Foods to Avoid on the Keto Diet, Foods to Eat on the Keto Diet

Foods to avoid on the keto diet

• Grains, including wheat, corn, rice, cereal.

• Sugars, including honey, agave, maple syrup, soda, fruit juice, cake, ice cream, and candy.

• Fruit, including apples, bananas, oranges.

• Tubers, including potatoes and yams.

• Legumes, such as peas, kidney beans, lentils, and chickpeas.

• “Low-cal” or diet products, because they tend to be highly processed and are often high in carbs. Watch particularly for sugar-free diet foods. They are often high in sugar alcohols that make them taste sweet, which can affect ketone levels.

• Most alcoholic beverages will throw the body out of ketosis.

• As a general rule, avoid any highly processed food.

Foods to eat on the keto diet

• Meats, including fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs. Red meat, ham, steak, sausage, bacon, chicken, and turkey are staples of the keto diet.

• Leafy greens, including spinach and kale.

• Above-ground vegetables, including broccoli and cauliflower.

• High-fat dairy, such as hard cheeses, high-fat cream, butter. Look for unprocessed cheeses, like cheddar, goat, cream, blue, or mozzarella.

• Nuts and seeds like macadamias, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.

• Avocado and berries, such as raspberries, blackberries and other low-glycemic-impact berries.

• Stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners.

• Other fats, including coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing and other saturated fats. Healthy oils such as extra virgin olive and avocado oils add flavor to cooking.

• Condiments, including salt, pepper, and fresh herbs and spices.

As a general rule, base your eating plan mostly on non-processed, whole, single-ingredient foods.

Contradictions to the keto diet

The only real danger that dietitians note is when a person’s body produces too many ketones so that it enters ketoacidosis. This is highly unlikely to occur in normal circumstances since, for most people, it is enough of a challenge to move into optimal ranges for ketosis. Finding yourself in the range in which medical intervention is needed is unlikely. The keto diet is not a good choice for anyone with renal problems, primarily because of the need to regulate macronutrients. If you are overweight, have kidney problems and want to use the keto diet, talk with a nutritionist or a registered dietitian before beginning.

Consider these questions when considering the keto diet

• Is this diet for the short term, or am I planning on adhering to it for several months or longer? How will it work with my everyday life? Am I prepared to cook the acceptable foods and let go of most processed foods?

• How will I handle social situations, particularly where alcohol is involved?

• Do I know how to move into a lower-glycemic diet once I’ve reached my goal weight on the keto diet? Am I willing to make long-term behavioral changes, or am I an on/off dieter?

• Do I know how to listen to my body to understand how I feel, particularly about hunger and satisfaction?

Jackson Rainer, PhD, is a board-certified clinical psychologist who practices with the Care and Counseling Center in Atlanta. He specializes in work with individuals and families dealing with chronic illness. He is the author of our “Pain Q&A” columns.

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