For some individuals, the ketogenic diet can be an effective way to lose weight or manage certain conditions – but it’s important that it’s undertaken with the supervision of a medical professional. So what are some keto diet foods that you can eat, and which foods are off limits? We’ve spoken to the experts to find out what you should and shouldn’t be eating if you’re following a keto diet.
The keto diet works by swapping our body’s energy source from carbohydrates to ketones, which are produced when the body goes into an alternative metabolic state called ketosis. By removing carbohydrates, your body is forced to metabolize fat, which is what produces the ketones that it then uses to run itself. This can initially lead to uncomfortable symptoms, known as the keto flu, which can make it hard to stick to, but these symptoms generally pass with time as your body adjusts.
It’s important to note that the keto diet is an extremely restrictive way of eating, and you risk developing nutrient deficiencies. This is why it is important to only undertake the keto diet with the help of a dietician or medical professional. Additionally, you may lose your weight loss results once you reintroduce carbohydrates into your diet, so nutritional guidance at this phase is also crucial. Our guide to the keto diet for beginners has some meal inspiration, safety tips and expert advice and our 7 day keto meal plan gives you a week of keto-friendly meals.
Keto diet: What to eat
For a diet to be truly ‘keto’ only 5-10% of daily energy should come from carbohydrates, which amounts to less than 50g of carbs a day. The rest should be coming 10-20% from protein and 70-80% from fats. Although the fat content is higher, for success on a keto diet, it is encouraged that you build your meals around high protein foods, as protein has been shown to help with feelings of satiety, according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition (opens in new tab).
Sophie Medlin, leading consultant dietitian and founder of City Dietitians, explains further: “The keto diet is based on the idea that you will use fat from your diet or fat stored in your body as your main sources of energy as…