The Ultimate Ketogenic Diet Plan for Beginners

The high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet has become increasingly popular among people who want to shed their excess weight and those who want to improve their overall health. The basic principle of the ketogenic diet plan is to eat fat in order to burn fat. This is completely different from what we have been taught for ages. For centuries, we have been taught to eat simple carbohydrate-based food and avoid fat as much as possible. However, various studies have confirmed that eating more fat and less carb drives your body to burn the stored fat thereby, helping you lose the excess weight. A thoroughly prepared ketogenic diet meal plan can also help you improve your skin health, cognitive function, hormonal imbalance, blood sugar level, and even your memory. (1) However, to reap the maximum benefit from this fat-based diet, you will have to eat the right combination of food in the right quantity and this is where many people fail.

Preparing a 30 day ketogenic diet plan can be a big challenge, especially if you have never tried it earlier. This is why we recommend that you must start with 7 day ketogenic diet plan and make an extensive keto food list that you can refer when you run short of ideas. In this blog, we will help you get started with your weekly ketogenic diet plan. But, before we get started, please note that this keto food list is a generic one and may not be completely suitable for you. Your nutritional requirement could be way different from your sibling’s need, which is why we strongly recommend that you must customize it as per your need or consult a licensed and experienced dietician for help.

An Ideal Ketogenic Diet Plan

As of now, the standard American diet consists of 50% carbs, 35% fat, and only 15% protein. Further, the Dietary Guidelines For Americans 2015-2020 edition states that a high percentage of American population eat food that is high in calorie and low in nutrition, which is why nearly 1/3rd children and 2/3th youth are either obese or overweight. (2)

Ketogenic diet is completely different from the conventional American diet. The keto food list consists of ingredients that have 70% fat, 20% proteins, and only 10% carbohydrates. The fat:protein:carb proportion is not very specific and needs to be customized based on your lifestyle and diet goals. The customization is usually done as below:

  • The standard 30 day ketogenic diet plan: It has about 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs.
  • High protein ketogenic diet plan: It has about 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs. The high protein 30 day ketogenic diet plan is recommended for people who have a very active lifestyle or for athletes.
  • Cyclical ketogenic diet plan: This form of keto diet keeps rotating between high carb days and low carb days. Usually, 5 low carb days are followed by two high carb days. Cyclical ketogenic diet plan is most beneficial for fat loss and for muscle building.

For ages, we have been made to believe that consumption of excessive fat can cause cardiovascular disease. However, many recent studies have concluded that there is no direct connection between fat consumption and its effect on the heart. (3) This indicates that the fat-rich ketogenic diet is completely safe for everyone including those who are suffering from cardiac diseases. Almost all printable keto food lists consist of 4 types of fats; saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and the naturally occurring trans fat.

The above-mentioned ketogenic diet plan is suitable for almost all people with various health goals. However, if you have any pre-existing diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure, or cardiac problem, please consult a qualified health care practitioner or a dietitian to get a customized keto food list that will help you meet your specific nutritional needs.

Here is a brief keto food list that you can try to get your daily recommended quantity of nutrients when you are on your 30 day ketogenic diet plan.

Low-Carb/Non-Starchy Vegetables to Include In Your Ketogenic Diet Food List for Weight Loss:

  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans
  • Lettuce Kale
  • Pak Choi
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels Sprout
  • Radish
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Beetroot
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Leafy Greens
  • Okra
  • All Forms Of Sea Plants

Dairy Products to Include In Your Ketogenic Diet Plan

  • Milk
  • Yoghurt
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Heavy Cream
  • Sour Cream

Protein-rich Keto Food List

  • Bacon
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Eggs (whole/white)
  • Fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, trout, tuna, skipjack, yellowtail, etc.
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Sausage
  • Shellfish
  • Turkey

Best Cooking Oils to Include In Your Printable Keto Food List

  • Avocado Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Walnut Oil
  • Sesame Seed Oil
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Clarified Butter
  • Cacao Butter

Nuts and Seeds to Include In Your Ketogenic Shopping List

  • Almonds
  • Cashew
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Pili Nuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds E
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Soya Nuts
  • Tahini

Fruits That You Can Include In Your 30 Day Ketogenic Diet Plan

  • All forms of berries such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries
  • Avocado
  • Coconut
  • Watermelon
  • Peach
  • Blackcurrant
  • Cranberries
  • Lemons and Limes
  • Honeydew
  • Olives

Please note that fruits should be eaten in moderate quantities when you are on your keto diet.

Beverages to include in your printable keto food list

  • Coffee: black or with cream or coconut milk
  • Tea
  • Non-caffeinated Herbal Beverages
  • Sparkling Water

Supplements That You Can Include In Your Ketogenic Diet Plan

Keto flu refers to the symptoms that you may suffer when you adapt to this low-carb, high-fat diet. Some of the symptoms include nausea, vomiting, constipation, headache, diarrhea, irritability, muscle cramps, dizziness, stomach pain, difficulty sleeping, and sugar cravings. These symptoms are normal and they typically last about a week or maybe a little longer. However, in many cases, dieters find it difficult to bear the symptoms and they give up even before their body could adapt to the new dietary change. To avoid the keto flu, you can include a few supplements in your diet. These supplements will make it easier for your body to adapt to the new lifestyle. Some of the top-selling ketogenic diet plan supplements available on Amazon are:

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This product is made in the United States and the manufacturer claims that these gluten-free capsules can help you achieve faster and better results.

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This keto drink can help you reduce your cravings, boost your energy levels, and shift your body into ketosis mode within 30 minutes. The manufacturer is also offering 100% satisfaction guarantee, which is why we recommend that it should be in your keto food list.

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Other than these two nutritional supplements, we do recommend that you must try this simple and yet extremely helpful keto diet recipe book. It is one of the top-selling guide for people for who are new to ketogenic diet.

Ketogenic Diet Plan Dos and Don’t

  • Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners completely. They are high in calories. Even sugar-free drinks are high in calories. Further, they can cause cravings and are associated with many health risks. (4)
  • Avoid all grains including wheat, rye, oats, corn, barley, rice, amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa. You cannot eat any product made from these cereals including bread, pizza, cookies, crackers, and pasta. If you feel hungry, you need to try keto friendly snacks such as such as crispy bacon slices, ham and cheese roll ups, celery sticks, pork rinds, hard boiled eggs, etc.
  • Avoid all forms of refined fat such as sunflower, canola, soybean, grapeseed, and corn oil.
  • Add a little more salt to your diet. We often have a negative stigma towards salt. This is because we have often heard that excessive sodium intake can cause heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems, and even dementia. This is true but only when you are on a high carbohydrate diet. When you eat more carbs your body naturally creates more insulin. The more the amount of insulin in your bloodstream, the more sodium is retained in the kidneys, causing kidney problems. But when you are in ketosis, it is less likely that you will see a spike in insulin levels. So taking a few extra grams of salt is not going to harm you. Further, it is going to make your food taste better.
  • Stay hydrated. This is because when you are in ketosis, your body with excrete more water and there are high chances that you may suffer from dehydration.
  • Do not skip your exercise routine. Regular exercise will help you transition from high-carb diet to high-fat diet easily. To get your body into the ketosis phase, you need to get rid of all the glucose present in it and the best way to do it is to exercise harder and faster.
  • Stress can prevent your body from entering the ketosis phase. This is because chronic stress triggers the secretion of cortisol, the stress hormone, which in turn elevates blood sugar level. High blood sugar level will prevent your body from burning fat. So, we recommend that you must seek psychological counseling before starting your ketogenic diet plan.

Carbohydrate has been a major part of our diet since ages. So, transitioning to the keto diet will take some time and patience. We hope this blog will helps you make a smooth transition. For more such helpful information, please keep reading our blog.

References and citations

  1. Gotter A. Keto diet: Benefits and nutrients. Medical News Today.
  2. Chapter 2 Shifts Needed To Align With Healthy Eating Patterns. Current Eating Patterns in the United States – 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines.
  3. Malhotra A, Redberg RF, Meier P. Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions. British Journal of Sports Medicine. Published August 1, 2017.
  4. Strawbridge H. Artificial sweeteners: sugar-free, but at what cost? Harvard Health Blog. Published January 8, 2018.

Last updated on September 30th, 2020 Team

Academic Association of Medicine is the go-to resource for all health-related issues. We are an independent body that seeks to offer general information on various health topics and unbiased reviews on health products.

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