisions, like having a drink but skipping a small amount of fruit or Greek yogurt.
In general, the simpler the better: Spirits are the best choice , followed by wine. Your best bet is to stick with a half drink, says Keatley. Because of their lower alcohol percentage and other ingredients, beer and wine can eat up a lot of your carbs, and they don’t give back in terms of vitamins and minerals. Its a waste of your carbs, he says.
Heres what each alcoholic drink contains, carb-wise:
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Nuts Seeds And Healthy Oils
Nuts and seeds are full of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, fiber and protein. They also are very low in net carbs. Olive oil and coconut oil are the two oils recommended on the keto diet. Olive oil is high in oleic acid and is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Coconut oil is high in saturated fat but contains medium-chain triglycerides , which can increase ketone production. MCTs may increase metabolic rate and promote the loss of weight and belly fat too. Measure portion sizes when consuming any type of healthy fat.
Carb counts for 1 oz. of nuts and seeds :
- Almonds: 3 g net carbs
- Brazil nuts: 1 g net carbs
- Cashews: 8 g net carbs
- Macadamia nuts: 2 g net carbs
- Pecans: 1 g net carbs
- Pistachios: 5 g net carbs
- Walnuts: 2 g net carbs
- Chia seeds: 2 g net carbs
- Flaxseeds: 0 g net carbs
- Pumpkin seeds: 2 g net carbs
- Sesame seeds: 4 g net carbs
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The Difference Between Naturally Occurring Sugar And Added Sugar It’s Important
Naturally occurring sugars are those found in fruit and milk products . Berries, for example, are low in sugar, have lots of health benefits such as fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and manganese, plus other micronutrients.
Naturally occurring sugars are not “bad,” but you do have to take those carbs into account when eating a keto diet.
Choose High Fiber Foods
When choosing carbohydrate foods, look for foods with more fiber as it has a minimal effect on blood glucose levels. Fiber also provides other benefits: You are likely to feel full longer when you eat high-fiber foods, and consumption of high fiber foods can also help you to lower your LDL cholesterol.
High-fiber foods are generally plant-based foods that are closest to their whole form. For example, an apple provides fiber while apple juice provides none. Whole nuts provide protein and fiber but nut butters and nut milks often have sugars added during processing and may boost your carb intake.
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How Carbs Impact Blood Sugar
Carbohydrates have a direct impact on blood glucose. All foods with carbohydratewhether juice drinks, jelly beans, or watermelonbreak down into simple sugars in the body. Even foods that we don’t consider “sugary” break down into simple sugars. The carbohydrate in most starchy foods is simply a collection of long chains of glucose, which break down into sugar in the body.
These simple sugars turn into glucose through metabolic processes. As a result, our blood glucose levels begin to rise. When this begins to happen, beta cells in the pancreas sense the increase and release insulin.
Carbohydrates are converted into simple sugars in the body. Even carbs that aren’t sweetsuch as starchy foods are converted into sugar and raise blood glucose levels.
Understanding Exactly What Sugar Is
When you think of sugar, you probably think of sucrose or white table sugar. However, sugar is actually just a generic name for carbohydrates that have a sweet taste.
Sugars can be classified based on their size. The simplest form of sugars is monosaccharides. They cannot be broken down any further. Galactose, fructose, and glucose are all monosaccharides.
You then have disaccharides, which are created using two different monosaccharides. For example, lactose is a disaccharide, which is made from galactose and glucose. Sucrose, or table sugar, is created using fructose and glucose.
Of course, you do not need to remember all of these technical names! However, it helps to show how sugar comes in many different forms and is hidden in a lot of different products. Whenever you consume lactose-rich products, for instance, you know that there is going to be a high content of sugar, as it is made from galactose and glucose. Whole milk is a prime example here. It is not only high in lactose but it has a high content of sugar as well.
Some of the most common sugars are as follows:
- Corn syrup
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Starchy Vegetables And High
Starchy vegetables contain more digestible carbohydrates than fiber and should be limited on the ketogenic diet. These include corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes and beets. Limit high-sugar fruits too, which spike your blood sugar more quickly than berries and have more carbohydrates .
Carb counts for high-sugar fruits:
- Banana : 24 g net carbs
- Raisins : 21 g net carbs, 22 g total carbs)
- Dates : 32 g net carbs
- Mango : 22 g net carbs
- Pear : 21 g net carbs
Carb counts for starchy vegetables:
- Corn : 32 g net carbs
- Potato : 33 g net carbs
- Sweet potato : 20 g net carbs
- Beets : 14 g net carbs
Youre Eating Too Much Saturated Fat
One of the common keto diet mistakes that people make is eating too much saturated and trans fats. Yes, the keto diet is a high-fat diet, but there is still a difference between the types of fats that you should eat.
Healthy fats are the ones that should make the up the most of your fat intake.
The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your saturated fat intake. Too much saturated fat can increase your bad cholesterol, and, therefore, your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
While it is impossible to completely eliminate saturated fat from your diet, dont let it make up the majority of your diet.
On the other hand, healthy fats, which are monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats, are the ones that raise your good cholesterol. So, stock up on your nuts, avocado, and fatty fish intake. Your body will thank you for it.
Weve been trained to be afraid of fat, but that doesnt need to be the case, especially on the keto diet. Again, the key is consuming the right types of fats.
According to doctors and nutritionists, including Kelly Kennedy, RD, some of the best fat sources you should be consuming on this diet include:
- Wild-caught salmon
The fats that you should avoid at all costs are:
If you are going to consume the majority of your calories from fats and proteins, make sure they are unprocessed and clean. By clean, we mean eating meats that are grass-fed and pasture-raised, avoiding dairy, and staying away from processed junk foods.
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Sugar Alcohols And Keto
Sugar intake is limited on a keto diet, as eating it causes your blood sugar levels to rise.
This is an issue, as raised blood sugar levels can make it difficult for your body to remain in ketosis, which is key for reaping the benefits of the keto diet .
Given that sugar alcohols have a much less significant effect on blood sugar levels, theyre commonly found in keto-friendly products.
Furthermore, since they arent fully digestible, keto dieters often subtract the sugar alcohols and fiber from the total number of carbs in a food item. The resulting number is referred to as net carbs .
Still, due to the variation in GIs of different types of sugar alcohols, some are better for the keto diet than others.
Erythritol is a good keto-friendly option, as it has a glycemic index of 0 and works well in both cooking and baking. Plus, due to its small particle size, erythritol tends to be better tolerated than other sugar alcohols (
As such, if youre on a keto diet, you may want to limit your intake of maltitol and choose a sugar alternative with a lower GI.
Given that they negligibly affect blood sugar levels, most sugar alcohols are considered to be keto-friendly. Maltitol has a more pronounced effect on blood sugar and should be limited on a keto diet.
Foods To Avoid On The Keto Diet
The keto diet is an extremely low carb, high fat diet.
The goal is to achieve a metabolic state of ketosis, in which your body burns mostly fat instead of carbs for energy .
While controversial and not for everyone, the keto diet has been linked to weight loss and potential short-term health benefits like improved blood pressure .
If youre looking to begin or maintain ketosis, there are some foods to avoid specifically, foods that are too high in carbs.
The structure of carb molecules is simple, making them easy for your body to break down. Thus, theyre an efficient source of energy. If your body is provided a lot of carbs, especially at once, it will do whats most efficient: use carbs instead of fat for energy .
On the keto diet, carbs are typically restricted to 2050 grams per day. Generally, this total doesnt tally the portion of carbs made up of dietary fiber, as these arent digested by your body .
On a 2,000-calorie diet, a keto diet will typically be composed of 5560% fat, 3035% protein, and 510% carbs .
Here are 16 foods to avoid or limit on the keto diet, some of which might surprise you.
Eating refined high carb foods like white bread, pasta, rice, and pastries could prevent a ketogenic state if you end up getting more than your daily carb allowance.
Heres the carb count per portion of these starchy foods (
|36 grams||2.5 grams|
|1 drink||36 grams|
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Youre Consuming Too Much Protein
The keto diet typically stipulates moderate protein. Another one of the common keto diet mistakes people make is consuming too much protein.
This hinders the ability to enter a state of ketosis because excess protein will be converted to glucose by the body, which you dont want on a keto diet.
Additionally, in general, consuming too much protein may cause kidney issues so make sure you have a good kidney support.
Though a high-protein intake doesnt cause kidney issues in those with normally-functioning kidneys, studies have found it may exacerbate kidney issues in people who already suffer from mild kidney abnormalities.
Like with your fat intake, monitor your protein intake to make sure that youre eating the right amount of protein for you. You dont want to go to all this work to limit carbs and increase fat, only to derail your progress because of your protein intake.
The right fat-to-protein ratio can be controversial, and its hotly debated among nutritionists. The controversy stems from a process called gluconeogenesis . This process happens when the body creates its own glucose from non-carbohydrate sources.
Many nutritionists believe that if you eat too much protein, it results in gluconeogenesis and your blood sugar spikes. While this is true, whats important to note is that in the absence of carbs, both protein and fat intake can cause GNG.
- gluco-: glucose
- neo-: new
- genesis: origin or creation
- Stalled weight loss
- Hormonal imbalances
- Hair loss
How Does The Keto Diet Works
The ketogenic diet comprises a drastic reduction of carbohydrates, which will make up only 10 to 15% of total daily calories. However, this quantity may vary according to your health condition, how long the diet will last, and your dietary goals.
To compensate for the reduction in carbohydrates, you will need to up your intake of fat significantly. This means eating foods such as avocado, coconut, seeds, cream, olive oil, peanuts, chestnuts, walnuts, and almonds. The quantity of protein in your diet should also increase until it comprises 20% of daily calories. It is, therefore, necessary that you eat meat, chicken, or fish at lunch and dinner and that you have eggs and cheese for snacks.
When you start this diet, your body will go through an adaptation period which can last from several days to a few weeks and it happens because your body switches to producing energy through fat, instead of carbohydrates. So it is possible that in the first days you will have symptoms such as exhaustion, lethargy, and headaches. These will disappear though, once the body has adapted.
Another similar diet to the keto diet is the low-carb diet, the major difference being that in the keto diet there is a much higher restriction of carbohydrates.
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Atkins Endulge Chocolate Coconut Bar
The Atkins brand name is synonymous with the low-carb diet. If youre starting to follow a keto diet, you wont want to miss their full line of low-carb treats from candy bars to salty snacks. This is one of our top picks from the collection.
A thick layer of luscious chocolate surrounds a center of rich, moist coconut in these Atkins Endulge Chocolate Coconut Bars. Each one contains four grams of protein, which is also important for keto dieters, and just two grams of net carbs.
What Keto Alternatives Are There To Sugar
The good news is that there are plenty of amazing sugar-free alternatives. You can replace traditional sugar with something that tastes just as delicious but doesnt have all of the carbs.
So, once you feel those sugar cravings set in, rather than reaching for those treats, look to use Keto-friendly sweeteners instead.
Stevia, allulose, and monk fruit are three great examples of all-natural sugar substitutes that work perfectly well if you are on a keto diet. They can replace typical table sugar with ease.
You can also use erythritol, which is a sugar alcohol that is acceptable for consumption while on a keto diet.
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