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Whether you’re trying to lose weight, treat epilepsy, or control diabetes, our ketogenic diet food list may be a valuable tool for you. So what is the ketogenic diet? And what does a typical ketogenic diet food list encompass?
The ketogenic diet is based on a high-fat, low-carbohydrate approach, with adequate protein to meet your needs. The purpose of the “keto diet” is to make the body use fats—rather than glucose (sugar)—as fuel. When the body turns to fat for fuel, the fats are converted into compounds called ketones, which is where the ketogenic diet gets its name.
Getting Started on a Ketogenic Diet Food List
Remember these three guidelines to get started:
- Eat very little, if any, carbohydrates. Avoid added sugars completely.
- Eat lots of healthy fats.
- Eat enough high-quality protein to meet your daily dietary needs. Choose healthy protein sources like grass-fed meat, fish, and eggs.
This list can help you to differentiate between foods you should be eating and foods you shouldn’t:
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Ketogenic Diet Food List: Do Eat
- Healthy fats:
- Brussels sprouts
- Green leafy vegetables
- Grass-fed meats
- Wild-caught fish
- Nuts and seeds
- Dairy, if tolerated (especially yogurt, kefir, and cottage cheese)
- Low-sugar fruits
Ketogenic Diet Food List: Do Not Eat
- Sweetened beverages
- Starchy vegetables like potatoes
- Products with added sugar
To follow a ketogenic diet, you’ll likely need to make some adjustments in your daily food intake. And you’ll need to consult with a dietitian to make sure you’re safely and properly following the diet.
Who Can Benefit from the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is probably best known for its ability to treat seizure disorders, particularly in children, but it has other applications, too. Among them:
- Preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Controlling diabetes
- Fighting depression
- Treating bipolar disorder
- Reducing cardiovascular disease risk
- Preventing cancer
- Losing weight and suppressing appetite[9-11]
If you have one of the conditions listed above and think that the ketogenic diet might be right for you, consult with a dietician or nutrition specialist who can help you to come up with a safe and effective meal plan. Guidance from a professional will make sure that you maintain adequate intake of important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in your diet.
Share Your Experience
Have you ever used the ketogenic diet to treat a health condition? Did it help? Share your tips for following a ketogenic diet in the comments section below.
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Originally published in 2015, this post is regularly updated.