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The 13 Healthiest Foods to Eat on a Keto Diet

By Bojana Galic April 17th, 2020 | Image Source : Live Strong

What do Halle Berry, Lebron James, Kim Kardashian and Tim Tebow have in common? Well, aside from their seven-figure follower counts, they’ve all jumped on the keto diet bandwagon at one point or another.

he high-fat, ultra-low-carb regimen rose to fame for its fat-burning effects, although it was initially developed and used clinically in the treatment of epilepsy. Going keto isn’t for everyone, and you’ll want to consult your doctor or a dietitian before you dive head-first into this eating plan.

Once you’ve got the all-clear, prioritize the most nutritious foods to avoid making classic keto diet mistakes. Keep these must-have healthy keto diet foods in mind next time you head to the grocery store.

Your Healthy Keto Grocery List
Avocado
Salmon
Grass-Fed Beef
Eggs
Whole Milk Feta Cheese
Full-Fat Yogurt
Butter
Coconut Oil
Pecans
Pine Nuts
Kale
Brussels Sprouts
Blueberries

1. Avocado

Avocado is a keto-diet staple and, given the nutrients this fruit packs (yes, avocado is a fruit), it’s no surprise. Avocados are high in healthy, unsaturated fats, which can help lower LDL cholesterol if they replace saturated fats, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

This popular fruit is also high in fiber, a crucial nutrient that can help lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Fiber will also keep your digestion regular, which is an issue that many people face when following the keto diet.

Avocado carb counts, according to the USDA:

Total c**arbs per serving:** 2.4 grams
Net carbs per serving: 0.5 grams

Tip

While the term “net carbs” hasn’t officially been defined by a major nutrition organization, it’s typically used to refer to the carbs your body actually digests. To calculate net carbs, take the total carbohydrates in a given food and subtract its fiber and any sugar alcohols.

2. Salmon

Salmon is an excellent source of both protein and unsaturated fat, which can help you feel satiated, according to Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN. A 3-ounce serving of salmon provides about 17 grams of protein, with about 3.4 grams of fat, according to the USDA.

This fish is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, Largeman-Roth adds. These fats (which are also found in walnuts) are beneficial for your brain and eye health, yet most Americans don’t get enough. Omega-3s can also help ease inflammation, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Salmon carb counts, according to the USDA:

Total carbs per serving: 0 grams
Net carbs per serving: 0 grams

More Keto-Friendly Seafood

Albacore tuna, bluefish, herring, mackerel and sardines are a few other seafood options that you can incorporate in a healthy keto diet. In some cases, these options are also more affordable than raw salmon.

3. Grass-Fed Beef

In moderation, red meat is totally OK on a nutritious keto diet. Beef is high in protein and can add some variety to your weekly menu. But whenever possible, pick grass-fed cuts. Grass-fed beef (rather than grain-fed) is generally higher in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants like vitamin E, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Grass-fed beef carb counts, according to the USDA:

Total carbs per serving: 0 grams
Net carbs per serving: 0 grams

More Keto-Friendly Animal Proteins

If you prefer leaner protein options (or can’t find grass-fed beef at the store), consider chicken or turkey. Poultry is high in protein but lower in calories because it contains less fat.

4. Eggs

Keto diet or not, eggs are a great way to kick your morning off with a nutritional start. While eggs do contain cholesterol, having an egg a day is safe — yolk included — for just about everyone.

With fewer than 100 calories each, eggs are a great source of fat and protein, according to the USDA. They’re also high in choline, a nutrient that helps your body digest fat and keeps your nervous system functioning properly, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Egg carb counts, according to the USDA:

Total carbs per serving: 0.4 grams
Net carbs per serving: 0 grams

5. Whole-Milk Feta Cheese

If you’re following a keto diet, there’s no reason to go with low-fat cheese options. Instead, opt for a whole-milk feta. Feta is generally low in calories — with only about 75 per ounce — and full of nutrients like calcium and vitamin B12, according to the USDA.

Although it doesn’t get as much attention as vitamins C or D, your body needs vitamin B12 for red blood cell formation, according to the NIH. This vitamin is also important for healthy brain function.

Feta cheese carb counts, according to the USDA:

Total carbs per serving: 1.1 grams
Net carbs per serving: 1.1 grams

More Keto-Friendly Cheeses

If you’re not a fan of feta, full-fat Swiss cheese or gouda are also good sources of vitamin B12 and low in carbs.

6. Full-Fat Yogurt

Like cheese, yogurt made with whole milk is a great source of protein and fat — plus, it makes for a convenient snack, Largeman-Roth says.

Because it’s fermented, yogurt is also a great source of probiotics, according to the Mayo Clinic. Probiotics are good-for-you bacteria that support your gut microbiome, which keeps digestion healthy and can even affect your mood.

Yogurt carb counts, according to the USDA:

Total carbs per serving: 11.4 grams
Net carbs per serving: 11.4 grams

7. Butter

Butter is a standard keto go-to and can fit into a healthy keto diet — especially in baked goods, Largeman-Roth says — but you’ll need to eat it in moderation, as it contains saturated fats.

As with beef, consider choosing grass-fed or organic butter when possible. Grass-fed and organic varieties generally contain a higher ratio of healthy, unsaturated fats, according to an April 2017 study published in Foods. Plus, organic butter may also be higher in omega-3 fatty acids.

You can also try ghee, Largeman-Roth says, a clarified butter that’s shelf-stable and free of lactose. Like butter, you’ll want to use ghee in moderation, as it’s high in calories and contains some saturated fats.

Butter carb counts, according to the USDA:

Total carbs per serving: 0 grams
Net carbs per serving: 0 grams

8. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is used in plenty of keto recipes as a way to boost the fat content of your meals, according to Largeman-Roth. If you’re new to the keto diet, you’ll probably want to have a jar of coconut oil in your pantry.

But don’t overload every meal with this keto-diet staple. “While these fats are fine in moderation, coconut oil contains saturated fat, which several studies show can lead to heart disease,” Largeman-Roth says.

Coconut oil carb counts, according to the USDA:

Total carbs per serving: 0 grams
Net carbs per serving: 0 grams

9. Pecans

With less than 4 grams of total carbs and about 20 grams of fat per serving, according to the USDA, pecans are definitely a keto-friendly nut.

Pecans are also a good source of zinc, providing about 12 percent of your daily recommended amount. Zinc supports your immune system and may even shorten the length of a cold, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Pecan carb counts, according to the USDA:

Total carbs per serving: 3.9 grams
Net carbs per serving: 1.2 grams

More Keto-Friendly Nuts

Almonds and walnuts pack just 6 and 4 grams of carbs per ounce, respectively. You can even combine the three to make your own DIY trail mix.

10. Pine Nuts

Along with nuts, seeds are another low-carb, high-fat snack that fit perfectly onto the list of healthy keto diet foods. Pine nuts — they’re actually seeds, despite the name — have only about 5 grams of carbs and 17 grams of fat per ounce, according to the USDA.

A one-ounce serving will also supply about 16 percent of the magnesium you need. Magnesium supports healthy nerve and muscle function, according to the NIH, and also helps your body properly process protein.

Pine nut carb counts, according to the USDA:

Total carbs per serving: 5.5 grams
Net carbs per serving: 2.5 grams

More Keto-Friendly Seeds

If you can’t find pine nuts at your local grocery store, you can also try chia or flax seeds, both of which are high in fiber and unsaturated fat.

11. Kale

While the keto diet is fat-dominant, you shouldn’t neglect leafy, non-starchy vegetables. Leafy greens are not only low in carbs, but they provide plenty of essential nutrients that promote brain function and heart health.

Kale is definitely worth adding to your shopping cart when you’re hunting for the healthiest keto foods, Largeman-Roth says. Kale is particularly high in vitamin K, which promotes healthy blood flow throughout the body, according to the NIH.

Kale carb counts, according to the USDA:

Total carbs per serving: 0.7 grams
Net carbs per serving: 0 grams

More Keto-Friendly Leafy Greens

Buying a variety of leafy greens is never a bad idea, especially considering they’re all low in carbs. Mix up your kale keto salads with some spinach, arugula or romaine.

12. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are another low-carb veggie option for people following a keto diet, Largeman-Roth says. Brussels sprouts are a great way to get some vitamin C into your diet, providing about 83 percent of the daily recommended value in one cup, according to the USDA.

We always hear that vitamin C can support healthy immune function. But it also helps your body restore other antioxidants, according to the NIH. And with fewer carbs that vitamin C-packed fruits, Brussels are a more keto-friendly way to get a dose of this important antioxidant.

Brussels Sprouts carb counts, according to the USDA:

Total carbs per serving: 7.9 grams
Net carbs per serving: 4.6 grams

More Keto-Friendly Veggies

Add even more variety to your veggies with cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and asparagus, Largeman-Roth says.

13. Blueberries

While high-carb fruits like apples, oranges and bananas are pretty much off-limits on a keto diet, blueberries are low on the glycemic index, meaning they’re low in sugar and carbs, according to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Blueberries are also a good source of vitamin C and K, providing about 16 percent and 24 percent of your daily recommended amounts respectively, according to the USDA.

Blueberry carb counts, according to the USDA:

Total carbs per serving: 21.4 grams
Net carbs per serving: 17.8 grams

More Keto-Friendly Berries

Strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are also low in sugar and carbs, which earns them a spot on the list of healthy keto diet foods.

Author: Bojana Galic

Source: Live Strong: The 13 Healthiest Foods to Eat on a Keto Diet

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