This is a most basic list of the foods that you can consume when on a Ketogenic (Low-Carb, High-Fat) Diet. The table is pretty much self-explanatory:

  • Green column are the foods you can and should eat to satiety – however, this doesn’t mean that you should gorge on these foods. I strongly believe that whatever the regimen you might be on, you should always be mindful of your body’s response to the foods that you eat. Follow your body’s cues and you will never go wrong. Or, if you find it difficult to read your body to know when enough is enough, you can instal a free app on your phone to track your food intake, such as MyFitnessPal, MyMacros+ or any one of the freely available apps (most are available on both Android and iPhone). Eventually you will learn what amounts are right for you and you will instinctively know when to stop eating. But never assume that a green light means there is no limits – even healthy foods can make you unhealthy if you eat too much of them.
  • Yellow column means you can eat those foods from time to time when you want to be a little bit more lax about food. Think special occasions, birthdays, holidays, etc. – times when you want to relax a little bit about food, but not to the extent that you ditch your LCHF diet out the window. But occasionally also doesn’t mean every day – when it comes to the treats start slow to wean yourself off those foods by only having them on the weekends and eventually transition to having them only on special occasions.
  • Red column represents the foods that should never be eaten – if possible, you should not have them in your pantry at all, however if due to other family members they still grace the shelves of your pantry know that only the initial transition into fat adaptation will be difficult. Once you are fully adapted and deriving energy from fat you will not care whether or not those items are around your household since you will lose the sugar cravings.

DAIRY

Generally speaking, as long as it’s full-fat dairy it is a welcome addition to the LCHF diet. However, many people find it difficult to lose or maintain a healthy weight while consuming dairy. Others have trouble digesting dairy products. This is why I put it in the yellow column, but if you are one of the lucky ones who can easily digest it and it does not affect your weight feel free to move it to the green column.

FAT

It’s worth pointing out that even though a Ketogenic Diet is high in fat it doesn’t mean that MacDonald’s burger without the bun is OK or that you can use any old, cheap oil found in the grocery store. There are certain fats that should be avoided and I am not talking about the obvious trans fats that have been widely accepted as dangerous and harmful to health. There are other offenders that act in your body very much the same way that carbohydrates do when consumed in excess, by causing inflammation which results in heart disease, cancer, asthma, arthritis and depression . Those are: Vegetable and Seed Oils. They are triglycerides derived from plants that are highly processed. They have been in use ever since the time when Ancel Keys demonised saturated fats as causing high cholesterol and heart disease. He proposed these vegetable oils as an alternative to butter, lard and animal fat as a way to lower total blood cholesterol – and they did do just that. However, as we know today the objective should not be to lower cholesterol because it’s a building block of our bodies and we need it for health.

Vegetable and Seed Oils are made with rather harsh processes. Have a look at a video of Canola Oil versus Olive Oil production. Please ignore the selling points in the Canola video, I by no means am saying that Canola oil is a good oil. I don’t know about you but the Olive oil video does not repulse me the way the Canola one does.

 

 

Vegetable oils are polyunsaturated fats rich in Omega-6 and while we do need them since they are the essential fatty acids (meaning we need them for optimal health) and the only way we can get them is through nutrition and supplementation , we don’t need them in quite as high of a ratio as what those oils provide. An ideal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 is anywhere from 4:2 to 1:2, however due to an increasing consumption of vegetable oils that ratio has increased to an upward of 16:1 which nullifies the positive effects of Omega-3 and causes inflammation that’s associated with mental illness, obesity, type 2 diabetes and calcification of the arteries and in turn heart disease, among others.

But please, don’t take my word for it! Watch Dr. Mark Hyman explain why these oils are bad for you in this short video:


SWEETENERS AND TREATS

As explained in the newest book by Gary Taubes “The Case Against Sugar” sugar has become, rightfully or not, an essential food-item of our lives by providing us with a feeling of reward, appreciation, love, gratitude in most daily life situations. We offer some form of sugar for birthdays, weddings, holidays, to express congratulations, apologies, love – sugar has become indispensable to show all these emotions. Think about it, have you ever received a good old steak for Valentines as a gift? You might have gone out to supper and had a steak there with a hearty side of potatoes, but the immediate way we show love is through sugar. All this to say that sugar has permeated our lives to the point that most North Americans don’t go a day without it : breakfast for most is a bowl of sugar in the form of cereal, supper is followed by an obligatory serving or two of dessert and don’t forget all the snacks in between the main meals of the day, they are mostly sugar as well.

Sugar is inescapable these days – most of the grocery shelves are filled with items laden with sugar. If you stop and read the labels of the boxed items you will quickly learn that there is very little in a typical grocery store that does not contain sugar in some form.