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On a keto diet, about 75% of the calories you consume should come from fat. About 20% should come from protein. The remaining 5% or less should come from carbs.
To maximize fat-burning potential and stay in the state ketosis, you want to avoid carb-heavy, and protein-focused meals.
Knowing what to eat and what to avoid on a ketogenic diet can be tricky at times.
Here we break it down with keto diet foods to avoid to help keep you in ketosis and support your keto journey.
Clearing the Kitchen
One of the most significant reasons for the failure of a low carb diet is if you have unhealthy, processed, ready to eat foods in your home.
To increase your chances to succeed with weight loss, health, and fitness goals, you must eliminate as many triggers as possible.
If you do not remove unnecessary foodstuff from your line of sight, there is a high chance of tucking into the foods.
It is harder if you live with family and young children, and you will more than likely have to adapt somehow and have extra willpower.
If possible, move foods that are not yours out of sight if you cannot throw them out.
Over time, your body will adapt to using fat as fuel.
You will have more energy, less brain fog along with a host of other benefits from keto nutrition.
Getting into a state of ketosis only works after you eliminate high-carb foods and increase healthy fat intake.
Here are Foods Not Allowed on Keto
Sugar, Candy, and Confectionery
Avoid all sugar; it is simple as that and has no place on keto or any diet for that matter.
You would think it would be easy, but sugar is everywhere.
Sugar is added to sauces, packaged foods, processed foods, canned vegetables, and many more making weight loss seem impossible at times.
You want to check labels carefully to be sure foods are free of preservatives and excess sugars.
- Table sugar including “healthier sugars” like Coconut Sugar
- All Syrups
- Salad Dressings
- Milk Chocolate
- Most Sauces
- Jams and Preserves
- Maple Syrup
- Agave Nectar
- High-Fructose Fruit
- Hard Candy
- Fruit Juices
- High-Fructose Corn Syrup
- Ice Cream
Pastries and Baked Goods
If you want to improve your health and wellness, you must banish all the unhealthy baked goods.
You must avoid pastries and all related foods on keto.
There are countless healthier options to choose from whether it is shop bought or homemade low carb recipes.
Once eliminating excess sugar from your diet, you will find over time that real food tastes much better as you get your taste buds back.
Fats and Oils
Healthy fats are the best friend for ketosis.
Do not cook with or use any vegetable oils or seed oils due to its high omega 6 properties.
Opt for healthy alternatives like coconut oil, MCT oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, and grass-fed butter for cooking and drizzling.
It should be obvious, but Trans fats from margarine are, of course, a big no-no.
- Soybean Oil
- Rapeseed Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Canola Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Safflower Oil
Grains and Starches
Eliminating grains can be challenging, especially after a lifetime of eating it on a daily basis.
Starchy vegetables are forbidden since it raises blood sugar and insulin and drastically slows the weight loss process.
There are many keto alternatives to rice, pasta, and bread. Avoid grains and starches, and you can replace them with keto-friendly foods such as cauliflower rice, LCHF pizza, and bread made from low carb flour substitutes such as almond and coconut flour.
- Whole Grains
- Sweet Potatoes
- Corn Starch
- Breakfast Cereals
Legumes and Beans
Legumes and beans provide a good source of nutrition on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Due to their abundant starch and carb content, they are not allowed on a ketogenic diet.
Legumes, lentils, and beans contain phytates which can bind minerals in the gut before they are absorbed and affect digestive enzymes.
Phytates also reduce the digestibility of starches, proteins, and fats.
- White Beans
- Lima beans
- Baked Beans
- Black Beans
- Kidney Beans
- Pinto Beans
Fruits On Keto
Fruits are great and an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
To be able to stay within 20g-50g net carbs a day it is best to avoid high-carb and high glycaemic fruits on the ketogenic diet.
Fruits, while not only high in sugar, can bring a few additional problems after eating them.
Eating fruits will spike your insulin, and shortly after eating, you can experience carb cravings once blood sugar begins to drop.
A benefit of avoiding fruit will help you to control carb craving, so you do not go hunting for ready to eat high-sugar snacks.
Besides, just one piece of fruit can exceed 50g net carbs and throw off your macros for the day.
There are many fruits you can still eat on Keto.
Some you can even eat freely, such as avocado, olives, and coconuts.
You can also consume in moderation all the various berries, lemons, and limes.
Depending on your current health and fitness goals, see how you react to small portions of fruit and judge if it is right for you.
If you struggle to go without something sweet, then an option is to have a cheat day once a week or fortnight where you carb up on your favorite healthy veggies and fruits.
As long as you have no allergies or sensitivity, then you can enjoy dairy on keto.
Dairy foods such as heavy cream, soft and hard cheeses, and grass-fed butter allow you to create amazing low carb recipes.
Nevertheless, not all dairy is keto-friendly. Lower fat foods will contain more sugar per serving than you require.
A simple rule is always to make sure the dairy product is full-fat.
- Cottage Cheese
- Low-Fat and Flavored Milk
- Low Fat and Fat-Free Yogurt
- Ice Cream
- Limit Full-cream and whole milk due to sugar content
Excess Meat and Fish
Some people can get away with eating an abundance of protein while others will need to monitor closely to stay in ketosis.
As we know, the most significant energy source on the ketogenic diet is fat.
Overeating protein will have the same effect as eating an excess amount of carbohydrates.
A metabolic process known as gluconeogenesis converts excess protein into glycogen and keeps your body in a glucose burning state, thus preventing ketosis.
Be mindful of meat or fish portion sizes and weigh your foods if you believe you are overeating protein.
Many people tend to overeat protein turning it more into an Atkins diet vs. Keto. It is an easy mistake to make and can be the difference between weight loss vs. weight maintenance.
Packaged and Processed Snacks
Anyone and everyone at a point in life will eat processed and packaged foods.
The fewer ingredients listed in the food will typically provide the best nutrition.
Snacks have their place on a keto eating plan, but the majority of convenience foods in grocery stores contain added sugars, salt, and preservatives.
Here are some processed snacks to avoid while on a ketogenic diet.
- Rice cakes
- Cereal Bars
- Flavored Nuts
- Potato Chips
- Protein Bars
My preferred beverage and the drink that humans have been drinking for years on end is water.
Failing water, your best bet is to avoid all liquid carbs. Sugar-laden drinks contain sugar utterly unnecessary for any diet.
Black or green tea, as well as black or bulletproof coffee, is fine to drink as it is low carb and low calorie.
You may choose to drink diet soda to help you transition a keto diet, but it may not be best for the long-term.
- Flavored Tea
- Regular Sodas
- Flavored Coffees
- Energy Drinks
Keto Food Swaps
Following a keto diet can seem tricky given the number of meals that center on carbs.
There is a simple way of filling the empty space on the plate where the pasta, rice, or bread should be.
Swapping high carb foods for keto alternatives can be the key to achieving success on a carb-restricted nutrition plan.
Here are some of the things I use daily to help support my keto lifestyle.
Almond and coconut flour replaces regular flours to help create great low carb recipes.
Whether it is for keto bread, cookies, and brownies and alike, it provides many vitamins and minerals not found in plain flour.
Spiralized zucchini replaces pasta very nicely in our home. It takes up the majority of the plate and adds a mild flavor suitable for many dishes.
Instead of consuming sugar you can replace it with a healthier natural sweetener.
There are numerous sugar alternatives.
We like to use Stevia and Erythritol in both powdered and liquid form when creating various recipes.
Swap soda for sugar-free alternatives.
If you crave something fizzy, you can create a wonderful drink of sparkling water and flavor it with lemons, ginger, or your favorite fruits.
Every so often I like to drink a bubbly glass of coconut water kefir. It hydrates me and is a great low carb fermented drink when I am in the mood for something other than water.
Instead of eating rice, we blitz a cauliflower in the food processor until it resembles rice. Cauliflower is much lower in carbs and nutritious alternative to the grains.
It is important to note foods cannot exactly be labeled keto or non-keto as you can eventually reach ketosis through fasting regardless of whatever you eat.
The way to accurately measure if you are in ketosis is by testing blood ketones levels.
This keto foods to avoid list is by no means exhaustive.
If you can avoid high carb food, drink, and drastically increase your intake of healthy fats, you can reach a state of ketosis. You shall experience the numerous health benefits that will come your way.
Once your body becomes fat-adapted, you will begin to experience fewer carb cravings as time passes.
Check out our ketogenic diet food list for a better knowledge of what to include on your low carb high-fat nutrition plan.
Do you have any favorite high-carb foods you struggle to avoid eating when following a Keto diet? Is there anything we have missed? Let us know below.