Ketogenic diet

From WikiMD's Health & Wellness Encyclopedia


The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that has gained popularity among dieters trying to lose weight or maintain a low carbohydrate lifestyle. This diet is characterized by a higher intake of fat and low intake of carbohydrates, which causes the body to break down fat into molecules called ketones. Ketones can be measured using urine ketostix or blood [ketone tests]. These ketones circulate in the blood and become the main source of energy for many cells in the body, allowing the individual to use their fat stores for energy during both resting metabolic rate and physical activity.

Use in medicine[edit | edit source]

A ketogenic diet is used to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children.

Keto Diet: Net Carbs of Under 30[edit | edit source]

In a ketogenic diet, the daily intake of net carbohydrates (net carbs are calculated by subtracting fiber from total carbohydrates) should be limited to around 20-30 net carbs. In contrast, most people on a regular diet consume around 300 grams of carbohydrates per day.

Low carb breakfast meal
Low carb breakfast meal

75% of the Diet: Fat and Greens[edit | edit source]

On a ketogenic diet, approximately 75% of the daily intake should consist of healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens (e.g., spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, asparagus, bok choy, green beans, zucchini, bell peppers, and white mushrooms). Healthy fats include:

20% of the Diet: Proteins[edit | edit source]

Animal protein sources should make up about 20% of the diet and include:

Ceasar salad
Ceasar salad

5% of the Diet: Carbohydrates[edit | edit source]

Example of a Ketogenic Meal Plan[edit | edit source]

List of Ketogenic / Keto-Friendly Foods[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of keto-friendly, low carbohydrate, high fat, and protein-rich foods typically included in most ketogenic diet plans.

Keto-Friendly Oils and Fats[edit | edit source]

Since the ketogenic diet is high in healthy fats and oils, it is important to focus on the healthier fats and oils such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, and limit the unhealthy trans fatty acids. Learn more about the Keto diet

Keto-Friendly Vegetables[edit | edit source]

Low-carb, non-starchy vegetables are an essential part of the ketogenic diet. Some examples include:

Keto-Friendly Fruits[edit | edit source]

  • While fruits are generally high in carbohydrates, there are a few options that can be included in moderation on the ketogenic diet:
  • Avocado – technically a fruit, avocados are low in carbs and high in healthy fats
  • Small servings of berries such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries

Keto-Friendly Beverages[edit | edit source]

  • Staying hydrated is important, especially when following a ketogenic diet. Some keto-friendly beverage options include:
  • Water – still or sparkling, can be flavored with a squeeze of lemon or lime
  • Tea – unsweetened green, black, or herbal tea
  • Coffee – black or with a small amount of heavy cream or unsweetened almond milk
  • Bone broth – a good source of electrolytes and nutrients

Keto-Friendly Sweeteners[edit | edit source]

When following a ketogenic diet, it is essential to avoid added sugars. However, there are several low-carb sweeteners available that can be used in moderation:

  • Stevia – a natural, plant-based sweetener with zero calories and no effect on blood sugar levels
  • Erythritol – a sugar alcohol that is low in calories and has minimal impact on blood sugar
  • Monk fruit – a natural, plant-based sweetener that is low in calories and has no effect on blood sugar levels
  • Xylitol – another sugar alcohol that is low in calories, but it should be used with caution as it can cause digestive issues for some people

It's important to note that while these sweeteners are keto-friendly, they should still be used in moderation to avoid overconsumption and potential negative effects on health.

Keto-Friendly Snacks[edit | edit source]

  • Staying on track with a ketogenic diet means having keto-friendly snacks readily available. Some options include:
  • Nuts and seedsalmonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds
  • Cheese – full-fat cheeses such as cheddar, brie, and mozzarella, preferably in small portions
  • Olives – a low-carb snack that is also a good source of healthy fats
  • Avocado – a versatile fruit that can be eaten on its own, made into guacamole, or added to a salad
  • Eggs – hard-boiled eggs make for an easy, portable snack option
  • Keto-friendly protein bars – choose bars made with low-carb ingredients and minimal added sugars
  • Jerky – opt for sugar-free, low-carb varieties made from quality meats

Keto Diet and Exercise[edit | edit source]

Physical activity is important for overall health and can be an essential component of a well-rounded ketogenic lifestyle. Some tips for incorporating exercise into your keto diet include:

  • Choose a variety of activities – mix in cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility workouts for a balanced fitness routine
  • Start slow – especially if you're new to exercise or transitioning to a ketogenic diet, give your body time to adjust and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts
  • Stay hydrated – this is especially important when following a ketogenic diet, as low-carb diets can lead to increased fluid loss
  • Replenish electrolytes – sodium, potassium, and magnesium are key electrolytes that can be lost during exercise and need to be replaced

Potential Side Effects and Risks[edit | edit source]

As with any significant change in diet, there can be potential side effects and risks associated with the ketogenic diet:

  • Keto flu – a temporary group of symptoms that can occur as the body adjusts to burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates; symptoms may include headache, fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating
  • Nutrient deficiencies – due to the limited intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains on a ketogenic diet, there is a potential for deficiencies in key nutrients such as fiber, potassium, magnesium, and some B vitamins
  • Constipation – a common issue on a ketogenic diet, often due to reduced fiber intake and dehydration.

How to start a keto diet?[edit | edit source]

Foods to avoid on keto nutrition[edit | edit source]

You probably know to limit high-carb foods like cake, candy, and sugar-sweetened beverages. But when pursuit a low-carb nutrition it's moreover weightier to stave eating these items:

  • Grains typically found in bread, pasta, and cereal.
  • Certain fruits such as bananas, mangos, and pears.
  • Starchy vegetables like corn, potatoes, and peas.
  • Dairy products including milk, plane if it is reduced fat or skim milk.
  • Legumes such as beans and lentils.


Avoid All forms of bread (Loaf, Muffins, Rolls, Buns, Wraps, Pita, Burito, Bagels, Pretzels, Sandwiches) Avoid all kinds of sweets (Candy, desserts, honey, cake, chocolate, sugar, syrup, ice cream, pastry, cookies) Avoid fast supplies (Most Chinese food, Tacos, Noodles, French fries, Burgers, Pizza, Hot dogs, Spaghetti etc.) Avoid Rice, soda, milk, juice, most forms of alcohol

Crab and avocado salad
Crab and avocado salad

Shopping lists[edit | edit source]


Featured recipe
Spinach mozarella egg bake.jpg

Spinach-Mozzarella Egg Bake[edit source]

This is a low carb breakfast item that is low in net carbohydrates, low in sugars, calories and a good start for the day.

Ingredients[edit source]

  • ½ medium onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 1 large tomato, diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 5 ounces spinach, roughly chopped (about 5 cups of fresh or 1¼ cups frozen)
  • 12 large eggs
  • ¾ cup lowfat (1%) milk
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Notes: You can change out the vegetables, cheese, or seasoning for different flavor combinations if desired. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, reheating each portion in the microwave. Learn more...

Keto friendly foods

A diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates (sugars) that causes the body to break down fat into molecules called ketones is called ketogenic diet. As the human race were hunters and gatherers for over 2 million years, our bodies are adapted to a diet low in carbohydrates but high in protein and fat most similar to the keto diet.

Low carb versus low fat[edit | edit source]

The latest evidence based medical research also supports the idea of a low carbohydrate and keto friendly diet as opposed to a low fat diet. Unfortunately, most people do not understand what foods are keto friendly and what foods are not. In order to help in this area, WikiMD developed a color coding system to easily identify and classify foods.

Learn more about the evidence for a ketogenic diet, recent studies

Top 10 frequently asked keto questions[edit | edit source]

  1. What is a ketogenic (keto) diet? A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates, leading to a state called ketosis.
  2. What foods are allowed on a keto diet? Foods allowed on a keto diet include healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, butter), proteins (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese), low-carb vegetables (leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini), and some nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, chia seeds).
  3. What foods should be avoided on a keto diet? High-carb foods such as bread, pasta, rice, sugar, most fruits, starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn), and legumes (beans, lentils) should be avoided on a keto diet.
  4. What is the difference between low-carb and keto? A low-carb diet focuses on reducing carbohydrate intake but does not necessarily induce ketosis, whereas a keto diet is specifically designed to reach and maintain ketosis by focusing on high-fat and very low carbohydrate intake.
  5. Are all low-carb foods keto-friendly? Not all low-carb foods are keto-friendly. Some low-carb foods may still be too high in carbohydrates to maintain ketosis or may contain unhealthy fats or other ingredients not suitable for a keto diet.
  6. Can I eat fruits on a keto diet? Most fruits are high in carbohydrates and not suitable for a keto diet. However, some low-carb fruits like berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries) can be consumed in moderation.
  7. What are some keto-friendly snacks? Keto-friendly snacks include cheese, nuts, seeds, olives, avocado, boiled eggs, beef jerky, and low-carb vegetables with high-fat dips like cream cheese or guacamole.
  8. What are some keto-friendly substitutes for high-carb foods? Keto-friendly substitutes include almond or coconut flour for wheat flour, cauliflower rice for regular rice, zucchini noodles for pasta, and sugar substitutes like erythritol or stevia for sugar.
  9. Can I drink alcohol on a keto diet? Alcohol should be consumed in moderation on a keto diet. Some low-carb alcoholic options include dry wine, champagne, and spirits like vodka or gin without sugary mixers.
  10. How do I know if I'm in ketosis? Common signs of ketosis include increased mental clarity, reduced hunger, bad breath, and weight loss. You can also use ketone test strips, breath analyzers, or blood ketone meters to measure your ketone levels.

WikiMD's keto made easy - color coded system[edit | edit source]

The world's largest collection of over 100,000 keto friendly and low carb foods in unique color coded tables for easy understanding of foods.

Multi filter serach[edit | edit source]

If you want to find a list of keto friendly foods that are low in cholesterol, high in protein, low in carbohydrates, low in sugars, and have no saturated fat, or any number of additional criteria, you can use the advanced drill down. You can also use the database querying and find all the keto friendly foods with a collection of over 20,000 foods and growing

Keto friendly recipes[edit | edit source]

Testing for ketosis[edit | edit source]

On a ketogenic diet,you can monitor if you are in ketosis by using ketone test strips in the urine. he test measures ketone levels in your urine. Normally, your soul burns glucose (sugar) for energy. If your cells don't get unbearable glucose, your soul burns fat for energy instead. You can purchase these ketone test strips via [1]or other retailers for well-nigh 10-15 USD with 50-150 test strips.

Also see[edit | edit source]

External[edit | edit source]

Also see[edit source]

The world's largest collection of keto friendly and low carb foods.
Ketogenic foods Ketogenic diet - Keto recipes - List of keto friendly foods by region (world) - W8MD's liquid diet plan - Top 100 recipes
A-Z keto foods A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z
Vegan foods (keto) Keto vegan recipes - Branded foods - Fast foods
Common foods Most common foods - Keto foods list - Breads and cereals - Fruits and vegetables - Dairy - Eggs and meats - Baked foods - Sandwiches, soups, drinks and more
Low carb foods Low carb foods with over 45000 foods in the alphabetic list of low carb diet.
By restaurant Keto friendly restaurant foods - Top 500 - McDonald's - Starbucks - Chick-Fil-A - Taco Bell - Wendy's - Dunkin Donuts - Burger King
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