What you put into your body has a significant impact on whether you are healthy or suffer from disease and illness frequently.
Throughout the last couple of decades, scientists have spent a lot of time and resources on finding what foods can help to improve the functioning of the body, while also providing details of food groups that may be harmful. In turn, this has led to several recommendations on eating habits, nutrient intake, and how many calories should ideally be consumed.
We are now also faced with many diets that promise to help us achieve specific results, such as to lose weight, to fight against fungi in the body, or perhaps to assist in regulating blood sugar control.
With so many diets out there, however, you might feel confused - which diet would serve you with the most benefits, while also allowing you to gain the essential nutrients your body needs for optimal functioning.
Today, we are turning our focus to the Keto diet, also referred to as the Ketogenic diet. This diet has gained popularity due to the many scientific studies that have proven its benefits. Thousands have tried the diet, but without careful planning and consideration, you might find yourself running into several challenges - and even some possible side-effects. In this guide, we take a look at the food groups that need to be included in a Keto diet and share a complete shopping list to make the process of grabbing the right foods at the grocery store significantly easier.
The Keto Diet: What You Should Know
The Ketogenic diet is not something that has only recently been developed. In fact, since 1920, this diet has been used to treat epilepsy successfully - this was the initial idea behind the creation of the diet. The purpose of the diet is to change the way the body generates energy.
We are raised with the idea that carbohydrates form the most important part of the human diet. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars, which is then distributed through the body - glucose is then taken up by cells through signaling by the hormone known as insulin.
When switching to the Ketogenic diet, which is a low-carb high-fat diet, your glucose reserves will slowly deplete. Once your body runs low on glucose, it starts to look for alternative ways to generate fuels for cells to function normally. This is when the body starts to break down fat and produce ketones. Ketones take the place of glucose in the body - and becomes the main source of fuel for energy.
The diet has been linked to quite an impressive list of health benefits.
One study describes that following a low-carb diet with a higher fat content can lead to a significant improvement in fat loss, which means this diet is excellent for people who are trying to lose weight. Another major benefit, with the evidence presented by scientists at the University of Connecticut, is the fact that the keto diet seems to be highly effective at reducing belly fat - which is considered to be the most dangerous area for fat to collect in the human body.
Other potential benefits that you may experience if you decide to try the Keto diet include:
A possible reduction in blood sugar levels
A reduction in insulin resistance
Improvement in triglyceride levels and cholesterol balance
Keto Diet Food Group And Macronutrient Distribution
When you decide to adopt a Keto diet to see what this type of program could do for you, it is important to note first that you are going to have to change the way you think about food. For the majority of people, carbohydrates make up the majority of the macronutrients that are found in their meals. With a Keto diet, the opposite is true - carbohydrates will now make up the smallest percentage of macronutrients in every meal that you eat.
There are different variations of the Ketogenic diet available, but most of these programs will have a macronutrient breakdown that falls within these percentages:
Carbohydrates will make up 5% to 10% of daily calories consumed.
Protein will be higher, with most diets consisting of 10% to 10% protein content for calories consumed.
Fats make up the largest part of your daily caloric intake, accounting for 70% to 80% of calories consumed.
A Go-To Keto Diet Shopping List
Many think that the Keto diet is hard, primarily due to the various restrictions that are in place in regards to the specific foods that you can and cannot eat when following this type of plan. The good news is, with some guidance, setting up a Keto beginner grocery list really becomes an easy task.
The best way to go about setting up such a list is to break the food groups up based on the various macronutrients that should be included in the diet. As we have explained earlier, a Keto diet consists mostly of healthy fat sources, along with a relatively moderate amount of protein and a minimal percentage of carbs.
Now, simply consider each of the macronutrient groups and then looks at specific foods that fit each profile.
The most significant restriction on what you can eat applies to carbohydrates. This is where most people tend to find the diet becomes somewhat difficult, as they are used to including more carb-rich foods in their general diet.
When it comes to choosing carbs for a Keto diet, stay away from foods that grow below the ground, and rather opt for those that grow above the ground. Leafy greens are always a good option, as they are generally low in carbs, but still high in nutrients.
Here is a look at some of the best carbs to add to a Keto shopping list:
A moderate amount of protein is consumed on the Keto diet. A person who has to consume about 2,000 calories per day will eat about 70 grams of protein in this particular diet. There are many great options for including protein, which is an essential macronutrient that helps you burn more calories and also contributes to the growth of muscle tissue.
It is important not to go overboard with protein, as too much protein can be bad for your kidneys.
Some excellent sources of quality protein that you should add to your shopping list include:
Cottage cheese (Whole milk option)
Ricotta cheese (Whole milk option)
To gain the most benefits, always try to opt for meat and poultry that are organic and grass-fed. This provides a higher quality meat product.
We have already established that fat makes up the majority of calories you will consume on the Ketogenic diet, but it is important to take note of the fact that you get good fats and bad fats. Understanding the difference and knowing what foods to opt for is important.
While it is possible to grab unhealthy foods that are high in fat and still achieve a state of ketosis, this is bad for your body and will not yield the same benefits. You need to ensure the fats you consume are from the healthy sources instead.
Focus on reducing the use of standard vegetable oil, which is high in saturated fats, and rather try to opt for olive oil and avocado oil when cooking.
Apart from these oils, there are many other foods that you can add to your Keto shopping list, which can help you add more healthy fats to your diet. Some of these include:
Chia seedsCacao nibs
Fatty fish, such as sardines, anchovies, tuna, and salmon
Buying And Preparing Snacks On The Keto Diet
The Keto diet definitely does not have to be boring - and when those mid-day cravings kick in, there is no need to grab for an unhealthy candy bar anymore. The Keto diet might look restrictive in terms of what foods you can eat, but there are a lot of snack options that can help to fulfill your sweet tooth.
Below is a couple of great snack options to consider - sugary and salty:
Mini Egg Frittatas
First up is a recipe that is so easy, you simply need one ingredient - eggs. Simply beat a couple of eggs in a bowl. Add some salt and pepper for seasoning, then add some cheese mushrooms, and spinach - these are optional, of course. Divide the mixture into multiple muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 20 minutes, until the mini Frittatas have set.
Keto Crunch Bars
These crunch bars are not only perfect for a Keto diet, but they are also vegan and paleo-friendly, and sugar-free.
The hardest part might be getting some chocolate chips that are keto-friendly. Luckily, with the popularity of this diet, it should not be too hard.
You need the following ingredients for the recipe:
One and a half cups of Keto-friendly chocolate chips
One cup almond butter
Half cup sweetener (a sticky variety that is Keto-friendly)
Quarter-cup coconut oil
Three cups of mixed seeds and nuts
Melt the coconut oil, sweetener, almond butter, and chocolate chips. Mix in the nuts and seeds, and pour the mixture into a lined baking dish. Refrigerate until they are firm, and enjoy.
Keto Diet On A Budget
While it is often advised to opt for organic and some of the more expensive food options when looking at Keto meal recipes, it is important to note that you can still follow this type of program if you are on a tight budget.
You simply need to be smart about how you go about planning your meals - set up a cheap keto grocery list and try to buy in bulk, which will also help to save you at least some money.
When setting up a Keto budget grocery list, try to keep things as simple as possible. Look for recipes that don’t require too many ingredients. - and try to consider opting for meals that contain vegetables that are currently in season. Be sure to look for deals and discounts as well - when you do find a good deal, see if you can stock up.
Some excellent options that you can try out when planning out meals on a budget:
Frittata with fresh spinach
Boiled eggs with mayonnaise
Low-carb baked eggs
Cauliflower hash browns
Oven-baked chicken with garlic butter
Chicken wings with creamy broccoli
Foods To Exclude From Your Keto Diet Shopping List
The Keto diet requires a strict regime where you need to ensure the foods you buy will not load your body with carbohydrates, as this will cause interruption with the ketosis phase and lead to problems with the goals that you are striving for.
For this reason, when setting up a Keto beginner grocery list, it is important that you understand what foods should not be included. Some of the important foods that you should eliminate from a shopping list when you are following a ketogenic diet include:
It is also important to avoid the majority of alcohols, including cocktails that have been sweetened, whine, and beer. Furthermore, most fruits should be excluded from a Keto diet, as you have probably already noticed. There are, however, a couple of options that you can still enjoy if you are fruit lover - as we shared in the Keto shopping list previously.
Keto Diet And Exercise: Give These Shakes A Try
With the Keto diet, you will continue to consume a normal amount of calories each day, depending on the goals that you have, which means you still need to exert enough energy in order to burn excess fat and prevent further weight gain. This is why implementing an exercise program while following a Ketogenic diet is so important.
The good news is, most people who already have an existing exercise routine might be able to switch to a Ketogenic diet and simply continue with their workout protocol. For those who have not yet implemented a program to keep active, it is important to consider either signing up at a gym or at least setting up a workout plan that can be done at home.
One particular issue that you may run into when you are looking to exercise on the Keto diet is the fact that most of the protein shakes on the market contains too many carbs for you to drink. Thus, if you are going to be in need of a protein shake, then you should consider making some Keto-friendly options instead.
Let’s take a look at a couple of great recipes, including the ingredients, for you to try out.
Chocolate Keto Protein Shake
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons sugar substitute (make sure it is Keto friendly)
Half a tablespoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons hemp seeds
One tablespoon chia seeds
Half a cup of ice
Three-quarter cup almond milk
A pinch of kosher salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
Simply use a blender to combine all of these ingredients until the mixture is smooth.
DIY Keto Diet Protein Shake
Half cup of collagen powder
Quarter-cup Swerve or Erythritol
Two tablespoons of chia seeds
Half cup of cacao powder (unsweetened)
A pinch of salt
360ml liquids (Almond milk, coconut milk, or cashew milk)
Again, simply mix all of the ingredients together and serve up.
Know About The Side-Effects Of The Keto Diet
Studies have confirmed that following a Ketogenic diet can be helpful for the average person, especially those who are looking for a way to lose more fat. While the diet does come with several advantages, it is important always to consider potential side-effects that may be caused by this change in your eating habits.
A series of side-effects that are often referred to as “Keto flu” would definitely be the most common complications that you may face when you decide to start this type of diet. The good news is, however, that these symptoms generally tend to be temporary and only lasts for a short period of time.
Keto flu tends to kick in during the early stages of the diet, as the body starts to change the way it works in terms of generating energy.
The most common symptoms of Keto flu tend to include:
Urination tends to increase during the initial period when a Keto diet is started. This can lead to a loss of fluids and electrolytes. In turn, symptoms may become worse. You may also experience fatigue and dizziness, as well as muscle soreness.
Luckily, there are some ways to counteract the common side-effects that have been associated with the Keto diet.
Tips To Help You Maintain The Keto Diet
Once you have implemented a Keto diet and you are on your way to a healthier, leaner body, there might come times when you are tempted to steer off the path and opt for something that shouldn’t really be included in a Keto diet grocery list.
While that one donut might seem harmless, consider the progress that you have made. When you introduce your body to glucose again, the progress you have made - entering into ketosis - may be lost.
The good news is, maintaining your ketosis state and staying on the Keto diet can be easier than you think. The first step is to minimize the effects of Keto flu during the early stages - when you are able to get through the initial process, then keeping up with the diet generally tend to feel easier and less inconvenient.
When you get started with the Keto diet, it might be a good idea to go about the process gradually. Instead of cutting down on carbs instantly, consider allowing yourself a week or so to reduce your carb intake gradually. This can help to significantly reduce the symptoms of the Keto flu that many people complain about.
During this initial stage of the Ketogenic diet, it is also important to increase your intake of both fluids and electrolytes. The increased urination, as we have explained, can cause a loss of these two essential elements in your body. By drinking more water and increasing your electrolyte intake, you can also experience an improvement in Keto flu symptoms. You may consider adding some extra Himalayan Pink Salt to your food, or you can opt for some bone broth.
Many of the foods that are generally added to a Keto shopping list are also high in magnesium and other electrolytes. Thus, try including more leafy greens in your diet and eat some nuts and avocados.
In times where you find that you have a lot of temptations that are hard to control, you should consider looking at some snack ideas or even create some homemade Keto-friendly foods that you can have when you do feel like breaking your habits. There are many delicious recipes that are 100% Keto-friendly that will definitely help to reduce your hunger or cravings.
While many diets exist today, it is important to do research on each to help find the one that is right for you. The Keto diet has gained popularity as a weight maintenance tool, as well as a diet that helps to improve several areas of the body’s overall health. Getting started with the Keto diet is not rocket science, but you should know which foods can be included and the specific food types that should be avoided. Follow the guidance we shared in this post to help set up the perfect Keto diet shopping list.