Keto: Food Lists

What should you eat and how much of it?

The LCHF lifestyle follows a few principles. Obviously the two main ones are the restriction of carbohydrates and the increased consumption of healthy dietary fats. The list below is specfic for a Keto Diet and will help you determine when and how much you should eat. 

Important to note that the amount of protein recommended will vary.  For a Keto Diet, the standard guideline is 0.6g/kg of lean body mass per day. You should eat a moderate amount of protein, very low carb and enough fat to achieve satiety (until you are full).

You should eat only when hungry and until you are full, focusing on fuller meals and avoiding snacking. This is called Intermittent Fasting. Simple!

 

For more info on other Low Carb Diets, check Paleo Diet, Vegetarian and recipes.

GREEN LIST

The Green List is the all-you-can-eat list - you choose anything you like without worrying about the carbohydrate content.

It will be almost impossible to overdo your carbohydrate and/or protein intake by sticking to this group of foods. As mentioned, overeating protein is not recommended, so eat a moderate amount of animal protein at each meal. Include as much fat as you are comfortable with - bearing in mind that LCHF means high in fat

Fat and Fibre should be present at every meal and should compose the majority, about ¾ (three-quarters), of the meal.

Include as much fat as you are comfortable with and to satiety.

*Caution: even though these are all-you-can-eat foods, only eat when hungry, stop when full and do not overeat (this way you won't have to count calories). Keep these foods to full meals, and avoid snacking in between meals.

FATS

  • Rendered animal fat (duck, lard, tallow, etc)

  • Coconut and MCT oil

  • Olive oil

  • Avocado oil

  • Macadamia oil

  • Butter or Ghee

  • Mayonnaise, full fat and homemade

  • Avocado

  • Olives

HIGH-FIBER VEGETABLES

Most vegetables grown above ground

  • Green leafy vegetables (spinach, swish chard, kale, lettuce, collard greens, rappini, etc)

  • Artichoke hearts

  • Asparagus

  • Eggplant

  • Broccoli

  • Brussel sprouts

  • Cabbage

  • Cauliflower

  • Celery

  • Green beans

  • Bean Sprouts

  • Daikon

  • Kohlrabi

  • Okra

  • Zucchini

  • Leeks

  • Spring Onions

  • Mushrooms

  • Peppers

  • Pumpkin

  • Radishes

  • Cucumbers

  • Dill Pickles

  • Tomatoes

 

 

PROTEIN

  • Salmon and Sardines

  • Eggs

  • Fattier cuts of meat (e.g. Pork belly, Chicken wings/thighs with skin, ribeye steak, etc)

 

NUTS & SEEDS

  • Macadamia, Brazil, Pecan nuts, Walnuts, Hazelnuts

  • Flaxseeds

  • Chia seeds

ORANGE LIST

As mentioned, overeating protein may not recommended for people with IR (Insulin Resistance) trying to follow a Keto Diet, so eat a moderate amount of animal protein at each meal (0.6 g/kg (lean) body weight per day), about the size and thickness of the palm of your hand at each meal, this is the remaining ¼ (one-quarter) of your meal. 

Those following a Low Carb Diet for other reasons (weight maintenance, health promotion, fitness, etc) may follow a different protein recommendation.

Dairy and nuts should be eaten in moderation and always with meals.  Dairy can often cause a higher insulin and inflammatory response in those that are highly insulin resistant, obese, diabetic and have chronic inflammation.  Dairy may have to be avoided by some for an indeterminate period of time. Always choose full-fat dairy.

Nuts, if eaten in moderation and within a meal can be quite health-inducing. Anything eaten outside of a meal (i.e. snacking) is not recommended, including the foods on the green and orange lists.

PROTEIN

  • Lean Meats

  • Poultry

  • Game

  • Offal (liver, heart, kidneys, tripe, etc)

  • Leaner Fish and Seafood 

  • Broths (e.g. bone broth)

 

DAIRY

  • Sour Cream

  • Heavy Cream, 35%

  • Full-fat yogurt

  • Kefir

  • Full-fat cheese

NUTS & SEEDS

  • Almonds

  • Pine nuts

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Sunflower seeds

FRUIT

  • Berries (moderate, acceptable in small amounts)

RED LIST

This list will contain all the foods to avoid as they will be either inflammatory (e.g. seed oils) or carbohydrate-rich foods (e.g. potatoes, rice, sugar, etc) which produce a higher insulin response.

We strongly suggest you avoid all the items on this list, or, at best, eat them sparingly.

DAIRY

  • milk

NUTS & SEEDS

  • Cashew nuts

  • Chestnuts

  • Pistachios

FRUIT

  • Apples

  • Bananas

  • Clementine

  • Figs

  • Grapes

  • Guava

  • Kiwi

  • Litchis

  • Mangos

  • Nectarines

  • Oranges

  • Papaya

  • Peaches

  • Pears

  • Pineapple

  • Plums

  • Watermelon

SWEETENERS

A note on sweeteners, artificial and otherwise. Our clinical experience has demonstrated that people will have an insulin response to MOST, if not ALL sweeteners, natural or otherwise (including stevia). More insulin resistant people (like Type 2 Diabetics and the obese) will likely have a higher insulin response to these.

  • Agave

  • Artificial sweeteners (aspartame, acesulfame K, saccharin, sucralose, Splenda, )

  • Fructose

  • Malt

  • Sugar

  • Honey

  • Candy

  • Syrup

  • Coconut Palm Sugar

  • Erythritol (Swerve)

  • Stevia

  • Xylitol

 

GRAINS

  • All flours from grains - wheat flour, corn flour, rye flour, barley flour, pea flour, rice flour etc

  • All forms of bread made from grains

  • All grains - wheat, oats, barley, rye, amaranth, quinoa, teff, buckwheat, millet, spelt

  • Breaded or battered foods

  • Brans

  • Breakfast cereals, muesli, granola of any kind

  • Cakes, biscuits, confectionary

  • Corn products - popcorn, polenta, corn thins, maize

  • Couscous

  • Crackers

  • Pastas, noodles

  • Rice and Rice cakes

  • Sorghum

  • Thickening agents such as gravy powder, corn starch, tapioca or stock cubes 

 

ROOT and STARCHY VEGETABLES

  • Onions

  • Butternut squash

  • Carrots

  • Beetroot

  • Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc)

  • Parsnips

  • Turnips

  • Peas

  • Potatoes

  • Sweet Potato 

BEVERAGES

  • Beer, cider

  • Sodas

  • Light, zero or diet drinks of any description (contain sweeteners)

  • Fruit juice

  • Vegetable juice 

  • Sweetened coffees or teas

 

PROCESSED FAT

  • Seed oils (safflower, sunflower, canola, grapeseed, cottonseed, corn)

  • Commercial Chocolate

  • Commercial sauces, marinades and salad dressings

  • Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils including margarine, vegetable oils, vegetable fats

PROCESSED FOOD

  • All fast food

  • All processed food

  • Any food with added sugar such as glucose, dextrose, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup)

  • Processed and luncheon meats