Sixteen Ketogenic Foods to Get You Started
Low carb diets have gone by many names: Atkins, South Beach, Paleo, and more. But there is little doubt that the basis for them all is ketogenic foods, some regimens adopting them more thoroughly than others. Years of research have established that not all low carb diets are equal and that, in fact, the most successful and healthy of them observes a true, full ketogenic program; not one that merely borrows from keto and adds it to other plans.
A true keto diet works on the principle of low-carb, high-fat, and has proven effective not just for weight management, but in helping control the symptoms of diabetes and epilepsy. Scientific evidence is also pointing to the possibility that this beneficial low carb diet discipline may be helpful for some cancer patients and those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Regardless of your reason for embarking on a ketogenic health program, NSI Stem Cell Centers in Florida takes a look at sixteen ketogenic foods to help get things started.
The key, you see, is to restrict carbohydrates to twenty to fifty grams a day. That may seem a little daunting, but you might be surprised to learn just how delicious ketogenic foods can be. With commitment and an eye toward a healthier future, practicing low-carb diet habits through ketogenics can reap high benefits without, ultimately, feeling deprived.
Sixteen Great Ketogenic Foods to Try
By and large, both freshwater fish and seafood are excellent choices as ketogenic foods. Not only are most low-carb, many are rich sources of B vitamins and minerals like potassium. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel have the added benefit of high omega-3 content. Omega-3 is an established player in lowering insulin levels.
In general, regularly eating fish is connected to decreasing risks for disease and boosting mental health. Choosing your favorite fish and eating it two time per week is a terrific way get on track with a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic foods regimen.
However, if you’re aiming for the lower end of the 20-50 daily carb count, be aware that some shellfish have more carbs than others. Shrimp and crab have 0 carbs, but others-like mussels and oysters can have as many as seven grams. So plan accordingly when selecting your ketogenic foods from the stream or sea.
- Cruciferous Veggies
While starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn and most root vegetables are not ketogenic foods, there are still quite a few veggies to be enjoyed. Often thought of as green leafy veggies, cruciferous vegetables include a variety, like cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli and more. They rank high in nutrients, C, antioxidants, fiber and a number of minerals.
Several vegetables that rank as ketogenic foods also show a link in the decrease of cancer and heart disease risks.
For those who miss their starchy veggies, cauliflower is a terrific sub for rice or mashed potatoes, while zucchini or spaghetti squash do a great job of mimicking pasta.
Cheeses! Who doesn’t love cheeses! A favorite among the ketogenic foods, cheese is both nutritious and appetizing. And the variety makes cheese an easy addition to any low-carb keto regimen. Not only are they all very low in carbohydrates, they are high in fat, add substantial protein to the mix and keep you on track for a healthy calcium intake.
Cheeses contain high levels of saturated fat, but many studies have long debunked the belief that they increase risk of heart disease and, on the contrary, may even help protect against heart disease. Cheeses also contain conjugated linoleic acid. This is a type of healthy fat associated with body fat loss and an improvement in the body’s composition of lean muscle. Cheese consumption, especially as observed as one of the ketogenic foods in a keto regimen, has also been connected to the prevention of the muscle mass loss and strength commonly seen in aging.
- The Incredible Avocado
Of the ketogenic foods, few are more of a nutrition powerhouse than the avocado. Though it contains one of the highest carb counts of the ketogenic foods, approximately nine grams in half of a medium-sized fruit (yes, it’s a fruit), seven of those grams are fiber. That makes a 3.5 ounce serving of avocado only two grams of digestible carbs.
An avocado is rich in several vitamin types and minerals, including potassium. This is especially advantageous to those practicing a keto lifestyle, since a higher potassium intake can aid in making the conversion to a regimen of ketogenic foods go more smoothly.
Add to this, avocados have been linked to an improvement cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A study in that looked into the impact of avocados on “good” and “bad” cholesterol, the subjects showed a twenty-two percent decrease in LDL levels (“bad” cholesterol) and an eleven percent increase in HDL level (“good” cholesterol).
- Meats and Poultry
Meats and poultry, like chicken, duck and other game birds, are staple ketogenic foods. They are zero carb, an excellent source of protein, and packed with B vitamins and minerals like potassium, selenium and zinc. Meat and poultry also contribute to the preservation of muscle mass.
Contrary to conventional thinking, one study even illustrated that older women who included fatty meats in their keto regimen of ketogenic foods lowered their “bad” cholesterol by as much as eight percent, compared to when they were on a low-fat, high-carb diet.
Whenever you can, it’s recommended to select grass-fed meats. These meats are higher in omega-3 fats than those that are derived from grain-fed animals.
- Duck, Duck, Goose…and Chicken! Eggs
An egg is among the most healthy and versatile ketogenic foods you can find. One Grade A Large has less than one gram of carbs and fewer than six of protein. Eggs are known to activate a natural hormone in the body that increases the sensation of satiety. They keep blood sugar levels steady and lead to lower calorie intake for as much as twenty-four hours.
While many diets focus on only egg whites, it is actually essential that you consume both white and yolk. The yolk holds the majority of the nutrients found in an egg. The yolk also contains antioxidants, particularly the kind that promotes eye health. It is true that an egg yolk is high in cholesterol. However, the old assertion that yolks raise blood cholesterol for most people has long been debunked. Additionally, studies indicate that eggs may even play a part in modifying LDL and reducing risks of heart disease. Of the ketogenic foods available, few are a more natural fit for a healthy lifestyle.
- Coconut Oil
The distinctive elements of coconut oil make it highly suited to add to the list of ketogenic foods as a supplement. Coconut oil has particular fats called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These medium-chain triglycerides are absorbed directly into the liver, where they convert into ketones and can be rapidly used as an energy source for the body.
It has been connected to loss of belly fat, and in increasing ketone levels in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease as well as other neurological disorders.
- Cottage Cheese and Greek-style Yogurts
Even though these are among the higher-carb and higher-protein players among the ketogenic foods, plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese can be incorporated into a keto regimen if done mindfully. They’re recommended for their ability to aid in decreasing appetite and promoting feelings of satiety.
A modest amount, like a five-ounce serving of plain Greek yogurt will provide five grams of carbohydrates and eleven of protein. With cottage cheese, the same amount will also provide also five grams of carbohydrates, while including eighteen of protein.
Either of these ketogenic foods will make an appetizing snack without adding anything to them, but either can also be mixed with nuts, cinnamon and a sugar-free sweetener when you’re in the mood for a ketogenic indulgence or to help curb cravings.
- Olive Oils
Olive oil has extraordinary benefits for the heart among the list of ketogenic foods. The high content of oleic acid is known to reduce risks for heart disease. With the extra-virgin variety, there is the added benefit of an antioxidant known as phenol. Phenols are compounds that defend heart health against inflammation and improve the functioning of arteries. Olive oil is a pure fat source, so there are no carbohydrates in it. It makes a perfect base in salad dressing or in making a healthful mayonnaise.
In cooking, olive oil is optimal when used with low heat. This is because it’s contains monounsaturated fats rather than saturated ones. When using high heat, a different oil works better. But adding olive oil to ketogenic foods after they have been cooked at high heat makes a delicious addition.
- There’s Nothing Wrong with being a Little Nutty and Seedy
Seeds and nuts are great ketogenic foods. Healthful, high in fat, but low in carbohydrates, eating nuts has links to a reduction in heart disease risks, particular types of cancer, alleviating depression and benefiting other chronic conditions. As high-fiber foods, seeds and nuts also aid in feelings of satiety, helping you reduce calories in general.
As with fish and seafood, seeds and nuts vary in their net carb count. For example, cashews will weigh in with eight net grams per ounce while pecans have one net gram. Flaxseeds have zero net carbs per ounce, while pumpkin seeds have four. Although all nuts and seeds are low in net carbs, the amount varies quite a bit among the different types. So, when choosing these ketogenic foods, remember that a little of these go a long way when consider your total carbs for the day.
- Berry Good!
Generally speaking, fruits don’t make good ketogenic foods. By and large, they’re high carbohydrate content eliminates them. But there are exceptions to ever rule, and the noble berry is one of these. Low in carbohydrates and rich in fiber, berries are an ideal source of antioxidants. This makes them a natural anti-inflammatory and a protection from disease.
As with nuts and seeds, the net carb count varies from berry to berry, with the blackberry being one of the lightweights at five grams of net carbs per 3.5 ounces while the blueberry swings the other way at twelve grams. No matter the berry, however, the serving size of 3.5 ounces makes them all natural ketogenic foods.
- Butter and Cream
Both of these ketogenic foods represent good fats for your keto regimen. Cream and butter contain next to no carbs per serving. While the saturated fat in cream and butter was once cast as a bad guy in the fight against heart disease, many studies since those years have shown that this simply is not the case for the majority of people. Quite the opposite according to still other studies, which show that consuming moderate quantities of high-fat dairy In fact, some studies suggest that a moderate consumption of high-fat dairies might even play a part in the reduction of the risk factors of stroke and heart attack. And, like the other high-fat dairies mentioned earlier, cream and butter might also encourage body fat reduction.
- Shirataki Noodles
For many who are just learning about ketogenic foods, shirataki noodles may be an unknown. But if you’re looking for a way to enjoy pasta during your new keto lifestyle, you’ll to get acquainted. Shirataki noodles have less than a gram of carbohydrates per serving. A gelatinous fiber known as glucomannan is their base, which absorbs as much as fifty times its weight in water when cooked.
This gelatinous fiber is excellent for slowing down food as it moves through the digestive tract. That, in turn, helps in decreasing hunger and preventing blood sugar spikes. This all adds up to benefits in weight management and, for diabetics in particular, it’s a real positive. The noodle shapes come in many varieties that allow them to sub nicely for rice, fettuccine, spaghetti and more.
It isn’t just the oil of olives that provide great benefits among the ketogenic foods. The fruit itself, naturally, has the same antioxidants. Plus, many studies indicate that eating olives are helpful in preventing bone loss and in lowering blood pressure. While olive varieties differ in their carb count, 50% of those carbohydrates are in fiber. So net carbs are generally quite low, running on average about a gram for seven to ten olives.
- Unsweet Coffees or Teas
Coffees and teas that aren’t sweetened are ketogenic foods that are now credited with impressive health benefits when consumed responsibly. In moderate quantities, the caffeine in unsweet teas and coffees increase metabolism while potentially improving mood, alertness, and daily performance. Those who drink tea or coffee have also shown a decreased risk for diabetes. Of course, everyone has a different tolerance for caffeine. But if you’re among those who shouldn’t have it, decaffeinated varieties still offer benefits.
Like your coffee or tea light? Putting heavy cream in is dandy. But avoid the creamers, milk, and latte mixes. All of these contain carbohydrates, and usually a lot of them. So read labels very carefully before dropping them in your shopping cart.
- It Just Keeps Getting Better! Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder
Rejoice! Dark chocolate and cocoa aren’t just allowed, they’re encouraged! Within reason, of course. The cocoa in dark chocolate and cocoa powder is one of the most celebrated of the ketogenic foods. Cocoa is a bona fide “super fruit,” providing as many antioxidants as any other fruit you can think of. The flavanols in dark chocolates have been linked to low blood pressure, which reduces risks for heart disease healthy arteries.
Keep in mind, though, that the only chocolate considered one of the ketogenic foods is dark chocolate. Your chocolate should be no less that seventy percent cocoa solids. And higher the content of unsweet chocolate, the better. An ounce of dark chocolate that is 100% cocoa contains three grams of net carbohydrates. When that percentage is about seventy to eight-five percent, the net carb count comes to ten grams.
Ready, Set, Go Shop for Your Ketogenic Foods!
Ketogenic foods used in conjunction with a keto lifestyle result in healthy weight management, the ability to better manage blood sugar and more health-conscious goal-setting. And the best part is that it offers a varietal range that’s not only nutritious and satisfying, it’s a dietary discipline that can last a lifetime. Within these sixteen groups of ketogenic foods are combinations and variety to keep you happy, healthy and feeling anything but deprived.
The advanced medical methods of regenerative medicine and good nutritional practices go hand in hand at NSI Stem Cell Centers in Florida.* We have nutritional counselors on hand that will be happy to help you begin your new, healthy keto lifestyle.* Contact NSI at (877) 278-3623 to set up your consultation. We have a comprehensive FREE brochure outlining our nutritional, rehabilitative and regenerative medical practices available by download or request. We look forward to hearing from you.
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