What can I eat on a ketogenic diet?

By Dr. Stephen Phinney and the Virta Team

There are plenty of delicious high-fat, low-carb options available, and you can eat out or cook at home. A ketogenic diet can be adapted for various dietary restrictions, including vegetarianism or lactose or nut allergies.

This is a moderate protein diet, so it is important that you do not over consume this macronutrient.

Everyone has their own unique carbohydrate tolerance, so some people may be able to eat 100 grams of carbs a day and be in nutritional ketosis, and some may only been able to consume 20 grams of carbs a day to enter ketosis. Most people need to keep their carbohydrate intake below 50 grams per day to maintain nutritional ketosis, although some people need to start out with an even lower carb amount, especially if they have type 2 diabetes or another metabolic issue. Thus, to ensure ketosis you may want to keep your carbs closer to 30 grams per day.

A well formulated ketogenic diet is moderate in protein, so it is important that you do not over-consume this macronutrient.

Breakfast. You can enjoy breakfasts like scrambled eggs with cheese and sausage, bacon and fried eggs cooked in butter, cream cheese pancakes, full-fat yogurt with raspberries and almonds or even a breve latte from Starbucks.

Lunch. Salads are always a good option for lunch, and they can be loaded up with meat or tofu, cheese, avocado, veggies and a full-fat dressing like olive oil or ranch. If you’re eating out, you can get a lettuce-wrapped burger or sandwich from most restaurants or fast food outlets.

Snacks. Salted nuts and olives, salami and cheese, celery and almond butter or full-fat yogurt are all low carb snack options.

Dinner. Steak and brussel sprouts cooked in butter, salmon and asparagus with hollandaise sauce or a Thai curry made with tofu, coconut milk and veggies are great options you can make at home or get at a restaurant. For a quick restaurant or fast food meal, a lettuce wrapped burger, a taco salad or surf and turf with broccoli from Applebee’s. Dry wines are acceptable on a ketogenic diet. For dessert, berries and heavy whipping cream, low-carb ice cream or dark chocolate are options.

Back to Keto FAQ

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  1. Avatar

    What can you drink on the Keto diet.


    1. Virta Health

      Great question! There are a variety of non-alcoholic beverages that are appropriate on a well formulated ketogenic diet including water, unsweetened tea/coffee/iced tea, sparkling water, unsweetened almond or coconut milk and more. If you are looking for a guide on alcoholic beverages, I would encourage you to head over to this post: https://blog.virtahealth.com/low-carb-keto-alcohol-beer-wine-cocktails/


  2. Avatar

    What can you drink on the Keto diet.


  3. Avatar

    You’ve said in one of your presentations that WFKD is 75% fat 15% protein 10% Carbs.
    What is here 100%? I mean, do these percentages refer to total kcalories intake (it can’t refer to total gram intake, right?)
    I’m bit confused here.


    1. Virta Health

      You are correct. It is based on calorie intake, not gram intake. However, we don’t encourage our patients to follow macros. You can learn more about what a WFKD looks like on this post: https://blog.virtahealth.com/well-formulated-ketogenic-diet/


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