The Keto Diet Meal Plans
Ketogenic, aka keto meal plans are used by professionals for about a hundred years to assist with many medical conditions. In recent times the low-carbohydrates, high-fat diets have become popular among fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and people with weight loss goals.
If you choose to follow a keto diet, you have to make changes to your regular meal plans. In this diet, you have to cut off or severely restrict some foods that might be your favorite.
What to Eat on a Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet, aka keto diet, is a very high-fat and low-carbohydrate eating plan which forces the body to use fat as a primary energy source instead of glucose. When you choose to follow this plan, you need to increase the intake of fatty foods and restrict the protein and carbohydrates intake significantly.
This macronutrient balance can make the body produce ketones. The body goes into ketosis when the ketone levels are elevated. The primary aim of the keto diet is to get the body into a state known as ketosis.
You will have to make specific changes to your regular meal plans to achieve the macronutrient balance, which is needed to maintain ketosis. There are many foods to eat on a keto diet plan and other keto foods to avoid. Here are some examples:
|Foods You Can Eat on Keto||Foods You Cannot Eat on Keto|
|Dairy Products high in fat||Vegetables rich in starch and fiber|
|Fatty fish||Most fruits|
|Poultry||Lentils and beans|
|Plant-based oils||Grains and grain foods i.e., bread, pasta, and baked items|
|Vegetables which are low in carbs||Alcohol and Sugary beverages|
|Peanut butter, Butter, Avocado||Desserts and candies|
|Seeds, Nuts, Olives||Fast foods|
Foods You Can Eat
You can eat dairy products, including cheese, butter, heavy cream, eggs, whole milk, full-fat cottage cheese, full-fat plain yogurt. There are lots of keto diet recipes you can make out of these foods.
You can eat fish that are high in fats such as tuna and salmon; these are high in omega-2 fatty acids, which are healthy for the heart. Additionally, you can include shrimp, shellfish, scallops, and mussels as they are rich sources of protein. Consuming these fatty and protein-rich foods on a keto diet is ideal.
Dark meat is rich in myoglobin (an oxygen-carrying protein), and fat making it ideal for a keto diet food. Include turkey and chicken while preparing meals on a keto diet.
You can increase your fat consumption on a keto diet by using oils. Medium-chain triglycerides oils such as coconut oil are considered a wise choice as these MCT oils are easy & quick to absorb, leading to ketosis. You can consume other plant sources of oils such as avocado oil, olive oil, and sesame oil.
Vegetable That Is Low in Carbs
Usually, vegetables are rich in starch and fiber, but there are some that are low in carbohydrates to be included in the keto diet. You can eat spinach, cucumber, eggplant, tomato, asparagus, and kale.
Seeds, Nuts, Olives
You can consume nuts and seeds as a snack while following the ketogenic diet. These seeds and nuts can provide both protein and healthy fats. These include almonds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and olives.
Peanut butter, Butter, Avocado
You can use butter and avocado on a keto diet to increase the fat intake. Peanut butter can be used, but just make sure it does not contain sugar.
Foods You Cannot Eat on Keto.
Vegetables rich in starch and fiber
Vegetables that are high in sugar and carbs should be avoided. These include peas, beets, potatoes, onions, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
Fruits are high in both sugar and fibers, making them a carb-rich food, so these must be avoided on a keto diet menu. You can certainly eat raspberries, but in small amounts, that would help you to maintain ketosis.
Lentils and Beans
The people consume peanuts, peas, lentils, and beans who are following vegan diets or people who are vegetarian as they are rich in protein. But they must be excluded in ketogenic diet meal plans as they are high in carbohydrates.
Grains and Grain Foods
Whole-grain foods are an excellent source of fiber and carbohydrates, so these must be avoided on a keto diet. Also, other grain products should be avoided as they are high in starch. The list includes the bran, farro, quinoa, bread, pasta, rice, and other snacks such as crackers, chips, and pretzels.
Alcohol and Sugary beverages
A typical American diet includes sodas, juice, beer, etc., and that is full of sugar. These drinks are high in carbohydrates, so they must not be included on a keto diet meal plan.
Beer is high in carbohydrates, so it should be excluded. Some hard alcohols, including vodka, tequila, gin, whiskey, and rum, do not have any carbs, so these can be consumed in moderation amounts.
Desserts and Candies
These are full of sugar, so these are not recommended to avoid on a ketogenic diet plan. These desserts may be high in fat, but these are also a rich source of simple carbohydrates. These sugar enriched products are not ideal for keto-friendly meals, but you can get access to some baking goods that are keto-specific.
Though fast foods are rich source of fat but we must avoid unhealthy fats and most fast foods are full of unhealthy fats and high in carbs.
Timings of Eating Food
There are no specific rules of timing to be followed on the ketogenic diet. Most people follow two or three meals per day while on keto. I am preparing some free samples of keto meal plans so that you can get the idea of what a simple keto meal plan looks like.
Sample Keto Diet Meal plan (1)
This first keto diet plan can be useful for athletes who want to enhance sports performance. This sample meal plan is ideal for those who love to cook.
Ketogenic Diet Day 1
Meal 1 (Breakfast): Bulletproof coffee (a unique blend of coffee, coconut oil, butter, heavy cream, etc.) and cheese pancakes. Blend 2-3 egg whites with a cup of cheese and make pancakes out of this, add cream cheese or some raspberries on top.
Morning Snack: Full-fat plain yogurt.
Meal 2 (Lunch): Eat salmon or chicken with a green salad, and cheese. You can eat shrimp instead of fish and chicken.
Evening Snack: Peanut butter and an apple.
Meal 3 (Dinner): Salmon, green beans, and spinach.
Dessert: Plain dark chocolate.
Ketogenic Diet Day 2
Meal 1 (Breakfast): Bulletproof coffee and eggs with cheese. Whip two-three egg whites, on top place some spinach leaves and smoked salmon, and sprinkle some cheese on the top. Bake it for 5-6 minutes at 350 degrees.
Morning Snack: Almonds with plain yogurt.
Meal 2 (Lunch): Bacon with cheese salad and few walnuts.
Evening Snack: Mixed seeds and nuts
Meal 3 (Dinner): Turkey or chicken with cheese, tomatoes, peppers, and onions.
Ketogenic Diet Day 3
Meal 1 (Breakfast): Bulletproof coffee with an omelet with avocado, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic. Add cheese, spinach, and olive oil.
Morning Snack: Almond butter and an apple.
Meal 2(Lunch): Salmon with spinach and plain yogurt.
Evening Snack: Any cracker that is low in carbs
Meal 3(Dinner): Grilled zucchini and eggplant with duck.
Sample Keto Diet Meal plan (2)
This keto diet plan is suggested by an expert dietitian who is helping lots of clients to accomplish different health goals. Earlier she used the ketogenic diets to treat kids with epilepsy, but now she is helping patients of diseases including cancer, PCOS, diabetes, etc.
“I don’t believe that most of the general population would get benefits of following a keto diet. It can bring some good results for some people. The diet is tough to follow for a long time, so only people with a strong mentality and full of dedication have good chances to get benefitted from it.”
–Pegah Jalali, RD, MS, CDN
Here is Jalali’s sample ketogenic meal plan.
Keto Diet Day 1
Meal 1(Breakfast): Two scrambled eggs with heavy cream and spinach cooked in coconut oil. One coffee cup with butter and pinch of cinnamon.
Morning Snack: Few raspberries and a few macadamia nuts.
Meal 2(Lunch): Salmon or tuna with mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and lettuce.
Evening Snack: Avocado with flaxseeds.
Meal 3 (Dinner): Tuna or salmon with heavy cream and cauliflower.
Ketogenic Diet Day 2
Meal 1 (Breakfast): Pudding made with coconut cream and chia seeds.
Morning Snack: Pork crackling made from using olive oil.
Meal 2 (Lunch): Chicken with broccoli roasted with butter and Flax Seeds.
Evening Snack: Seaweed with almonds
Meal 3 (Dinner): Keto Broccoli Crust Chicken Pizza with cheese
A typical keto diet is 60-75% fat, 15-30% protein, and about 5 % carbs. You can count the calories per meal to be on the right track. It is a must to increase the intake of fats before reducing the carbs in order to attain ketosis. Some people also use ketone supplements to get some advantage to achieve specific goals. People on a keto diet usually maintain 50-60 grams of carbs per day.
Apart from macronutrients, one must also focus on getting adequate micronutrients. Include calcium, carnitine supplements, multivitamins, and zinc in the keto diet plan.
Tips to Follow While on a Keto Diet
Get in Touch With an Expert
If you are on a keto diet, you must try to work with an expert to get the best results. It is recommended to get regular blood tests to prevent vitamin and nutrient deficiencies. Getting help from a medical professional can help avoid side effects. It gets hard to follow a keto diet menu for beginners, but an expert can help you out to stick to it. The whole internet is filled with free keto diet plans, but you must seek expert advice before trying out one.
If you are going out socializing or out of the town on a business trip, you must plan how you will manage your meals. You can pack tinned fish, pouches of mayo, nuts, seeds, etc. in your traveling bag. Also, if a friend is inviting you, you can always ask him to prepare keto-friendly food.
You can learn to look through several keto cookbooks. You can get recipes for desserts, snacks, and tasty keto-friendly foods. If you can get delicious meals on the plan, you will be able to stick to it until you achieve the goal.
Studies reveal that the ketogenic diet helps in the treatment of several neurological conditions. Nutrition and fitness experts suggest this diet program for people with other health goals too. But if something works for someone, that does not mean that it can work for you also. So always seek expert’s help before following the keto diet.
Medical Conditions Including Heart Diseases
The ketogenic diet is contraindicated in patients with pyruvate kinase deficiency, carnitine translocase deficiency, pancreatitis, carnitine deficiency, liver failure, and many other disorders.
People with heart issues should get advice from a medical professional before following this eating plan. Weight loss from a ketogenic diet may be helpful, but more researches are needed to know the effects of long term use of the keto diet on metabolic disorders.
Read More: Fix Impaired Metabolism
People with diabetes and type 2 diabetes get benefitted from a low-carb diet, but it can affect medication too. One must seek medical advice if he is on diabetes medication and wants to follow the diet.
There are studies of a keto diet’s impact on the women who are pregnant or want to get pregnant. Some studies state that a low-carb diet may boost hormone balance to get pregnant, while some other studies say that the keto diet for women who are pregnant can have adverse effects on the developing fetus.
A keto diet can be beneficial for some individuals if followed properly. From assisting the treatments of several disorders to losing fat, a keto diet can do miracles.
People who are following the diet sometimes make mistakes and eat processed foods to increase fat, but the presence of carbs can get you out of the ketosis. Consuming healthy high-fat foods with low carbs and adequate protein intake can bring the best results.
Always consult a healthcare professional prior to following a keto diet and strictly follow your keto weekly meal plan.
Read More: Pros and Cons of The Ketogenic Diet