5. Meat and Poultry
Meat and poultry are considered staple foods on a ketogenic diet.
Fresh meat and poultry contain no carbs and are rich in B vitamins and several minerals, including potassium, selenium and zinc.
They’re also a great source of high-quality protein, which has been shown to help preserve muscle mass during a very low-carb diet .
One study in older women found that consuming a diet high in fatty meat led to HDL cholesterol levels that were 8% higher than on a low-fat, high-carb diet.
It’s best to choose grass-fed meat, if possible. That’s because animals that eat grass produce meat with higher amounts of omega-3 fats, conjugated linoleic acid and antioxidants than meat from grain-fed animals.
SUMMARY:Meat and poultry do not contain carbs and are rich in high-quality protein and several nutrients. Grass-fed meat is the healthiest choice.
Eggs are one of the healthiest and most versatile foods on the planet.
One large egg contains less than 1 gram of carbs and fewer than 6 grams of protein, making eggs an ideal food for a ketogenic lifestyle.
In addition, eggs have been shown to trigger hormones that increase feelings of fullness and keep blood sugar levels stable, leading to lower calorie intake for up to 24 hours.
It’s important to eat the entire egg, as most of an egg’s nutrients are found in the yolk. This includes the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect eye health.
Although egg yolks are high in cholesterol, consuming them doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels in most people. In fact, eggs appear to modify the shape of LDL in a way that reduces the risk of heart disease.
SUMMARY:Eggs contain less than 1 gram of carbs each and can help keep you full for hours. They’re also high in several nutrients and may help protect eye and heart health.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has unique properties that make it well suited for a ketogenic diet.
To begin with, it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Unlike long-chain fats, MCTs are taken up directly by the liver and converted into ketones or used as a rapid source of energy.
In fact, coconut oil has been used to increase ketone levels in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders of the brain and nervous system.
The main fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid, a slightly longer-chain fat. It has been suggested that coconut oil’s mix of MCTs and lauric acid may promote a sustained level of ketosis.
What’s more, coconut oil may help obese adults lose weight and belly fat. In one study, men who ate 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of coconut oil per day lost 1 inch (2.5 cm), on average, from their waistlines without making any other dietary changes.
SUMMARY:Coconut oil is rich in MCTs, which can increase ketone production. In addition, it may increase metabolic rate and promote the loss of weight and belly fat.
8. Plain Greek Yogurt and Cottage Cheese
Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are healthy, high-protein foods.
While they contain some carbs, they can still be included in a ketogenic lifestyle.
5 ounces (150 grams) of plain Greek yogurt provides 5 grams of carbs and 11 grams of protein. That amount of cottage cheese provides 5 grams of carbs and 18 grams of protein.
Both yogurt and cottage cheese have been shown to help decrease appetite and promote feelings of fullness.
Either one makes a tasty snack on its own.
However, both can also be combined with chopped nuts, cinnamon and optional sugar-free sweetener for a quick and easy keto treat.
SUMMARY:Both plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese contain 5 grams of carbs per serving. Studies have shown that they help reduce appetite and promote fullness.