But what does that mean specifically - which foods are keto foods? Our clear ketogenic food list shows you the top 15 ketogenic food groups at a glance:
Meat & Poultry
Unprocessed meat contains no carbohydrates, making it perfect for a ketogenic diet. Beef, turkey and chicken provide us with protein and B vitamins. Cured meats like salami, ham and wieners are also fine if they don't contain sugary additives or starch.
Note: Go for pasture-raised products, preferably from organic farms.
Avoid too much protein: Prefer high-fat cuts, such as pork belly or ribeye.
What's allowed: beef, turkey, chicken, pork, venison, duck, veal, goat, goose, lamb, sheep, turkey, wild boar, offal.
Also: salami, ham, wiener.
Low carb vegetables
Low-carbohydrate vegetables are an important source of vitamins and minerals on the ketogenic food list. Water-rich, green (leafy) vegetables as well as collard greens play an important role. With the right choices, you'll eat up to 900 grams of vegetables daily without compromising ketosis.
Note: Eliminate root vegetables and starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, which are high in carbohydrates, from your diet.
This is allowed: green salads, spinach, broccoli, artichoke, asparagus, cucumber, green peppers, pak choi, Brussels sprouts, white cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, kale, celeriac, eggplant, leeks, mushrooms, zucchini.
Nuts & Seeds
Besides meat and avocado, natural nuts and seeds are an important source of fat, which provides us in particular with valuable and essential omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. In addition, they provide a high-quality nutritional package of minerals such as zinc, iron and magnesium, as well as B vitamins. Their content of satiating protein makes them a great ketogenic snack for in between meals.
Notice: Nuts also contain some carbohydrates and affect your carbohydrate account.
Important: Peanuts are not nuts, but belong to the legumes.
This is allowed: almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, Chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds.
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
One piece (10 g) of a dark chocolate with 85% cocoa provides only 2 g of carbohydrates. Baking with unsweetened cocoa powder or preparing a cocoa does not affect the state of your ketosis.
Note: The high cocoa content in chocolates is mandatory. Use unsweetened cocoa powder that contains no other additives.
This is allowed: chocolate from 70% cocoa, unsweetened cocoa powder, cocoa nibs.
Natural fish is also ketogenic and, in addition to healthy omega-3 fatty acids, provides plenty of protein and thus makes you full for a long time. The classic tuna, with 0 g carbohydrates, is considered a very popular ketogenic food.
Note: Here quality counts instead of quantity: Prefer fresh fish, preferably from wild catch and eat it twice a week.
This is allowed: tuna, anchovies, perch, cod, eel, flounder, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, turbot, trout, pike perch, carp, pangasius.
Chicken eggs contain hardly any carbohydrates and are rich in protein and vitamins such as A, B and K. Their protein has a high biological value. This provides information about the composition of amino acids in a food and how well they can be utilized by the body. The higher the value, the better the proteins are metabolized.
Note: When buying organic eggs for ecological reasons. For vegetarians, organic eggs are a valuable source of protein in a ketogenic diet. As a meat eater, limit consumption to prefer proteins from meat and fish.
This is allowed: organic free-range chicken eggs.
The large selection of different types of cheese also remains with a ketogenic diet. Decide here primarily for low-carbohydrate or high-fat cheeses such as Camembert, Parmesan, feta or mozzarella. But also cottage cheese is established in the ketogenic scene and a popular and low-fat dip or spread.
Note: Cheese also contains some saturated fatty acids and should only be consumed in moderation. Light products and reduced-fat cheeses are not ketogenic and therefore taboo.
Allowed: Harz cheese, sheep cheese, Gouda, mozzarella, Brie, Camembert, Gorgonzola, cottage cheese, ricotta, mascarpone.
Fruits and berries
Finding fruit among ketogenic foods is not easy. Allowed are berries like strawberries and blueberries, which contain carbohydrates between 8 and 10 g per 100 g. And don't forget to include the two rather atypical fruits in your diet: Avocados and olives.
Note: Tropical fruits contain too much fructose and are not suitable as ketogenic foods.
This is allowed: currants, raspberries, strawberries, cantaloupe melon, cranberry, blueberry, blackberries, papaya, gooseberries, lemons, limes.
Healthy fats and oils
Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are the keto boosters: they consist mainly of the fatty acids caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid and lauric acid and are metabolized completely and particularly quickly. Our body breaks them down directly into ketone bodies. This is where you can turn to coconut oil, as it contains many of these fatty acids. Cold-pressed olive oil is great for salads and cold dishes. Not only does it provide healthy fatty acids, but it also has an antioxidant effect.
Note: Prefer pure, cold-pressed and high-quality oils and avoid cheap vegetable products that often contain impurities.
This is allowed: coconut oil, olive oil, MCT oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, ghee, caprylic acid, cocoa butter, lard, palm oil, nut musts.
Drinks like unsweetened tea and coffee
Drinking plenty of fluids is a must to ensure healthy water balance and replenish electrolytes. Besides water, unsweetened teas and coffee are also no problem on a ketogenic diet.
Notice: Take a look at the ingredients list and prefer water and naturally flavored drinks like cucumber water or tea with fresh ginger.
Allowed: Water, sparkling mineral water, unsweetened tea, herbal teas, unsweetened coffee, cucumber water, coconut milk, nut and almond drinks, Bulletproof Coffee, lemon and lime juice, vegetable and meat broth.
Milk products with high fat content also contain fewer carbohydrates. They provide you with protein and strengthen your teeth and bones with calcium. To get more sugar from fruits and vegetables, limit your dairy consumption. Therefore, as with eggs, don't eat too much unless you're on a ketogenic vegetarian diet.
Notice: Choose fresh, high-quality organic products; even ghee or fresh milk straight from the farm are great, high-quality ketogenic foods.
This is allowed: whole milk, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, natural yogurt, cream, sour cream, sour cream.
In addition to fresh fish, seafood and shellfish are also suitable as ketogenic foods. Especially crabs and shrimps are appreciated by ketarians for their very low carbohydrate content combined with a high nutrient content. Mussels, for example blue mussels, on the other hand, are somewhat higher in carbohydrates (7 g per 100 g).
Note: Seafood and shellfish make nutrient-dense additions to your keto diet, but are relatively expensive ketogenic foods.
This is allowed: shrimp, caviar, clams, crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, shrimp, scallops, squid, crawfish, crabs.
Ketogenic baking ingredients: Flours and binders
Conventional flours are not ketogenic, but there are plenty of alternatives that provide healthy nutrients at the same time. However, they behave differently in baking than grain flours. Many conventional binders, such as agar-agar or psyllium husks, are also keto-friendly.
Note: Do not directly substitute flours 1:1 with ketogenic alternatives in recipes, as they behave differently.
This is allowed: almond flour, coconut flour, coconut flakes, psyllium husk flour, pumpkin seed flour, gua gum, locust bean gum, nut and seed flours, potato fiber, gelatin, apple pectin, psyllium husks, agar agar, chia seeds.
A range of carbohydrate-free substitute sugars also allow you to sweeten coffee or yogurts during a ketogenic diet. The fermented dextrose erythritol is tooth-friendly as well as calorie-free, making it a favorite on the ketogenic food list.
Note: Use artificial sweeteners only in small amounts and treat them as ketogenic "stimulants". Caution: Very high consumption can cause flatulence and diarrhea.
This is allowed: erythritol, stevia, xilite in small amounts.
Spices and herbs
Spices and herbs add variety to any cuisine - including ketogenic. Add flavor to your limited food choices with high-quality, pure spices and try new combinations.
Note: Especially in spice mixtures can hide additives, sugar and flavor enhancers that are not ketogenic. Therefore, check the list of ingredients carefully.
What is allowed: (sea) salt, pepper, basil, chili powder, curry, cumin, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, turmeric, parsley, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger, cardamom, paprika, dill.