Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to follow a ketogenic diet plan. Soon, you’ll be loading your body with delicious veggies, tender meat cuts, tasty dairy products, and healthy fats and oils.
Sounds simple, right? Well, for some, the process of starting a new diet can feel overwhelming, so here’s your easy guide to making a keto meal plan you’ll love—without the overwhelm or confusion.
What Does Keto Mean?
When you follow a keto diet, you reduce your carbs and increase your fat intake, which causes your body to enter a metabolic state known as ketosis. Your body is then able to burn fat quickly and produce ketones which supply your body and brain with energy. On this diet, your body runs primarily on fat which allows you to burn fat for energy, stay full longer, have more energy and remain alert and focused throughout the day, along with other health benefits.
Creating a Keto Diet Grocery List
Unprocessed Meats: You have many meat options, including beef, lamb, turkey, pork, venison, chicken, and veal.
Seafood: Purchase wild-caught seafood when possible. If you’re a seafood lover you’re in luck. Feel free to enjoy a variety of seafood options, including salmon, crabs, mussels, shrimp, oysters, and more.
Vegetables: All vegetables you consume should grow above ground because they have fewer carbs than those that grow below ground. You can choose from a variety of vegetables, including lettuce, greens, cauliflower, cucumbers, tomatoes, and zucchini. With so many great options, you can pick any vegetable that best suits your taste buds. Keep in mind that Spinach has the lowest carb count with only one net carb per 100 grams, so if you’re a spinach fan, eat up!
Fruit: Fruit is typically avoided while on the keto diet due to its high sugar content. You can eat berries sparingly. Blackberries and raspberries have the lowest carb count of the berry family at 5 net carbs per 100 grams. Avocado is another healthy option with only 2 net carbs per 100 grams, but you should keep in mind that they are still high in calories.
Dairy: High-fat dairy products are a good option for your meal plan. You can choose from butter, heavy cream and cheese. (Deleted the line about milk, heavy cream being a better option and the words removed egg and yogurt)
Oils: Healthy oils are a staple in the keto diet. You want oils that have polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats as opposed to artificial trans fats and saturated fats. Avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, hazelnut oil, walnut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil are all great options.
Drinks: Water, tea, coffee, diet soda and some low-carb alcoholic beverages in moderation are keto diet approved. (Deleted the line listing alcoholic beverages)
Nuts and Seeds: You should eat nuts and seeds in moderation due to their high-calorie count. When you pick nuts and seeds, look for options that are low in carbs. Some choices with the lowest carb count are pecans, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, and hazelnuts. (Deleted the line about opting for lower calorie nuts)
There are other food options you can choose, but this keto shopping list includes the major recommended categories. In general, remember to pick foods that are high in fat and low in carbs and sugar.
Keto Diet Foods to Avoid
Just as there are many foods you can consume while following the keto diet, there are some you want to avoid. Typically, the items you won’t eat are processed or high in carbs and sugar.
- Fruit (other than berries and avocado)
- Processed sweets (donuts, candy, chocolate, etc.)
- Juice and non-diet soda
Creating a Keto Diet Meal Plan
Now that you know the basics of the keto diet and foods that are approved and not recommended, it’s time to develop your meal plan.
Know Your Numbers
If you follow the standard keto diet, the general recommendation is to get 75% of your daily calories from fat, 20% from protein and 5% from carbs, though this varies based on each person.
You can get a more accurate count based on your body by using a Keto Calculator to determine your daily intake of protein, carbs, and fat.
Develop Your Plan
Thankfully, you have tons of meal options when you follow the keto diet. Once you create a list of approved foods, combine any of them to create tasty meals you’ll love.
We recommend starting with weekly meal plans so you can discover what you like and see how your body reacts to your diet changes. When you find a meal you enjoy, take note of it so you can use it again in the future.
Here are a couple of sample meal plans to get you started.
Sample Keto Meal Plan One
Breakfast: Mushroom omelet - 4 net carbs and 510 calories
Snack: Carrots and a low carb dipping sauce - 8 net carbs and 50 calories
Lunch: Cobb salad with a base of greens topped with chicken, egg mixed vegetables, avocado and cheese - 573 calories and 6 net carbs
Snack: Celery and cream cheese - 200 calories and 4 net carbs per 2 celery sticks
Dinner: Italian keto meatballs with mozzarella cheese - 4 net carbs and 622 calories
Total Net Carbs: 24.7
Total Calories: 2,005
Sample Keto Meal Plan Two
Breakfast: 1 fried eggs - 1 net carb/233 calories
Snack: 1 cup of cucumbers and mayo - 3 net carbs/116 calories
Lunch: Bunless burger with a side salad - 11 net carbs/883 calories
Snack: A handful of raspberries and heavy whipping cream - 7 grams/108
Dinner: Salmon and spinach - 2 net carbs/902 calories
Total Calories: 2,134
Total Net Carbs: 24
You can be creative with your meal plans or browse the internet and cookbooks to find great options. As long as you follow the general keto diet rules, you should be good to go.
For additional keto meal plan resources, be sure to follow us at Heka Good Foods. We strive to serve as a consistent resource in providing beneficial and straightforward education on the keto diet and other health topics.
Web MD - Keto Diet: What is a Ketogenic Diet
Healthline - 16 Foods to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet
Healthline - The Ketogenic Diet: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide to Keto
Woman’s Day - The Ultimate Keto Diet Food List of What You Can (and Can’t) Eat
Diet Doctor Low Carb Recipes