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Foods to eat on a Ketogenic Diet

This month I am taking a closer look at the ketogenic diet and investigating its merits and drawbacks. This eating plan is not for everyone, but for some, it can be an effective way of getting in better shape and improved health. Next week's blog will look into some of the studied health benefits of a ketogenic diet. Remember, when nutritional therapists talk about a 'diet,' they are not referring to a short-term weight-loss fad, but rather to long-term eating and nutrition habits.

The importance of a balanced diet is well documented, but it is important to clarify what this really means. The purpose of following a diet plan is that it allows you to identify the right types and quantities of food to eat for you personally. It provides a roadmap that takes some of the guesswork out of your everyday meal planning. A ketogenic diet is no exception in that you need to make conscious adjustments to what types of food you eat and also to portion size.

Organic animal products

  • Grass-fed beef (organs are preferable to other parts)

    • Pasture-fed poultry or pork

    • Bacon (free of preservatives and starches)

    • Eggs

    • Prawns

    • Cheese or cream cheese - choose full fat options.

    • Chicken and duck fat

  • Butter and lard

  • Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, macadamia nuts, and avocado

  • Polyunsaturated omega 3-rich foods such as seafood and fatty fish

Non-starchy vegetables

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, and bok choy

  • Chives and garlic

  • Cruciferous vegetables such as dark leafy kale and radishes

  • Celery, cucumber, asparagus, zucchini, and bamboo shoots


  • Avocado

Beverages and condiments

  • Water

  • Black coffee (you may add a small amount of unsweetened creamer)

  • Herbal tea

  • Pickles and fermented foods such as kimchi

  • Spices and herbs, lime or lemon juice

  • Whey protein (make sure it contains no additives, soy lecithin, or artificial sweeteners)

  • Egg white and grass-fed gelatin

You may also eat the following on occasion:

  • Fruits

  • Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, white and green cabbage, turnips, and Brussels sprouts

  • Root vegetables such as spring onion, pumpkin, mushrooms, leek, onion, parsley root, and winter squash

  • Eggplant

  • Peppers and tomatoes

  • Sea vegetables such as kombu and nori

  • Beans such as wax beans and bean sprouts

  • Water chestnuts, artichokes, and snap peas

  • Berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cranberries

  • Olives and coconut

Organic full-fat dairy

  • Dairy products such as cottage cheese, plain full-fat yogurt, cream, cheese, and cream cheese (make sure they are not labeled “low-fat,” those varieties include starch and sugar)

Nuts, seeds and oils

  • Macadamia nuts

  • Other nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans

  • Seeds such as flaxseed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds

  • Coconut oil

Fermented soy products

  • Unprocessed black soybeans

  • Green soybeans

  • Gluten-free soy sauce, Natto, and Tempeh


  • Thickeners like arrowroot powder

  • Cocoa, extra dark chocolate, and cocoa powder

Limit the following vegetables or base the serving size on your daily carb limit because they contain carbohydrates.

  • Root vegetables such as carrots, celery root, and sweet potato

  • Watermelon and cantaloupe

  • Pistachio and chestnuts


  • Dry sparkling white wine, unsweetened spirits (for more on drinking alcohol with a keto diet, please see this article)

Foods to always avoid while on the ketogenic diet

  • Grains such as oats, corn, rice, wheat, and barley

  • White potatoes

  • Products made from grains or flour such as pasta, crackers, cookies, and bread

  • Sweets and sugar, artificial sweeteners

  • Factory-farmed pork and fish, because they contain high doses of omega 6 fatty acids that may cause inflammation

  • Processed foods

  • Refined oils such as canola and soybean oil

  • Trans fats like margarine

  • Milk (except full-fat milk)

  • Sweetened beverages

  • Fruits like banana, pineapple, mango, grapes

  • Alcoholic beverages like beer and sweet wine

If you decide to follow a keto diet, print this list out, or copy it to your phone so that you can refer to it any time you are shopping or planning a meal. Most foods on a keto diet are commonly found in your local supermarket and come with enough variations that you should never feel limited.

Before embarking on any diet or nutrition programme, please speak to your G.P. or qualified nutritional therapist to ascertain whether it is advisable for you and your health requirements.

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