A ketogenic diet means a ketogenic lifestyle. This means increasing your fat intake, monitoring your protein intake, and restricting your carbohydrate intake. For some individuals, this may lead to eating as much bacon and heavy whipping cream as the body can manage. While dietary fat is important on a ketogenic diet, the overall composition of the dietary fat is just as important. Don’t get me wrong, bacon and heavy whipping cream have their place, but here are 5 foods that you should include in your ketogenic lifestyle to ensure that you are staying as healthy as possible!
Avocados are not only delicious but also a nutrient-dense and unique food that you should absolutely include on a ketogenic diet. Since avocados are technically a fruit, they are extremely unique in their high fat content. What other fruit gives you 10 grams of monounsaturated fat per 100g serving? Avocados are also rich in many vitamins, such as A,B,C,E,K. Additionally, they contain magnesium and potassium, which are essential to keep replenished on a ketogenic diet. Fiber is another nutrient that is critical to a well-formulated ketogenic diet, and avocados contain 7 grams of fiber per serving!
Nutritionally, coconut oil consists entirely of dietary fat, making it a great option for a keto-friendly food. While most of the fat is saturated, a large portion is medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easily and rapidly digested and absorbed. For someone on a ketogenic diet, MCTs can provide a quick source of energy. For this reason, many ketogenic dieters like to consume coconut oil around workout times, while others prefer to ingest some first thing in the morning to get some quick fuel for the day ahead. This energy is also readily accessible to the brain as ketones, so coconut oil may be beneficial for brain health as well.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and contain all essential amino acids. They are high in selenium, riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and phosphorus. Additionally, eggs contain large amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that are important for eye health, and choline, which is important for brain health. A balanced diet rich in eggs may help reduce blood triglyceride levels and raise HDL (“good” cholesterol). Eggs are one of the most nutrient-dense foods we can eat!
Sardines are extremely high in three nutrients that are difficult to get from many other foods: omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. They are also high in selenium and phosphorus, as well as several other nutrients. As part of a balanced diet, the fat in sardines may help reduce inflammation, insulin resistance, and even risk of cancer. Sardines are a great source of protein that are packed full of other beneficial nutrients!
It may seem too good to be true, but dark chocolate is extremely high in several minerals and phytonutrients! Dark chocolate is rich in manganese, copper, iron, and magnesium. The flavanols in dark chocolate can dilate blood vessels to improve blood flow. Cocoa flavanols and other polyphenols may help decrease blood pressure and increase HDL cholesterol, while the antioxidants and fiber in dark chocolate can help with digestion.
With the low carbohydrate content of the ketogenic diet, it is critical to ensure that you are getting enough fiber. A 100 gram serving of dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa) contains 11 grams of fiber! Just be careful because the sugar content can add up when consuming large portion sizes. Be mindful of the type and amount of sweetener used.
These are just five nutrient-packed foods that will give you a boost on a ketogenic diet. A diet that is high in variety will help improve overall health and guarantee success on your ketogenic diet.