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Best and Worst Foods to Eat on the Ketogenic Diet



As a society, Westernized people are increasingly conscious of the types of food we consume and the effect they have on weight and health. More and more people are following diet plans to manage their weight.

The ketogenic or keto diet is one commonly followed plan which shares some features with other well-known diets such as Atkins and low-carb diets. Like all diets, it provides guidance on what can and cannot be consumed.

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet is characterized by the consumption of low-carb, high-fat foods. As a consequence of eating such foods, many experience weight loss which can be extremely beneficial for those aiming to manage their weight.

This occurs as a result of the dramatic reduction in carbohydrate intake, to be replaced by fats instead, because of which the body goes into ketosis, which is a natural metabolic state. As a result, the body becomes more efficient in burning fat for energy, and it is also thought to convert ketones within the liver into energy which can be used to power the brain.

Healthy eating concept. Keto food pyramid. Image Credit: Mountain Brothers / Shutterstock

How Does Ketosis Burn Fat?

In a state of ketosis, the body’s glucose reserves become too low for normal fat oxidation and are unable to supply glucose to the central nervous system (CNS).

The CNS cannot use fatty acids as a source of energy since free fatty acids cannot cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). After 3 to 4 days of abstinence of carbohydrates, the CNS has to find alternative energy sources.

One such source is ketone bodies (KBs), specifically, acetoacetate, β-hydroxybutyrate and acetone, which are produced primarily through ketogenesis which occurs in the liver, within the mitochondrial matrix.

Ketone bodies are a vital source of energy when the body is fasting or if there is a shortage of carbohydrates.

Best Foods to Eat on the Ketogenic Diet

Followers of the ketogenic diet are limited to 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day which is roughly equivalent to one large potato and half a kilogram of vegetables.

To remain within this allowance, there are particular foods that are recommended which are lower in carbohydrates. However, it is still down to the individual to avoid the overconsumption of any food, whether they are recommended or not, as too many carbohydrates may interfere with the development of ketosis.

Fish and Seafood

Most fish and seafood is allowed on the ketogenic diet. Apart from being rich in B vitamins and potassium, these foods are also quite low in carbohydrates.


Overconsumption of starchy vegetables should be avoided on the ketogenic diet. However, non-starchy vegetables are recommended, especially greens such as spinach, Brussels sprouts and kale.

Research also suggests that eating such foods is associated with a reduction in the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.

Low-carb vegetables can be a good substitution for other high-carb foods, for example, rice can be substituted with cauliflower rice.


The popularity of avocados has increased over recent years with many considering it a superfood alongside kale. In addition to containing several vital vitamins, avocados also contain potassium. It is thought that the consumption of foods rich in potassium may assist in the body’s transition into ketosis.

Worst Foods to Eat on the Ketogenic Diet

Certain foods are not recommended on the ketogenic diet as they are too high in carbohydrates.


Despite the many health benefits of fruit, there is an issue with some fruits on the keto diet. Grapes and bananas, for instance, contain high quantities of carbs. 1 cup of grapes has approximately 26 grams and a medium banana, 24 grams of carbohydrate.

As a rule, these fruits should be avoided. However, a cup of strawberries contains 8 grams and a medium orange 12 grams of carbohydrates. Therefore these are permissible in moderate amounts on the diet.

Grains and Starches

Grains and starches should also be avoided on the ketogenic diet because of their considerably high carbohydrate content. Consumption of such foods may take the individual over the 50-gram daily carbohydrate intake.

Processed Foods

The adverse health consequences of consuming processed foods have been well documented. ON the keto diet, processed foods and trans fats should be avoided as they are high in carbohydrates.

While the ketogenic diet might be useful to those wanting to manage their weight or diabetes, some argue that there is a lack of longitudinal studies investigating the long-term impact of adopting this type of diet. Furthermore, it is suggested that individuals seek medical advice as the diet is not suitable for pregnant women and people at risk of hypoglycemia.

Further Reading

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Diet Plans

This Popular Diet Shuns Tomatoes, Peas & Other Healthy Veggies. So Why Do People Swear By It? –




More and more research is showing that inflammation is a main contributor to chronic diseases. So it’s no surprise that a diet came along intending to address this. The main benefit that the Plant Paradox Diet claims to offer is that it will—you guessed it—reduce inflammation.

So how exactly does the Plant Paradox Diet reduce inflammation? It removes lectins, a protein found in many fruits and vegetables, from your diet, which Dr. Gundry says are edible enemies. Lectins are actually one of the defense mechanisms within certain plants that are intended to keep predators, humans included, from eating them. Among other foods, lectins are found in all nightshades—a popular family of plants including potatoes, peppers (bell as well as hot peppers like chili and jalapeño), eggplants, goji berries, and tomatoes.

So what havoc can these pesky proteins wreak on your body? Potentially a lot.

“A lectin is a type of protein that forces carbs (sugars, starches, and fibers) to clump together and even attach to certain cells in your body when you eat them,” explains Dr. Gundry. “Often, lectins can get in the way of important cells communicating with one another. And when that happens, the body’s response is usually inflammation or some other type of reaction to toxicity, like nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting. A break in cellular communication can also result in symptoms like fatigue or forgetfulness.”

A piece of older research suggests that a diet high in lectins may contribute to autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s disease, celiac, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. Thus, the benefits of following the Plant Paradox Diet and cutting out lectins may include a reduced risk and better management of autoimmune disease and chronic disease—however, there are no clinical trials demonstrating this just yet.

While the goal of the Plant Paradox Diet is to reduce inflammation, weight loss may be an added benefit. There have been many claims of individuals shedding pounds on the Plant Paradox Diet. Many say that it’s not simply the lack of lectin content in the diet but the focus on mindful and healthful eating that results in weight loss. (The diet shuns many processed foods and refined carbs, which doesn’t hurt!)

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Osteoporosis warning – Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, warns over ‘ridiculous’ diet plans – Express




Osteoporosis is painful condition that makes the bones more fragile, and likely to break, according to the NHS. It develops very slowly over a number of years, and is often only diagnosed after a fall or bone fracture. People with osteoporosis are more likely to have wrist fractures, vertebrae fractures, and hip fractures than other people. Camilla Parker-Bowles, 71, warned the public that certain ‘fad’ diets may be depriving them of calcium.

Diet plans that include cutting out dairy and other minerals could be bad for your health, warned The Duchess of Cornwall.

Calcium, which is found in dairy foods, is a key mineral that’s essential for life. It helps to keep bones healthy.

Camilla’s warning came after her mother died from osteoporosis 25 years ago, she said.

She urged children to avoid “ridiculous” diet plans while speaking at the Science Museum yesterday, at the launch of the newly-labelled Royal Osteoporosis Society.

“It was 25 years ago that my mother died as a result of osteoporosis,” she said. “In fact, she was exactly the same age as I am now.

“My family and I were completely devastated, but also, we didn’t understand how somebody could be in so much pain, and we were unable, and the doctors seemed unable, to do anything about it.”

Common fad diets are depriving people of the calcium they need to keep their bodies healthy, she added.

“It’s the fad diets, they are the worst thing to do,” she told the Daily Mail. “You are depriving your bones of calcium.

“It is this ridiculous dieting, cutting out dairy and all the things that are good for your bones.

“We need to find a way of educating children that they need to take care of their bodies now instead of aspiring to look like someone they see in a picture if they want to protect themselves in old age.”

It’s crucial to encourage young people to start exercising to boost their overall health, she added.

Osteoporosis is more likely to affect women than men, due to hormone changes during the menopause, said the NHS.

But, you’re also more at risk of the condition if you have a family history of osteoporosis, a body mass index of 19 or less, or have long periods of inactivity.

You could lower your risk of osteoporosis symptoms buy doing regular exercise, it added.

Everyone should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.

It’s also important to eat a healthy, balanced diet, and to make sure you’re topped up on vitamin D.

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Dietitian at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox discusses latest diet trends – The Herald-News




[Photo courtesy of Timothy Baran]

“They make people mindful of their food choices,” DeAngelis said.

For 30 days, dieters are allowed no alcohol, dairy, grains, legumes or sugar. They may eat moderate amounts of eggs, meat, seafood and some types of fruit. Vegetables are encouraged.

They may also eat nuts, avocado and herbs.
Mayo Clinic said the diet’s founders say this diet may help with the digestive and skin issues, as well as chronic pain and low energy associated with food sensitivities.

DeAngelis said she’s “not a fan” of this diet, even though it does eliminate sugar, “something we all consume a lot in this country.”

“But it is pretty restrictive,” DeAngelis said. “It cuts out entire food groups. It’s missing calcium, and it cuts out legumes and whole grains, which provide a lot of fiber, vitamins and minerals.”

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