The Ketogenic diet is a low carb meal plan based on the principle of eating fat to burn fat. So you know that you need to avoid carbs and indulge in healthy fats, but what exactly can you eat when following the Ketogenic diet? Here’s the complete keto diet food list you can print and stick it on your fridge.
I’m not gonna go into details about how your body gets into the state of ketosis because this subject is already covered in a previous article.
Also, here you can find relevant information and tips you need to know about the Ketogenic diet: Everything Keto on Fitneass.
Now, if you’re not really sure what this low carb diet is about, make sure to check the resources mentioned above. But if you’re familiar with the phenomenon, then let’s jump straight into the ultimate keto diet food list to see exactly what you’re allowed and encouraged to eat and what you need to avoid.
The Complete Keto Diet Food List
Before listing all the foods you can eat when following the Ketogenic diet, you need to know that there are more variations of this diet.
All these versions of the keto diet are differentiated by the percentage of fats, proteins, and carbs they contain. Anyway, what really matters is that the ketogenic diet is mostly made of fats (60% – 75%) and barely contains carbs (5%). The rest of the diet is protein.
As you can see, the keto diet food list should contain lots of ketogenic-approved fats (saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and naturally occurring trans fats).
So let’s list all the high-fat foods you must consume during the Ketogenic diet.
1. Vegetable Fats
Here is the list with the healthy vegetable fats recommended for consumption during the keto diet:
- Flaxseed oil.
- Coconut oil.
- Avocado oil.
- Olives and olive oil.
- Macadamia oil.
- Walnut oil.
- All kind of nuts (except peanuts): almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, pecans, brazil nuts, pistachios, etc.
- Seeds such as sunflower seeds, flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds etc.
- Sugar-free seed and nut butter.
2. Animal Fats
Here is the list with the healthy animal fats recommended for consumption during the ketogenic diet:
- Fish such as salmon, tuna, cod, trout, halibut, snapper, and mackerel. If possible, opt for wild caught fish.
- Shellfish such as shrimp, squid, scallop, prawn, crab, and lobster.
- Organ meats such as liver, tongue, heart, kidneys, brain, sweetbreads, tripe, bone marrow etc.
- Omega–3 egg yolks, which are made by special-fed hens.
- Organic and full-fat dairy products such as cheese, cream, and Greek yogurt, but in small amounts.
About 75% of your diet should contain the above-listed foods. They’re all high in healthy fats and should be found in abundance in your daily meals.
Now let’s see what are the protein-rich foods you’re allowed to add to your keto meals in a proportion of around 20%.
Here is the list with the protein-rich foods recommended for consumption during the ketogenic diet:
- Grass-fed meat such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey, duck, etc.
- Low carb bone broth.
- Gelatin and collagen powdered supplements.
- Organic dairy products such as sour cream, cottage cheese, sugarless cream cheese, heavy cream, etc.
For the remaining 5% of the diet, you’ll have to include some carbs too. Below are the carbs accepted during the Ketogenic diet.
4. Accepted Carbs
Here is the list with the carb-based foods accepted in small amounts during the keto diet:
- The only legumes allowed are green peas and green beans.
- Berries such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries.
- Other fruits such as lemons, apples, pears, and limes.
- Low carb vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, cauliflower, green beans, green peas, lettuce, garlic, kale, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, celery, tomatoes, radishes, onions, eggplant, cabbage, artichokes, bok choy, fennel, chives, endive, etc.
- Fresh herbs such as mint leaves, basil, rosemary, parsley, chives, cilantro, etc.
- Root veggies such as carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, butternut squash, turnips, etc.
Besides the animal and vegetal fats, the proteins, and the carbs, there are other foods you can be consumed in a small amount and don’t fit in either of these categories. Check them out below.
5. Other Foods
Here is the list with the other foods accepted in small amounts during the ketogenic diet:
- Dark chocolate.
- Raw cocoa powder.
- Almond or coconut flour.
- Mineral water.
- Unsweetened tea or coffee.
- Unsweetened nut milk such as coconut milk, almond milk, hemp milk, etc.
- Fish oil supplements.
- MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil, which is often extracted from coconut oil.
At this point, you know what you can eat when you’re following the Ketogenic diet. But how about the foods you should avoid?
6. Forbidden Foods
Like any other diet out there, this high-fat, low-carb diet will also restrict some foods from your table. And these foods that you must avoid by all means are:
- All kinds of grains.
- Any kind of sweets, sugars, and refined sugars.
- Soda and alcohol.
- Refined vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, canola oil, and peanut oil.
- Beans such as kidney beans, lentils, and chickpeas.
- Low-fat dairy products, which, in fact, are high in carbohydrates.
- Peanuts, including peanut butter.
- Any kind of processed foods.
That’s it! This is the complete keto diet food list you can use to accelerate your weight loss and get back in shape asap.
Print The List
I know this keto diet food list is insanely long, and it can get overwhelming to scroll down continuously until you find the information you need.
So to make things simpler, I’ve included a printable version here:
You can print this keto diet food list and stick it on your fridge to refer back to it whenever you might need guidance for your meal preparation.
Also, you can save it on your phone and take it with you everywhere. It can be helpful when you go for grocery shopping or when you go out for a delicious dinner at the restaurant.
Calculating The Macros For The Keto Diet
So you know what foods to eat and what foods to skip. But how do you know how much of each macronutrient (fat, protein, and carb) you can consume? Well, here enter math and calculus.
But to make your macros and calorie counting easier and to make sure you stay in a caloric deficit, you can use the Bioketo keto calculator. This is a simple calculator that will help you skip all the math behind the ketogenic diet. All you need is your hight, weight, and age.
There are numerous keto calculators online that can help you determine the amount of each macronutrient you should eat on the keto diet to successfully reach your weight loss goal.
So if you’re old fashioned like me, or if you’re into math, or just want to learn how these keto calculators work, below is a step-by-step guide on how to calculate your macros.
1. Calculate Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the minimum number of calories your body needs every day to function properly without any physical activity. And it all depends on your weight and height.
Here is the Harris-Benedict equation to find out your BMR (for the imperial system):
BMR for men:
- 66 + (6.2 x Weight in pounds) + (12.7 x Height in inches) – (6.76 x Age)
BMR for women:
- 65.1 + (4.35 x Weight in pounds) + (4.7 x Height in inches) – (4.7 x Age)
Here is the Mifflin-St Jeor equation to find out your BMR (for the metric system):
BMR for men:
- (10 x Weight in kg) + (6.25 x Height in cm) – (5 x Age) + 5
BMR for women:
- (10 x Weight in kg) + (6.25 x Height in cm) – (5 x Age) – 161
2. Calculate Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)
The total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is the minimum number of calories your body needs every day to function properly, taking into account your physical activity too. Basically, it is calculated by multiplying your BMR by your level of activity.
Here are the formulas for:
Little to no exercise
- BMR x 1.2
Light exercise (1-3 days of physical activity per week)
- BMR x 1.375
Moderate exercise (3-5 days of physical activity per week)
- BMR x 1.55
Hard exercise (6-7 days of physical activity per week)
- BMR x 1.725
Very intense exercise
- BMR x 1.9
3. Calculate Body Fat Percentage And Lean Body Mass
Unlike in the previous steps, there isn’t a simple mathematical formula to calculate the body fat percentage. You can do it (check out the Jackson-Pollock formula), but it’s too complicated. So let’s take the easy way.
You can calculate your body fat percentage through different methods, but the most common and cheap one is by using skinfold calipers. One such tool is less than $15 on Amazon, and you can use it as many times as you want.
Another method (FREE) to calculate your body fat percentage is to measure the thickness of folded skin in different body parts and use this calculator to get the results you’re looking for. This method isn’t the most accurate, but it’s close enough, so you can easily use it. And the good part is that it gives you not just your body fat percentage, but your lean body mass too.
Now if you’re using skinfold calipers to calculate your body fat percentage, then you need this formula to find your lean body mass:
- Lean body mass = Weight in pounds – (body fat percentage x Weight in pounds) / 100
But if you’re using the method with the body measurements and the online calculator, then you’ve got the lean body mass already calculated.
4. Calculate Your Daily Calorie Intake
The daily calorie intake is calculated according to your goal: weight loss, or weight gain. Since you’re here for the keto diet food list, I assume you’re looking to lose some weight. So we’ll continue with this goal in mind. But the process is similar for weight gain too.
You should know from the beginning that a safe weight loss plan consists of a calorie deficit of 10%, up to a maximum of 30%. So in order to lose weight with the ketogenic diet (and any other diet out there), you should consume with up to 30% fewer calories than your TDEE (which we’ve calculated above).
So the formula to find your daily calorie intake for weight loss with a calorie deficit of 30 percent is:
- TDEE – (TDEE x 30) / 100
5. Finally, Calculate The Macros
The formulas to find out the number of grams of carb, protein, and fat you can eat each day during a standard ketogenic diet (75% fats, 20% proteins, 5% carbs) is:
- Carbs per day (grams) = TDEE x 0,05 / 4
- Proteins per day (grams) = Lean body mass x 1
- Fats per day (grams) = TDEE x 0,7 / 9
I know this is overwhelming, but this is how you calculate your macros without a keto calculator. I guess now you’re thankful for these kinds of calculators 🙂
Anyway, now you know what to eat and how much to eat during the ketogenic diet. So what’s next? I guess you’re fully prepared to step up into the ketogenic world. Good luck!