The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that comes with a wide range of health benefits. From fast and sustained weight loss to improved insulin sensitivity and lower inflammation, there's a lot the keto diet can do for you.
To follow this diet, you simply need to cut back on carbs to below 50 grams per day, stay moderate with protein, and make sure that up to 80% of your daily calories are coming from fat. In order to meet these macros requirements, most dieters like to include a range of keto foods to their daily menu. Here are the top 5 most popular keto foods to consider.
Butter is 80% milk fat, most of which is of the saturated kind. While that may sound like disaster for your heart, health, and waistline, most of what you've heard about butter and saturated fat is a lie. Novel research shows that butter and saturated fats are, at worse, neutral when it comes to heart health, diabetes, and other health risks.
On the other hand, butter makes everything taste great, contains fat-soluble vitamins, and butyric acid which is important for gut health. It helps keto dieters eat enough fat to reach ketosis and it also is an important addition to bulletproof coffee (a keto diet staple).
On keto, you're allowed to eat low-carb vegetables such as avocados. A medium-sized avocado contains only 4 grams of net carbs while providing a whopping 13 grams of fiber. Avocados are also rich in monounsaturated fats and contain a bit of protein which also makes them a perfect pick on keto.
But the goodness doesn't end there, avocados are a nutritional powerhouse providing a hefty dose of vitamins C, E, K, and folate among others. They're also rich in potassium and magnesium – two minerals we need to eat more of.
Another of the many low-carb vegetables on the list is cauliflower. Besides being low in carbs (less than 3 grams per cup), cauliflower is also a great substitute for high-carb foods on a keto diet.
Ketoers use it to make faux mashed potatoes, rice, and couscous. Let's face it – making low-carb meals can be tough and versatile vegetables like cauliflower help you enjoy your favorite dishes but without the carbs. If you eat it raw, you also get plenty of vitamin C and phytochemicals that studies show can reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Fatty Fish
Fatty cuts of meat are perfect on keto. But fatty fish, in particular, will do your health even more good. Fish is a valuable source of omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential fatty acids, meaning your body needs to obtain them from food. They're also anti-inflammatory and protect against heart disease and neurological disorders.
There is a substantial amount of evidence that most people in the world are not eating enough omega-3 fatty acids. While plant food like flaxseed is also a good source of omega-3s, our bodies are better able to use omega-3s from animal sources and fish just happens to be the richest source of these important nutrients.
- Olive Oil
Since fat will make up the largest part of your keto diet, it's wise to go for the healthiest kind. Well, olive oil happens to top the list when it comes to healthy fats. It is composed mostly of monounsaturated fatty acids which studies show protect against heart attack and stroke.
Another unique feature of olive oil is its sturdiness. Unlike many other oils, it's not prone to rancidity thanks to its many antioxidants. Fry with it, sauté with it, and sprinkle it over your salads to boost your healthy fat intake on a keto diet.
There are many foods you're allowed to enjoy while going keto. But some foods simply go better with this diet than others. The 5 listed here are frequently featured in some of the best keto recipes. All are also versatile and can go well with many dishes.
What's best about this top 5, however, is their many health benefits. Make sure to add these healthy fats, low-carb vegetables, and omega-3-rich sources of protein to make the best out of your keto meals.