Being on a diet requires not only discipline but also knowledge. You need to know what you should be eating in the first place. Likewise, you must be completely aware of what you shouldn’t be consuming. Not knowing either of these two would make it difficult for you to reach your health goals. If you are on a ketogenic diet, check out our list of the 15 foods to avoid if you don’t want to reduce the rate of fat loss.
- 1) Food Touted as Low-Fat, Low-Carb or Containing Zero Calories
- 2) Processed or Packaged Foods with Questionable Substances
- 3) Grains, Quinoa, and White Potatoes
- 4) Sugar
- 5) Pork and Fish Produced Through Factory Farming
- 6) Artificial Sweeteners
- 7) Regular Milk
- 8) Alcohol
- 9) Refined Oils
- 10) Sweetened Beverages
- 11) Fruits and Fruit Juices
- 12) Soy and Soy Milk
- 13) Legumes
- 14) Starchy Vegetables
- 15) Reduced Fat and Fat-Free Dairy Products
1) Food Touted as Low-Fat, Low-Carb or Containing Zero Calories
There are many low-fat, low-carb, and zero-calorie food products in the market. It’s common to see zero-calorie, low-calorie, or low-fat energy bars that target people who want to cut down their weight, for example. Even chewing gums and mints are advertised with these characteristics as well.
The problem is that you need foods that can give you a lot of fat. When you are on a ketogenic diet, more than half of your daily calorie intake should come from fat. It’s counterproductive to consume low-fat and zero-calorie products. You might feel full, but you won’t be able to maintain your diet.
2) Processed or Packaged Foods with Questionable Substances
Some of the substances you should be wary of that can be found in processed food products include the emulsifying agent carrageenan, sulfites, and bisphenol A (BPA). Manufacturers also usually add a lot of preservatives, sugar, wheat gluten, and trans fats that can clog your arteries.
Products containing almond milk have carrageenan while dried fruits and gelatin are preserved with sulfites. Half a cup of wheat gluten provides only one gram of fat for every two grams of carbohydrates. A single piece of candy can have nine grams of carbohydrates with practically no protein or fat. Likewise, a tablespoon of margarine merely has 0.4 grams of fat.
3) Grains, Quinoa, and White Potatoes
When we say avoid grains, we are referring to all of them. This includes whole-grain products that use barley, millet, rice, buckwheat, bulgur, oats, corn, wheat, and sorghum. It’s understandable if you initially find it hard to resist these foods. After all, people practically eat bread every single day in the form of toast, bagel, or sandwiches.
Moreover, breaded meals have been the go-to choice for busy people. It’s easy for you to go to a fast food restaurant and order your favorite inexpensive hotdog sandwich or quarter-pound burger – the sheer versatility and availability of grain-based food is what makes it difficult to avoid. You have to remember that grains are a huge source of carbohydrates that are then turned into glucose and fat.
Thankfully, there are alternatives. For example, keto bagels do exist as a substitute for the ordinary toasted bread during breakfast. Likewise, people who are used to eating rice can research on making cauliflower rice.
Apart from bread and other grain-based food products, sugar is another substance that’s very painful to ignore. We all know the simple joys of eating candies and chocolate bars since we were kids. After eating something salty, we crave for something sweet like cookies, ice cream, and sweet corn snacks. However, there is a way to get your fill of sweet-tasting foods without going back to sugar.
Known as fat bombs for those in the ketogenic diet community, these small and relatively sweet snacks are your great substitute for gummy bears and chocolates. As their name implies, these are made up of fatty foods that help you complete your required fat intake every day.
You can have one in the afternoon or after your exercise routine—these are basically energy balls with the carbohydrates replaced by healthy fat. Thankfully, you’ll be losing interest in sugary foods as you progress in your ketogenic diet.
5) Pork and Fish Produced Through Factory Farming
While it’s easy for companies and corporations to produce pork and fish through factory-farming, their method does not bode well for people practicing a keto diet. Even though the food is practically the same, the difference in how it is made matters a lot. Pork and fish that have been mass-produced in factories usually contain high amounts of omega 6 fatty acids, which can lead to inflammation.
Moreover, factory-farmed fish could also have dangerous amounts of mercury in them. Of course, the products resulting from factory-farmed pork should be avoided. Apart from the likelihood that these hotdogs and sausages have harmful nitrates in them, they also don’t pack as many nutrients as grass-fed animal products. Thus, your best option is to search for animal products that haven’t been fed with grains.
6) Artificial Sweeteners
Similar to sugar, you should discontinue consuming any foods that use artificial sweeteners. Apart from making you crave sweets and sugary products once again, they can also be bad for your blood sugar. Avoid using Splenda or any other artificial sweetener containing saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, or sucralose. If you can’t resist, you must at least use them in moderation to avoid disrupting your ketogenic diet.
7) Regular Milk
There are several reasons why people on a ketogenic diet should avoid milk. For one, it packs a lot of carbohydrates—a 200-milliliter glass of milk can have up to 10 grams of carbohydrates. If you drank three times a day, you’d already get 30 grams. Secondly, digesting milk isn’t easy compared to other dairy products. This is due to the process known as pasteurization that sterilizes and kills off some organisms.
If you can’t imagine yourself without any milk for your next cup of coffee or team, you can get a similar flavor by using cream instead. A tablespoon of cream only has around 0.5 grams of carbohydrates and more than 75 percent of its calories come from fat, which is good for your ketogenic diet. Moreover, you can still enjoy milk but do it in moderation and get one that is raw and full of fat.
There are many diets out there that require you to entirely eliminate alcoholic drinks. But if you’re on a ketogenic diet, you only have to be selective when it comes to your alcohol. Like with other foods, we need to focus on the number of carbohydrates in each serving. Two of the alcoholic drinks you should be wary of are ciders and beers. Likewise, the sweet and strong alcoholic drink known as liqueur is prohibited.
On the flipside, the alcoholic drinks you can consume are more numerous. This is due to the fact the liquors don’t really have a worrying amount of carbohydrates. The truth is that the mixers used for alcoholic drinks are likely more loaded with carbs. If you want to maintain your state of ketosis, you can try cognac, gin, vodka, scotch, whiskey, rum, tequila, and brandy. Just don’t forget to keep things in moderation for both health and safety reasons.
9) Refined Oils
When it comes to using oil, do try to avoid the refined variants since they are unhealthy for you and they are known as inflammatory oils. Some of these refined oils include cottonseed, grapeseed, canola, corn, sesame, peanut, and sunflower oil. Similarly, you’re better off without margarine due to the number of trans fats it has.
On the other hand, unprocessed oils such as virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, and macadamia nut oil are allowed. All three of these are wonderful ways to get your fill of both saturated and unsaturated fat.
10) Sweetened Beverages
Apart from milk and certain alcoholic products, you should also be mindful of sweetened drinks. These beverages generally have a lot of calories and carbohydrates. For example, one can of soda has a whopping 36 grams of carbohydrates and only 0.2 grams of protein—it has no fat content at all. Worse, a diet-soda has no carbs, protein, or fat. It’s just a beverage containing artificial sweeteners that make you crave more sweet foods while also ruining your state of ketosis.
11) Fruits and Fruit Juices
Sadly, even fruits aren’t good for your ketogenic diet. Whether you got them completely fresh or in a bottle, these juices typically have 18 grams of carbohydrates, 0.1 grams of protein, and no fat content whatsoever. Smoothies have a bit of fat and fiber to make you feel satisfied, but it’s far from being acceptable. Fruit only offer about 0.2 grams of fat while delivering a staggering 34 grams of carbohydrates.
On a related note, vegetable juices and smoothies are just as bad for your diet. Moreover, tropical fruits such as papayas, bananas, mangoes, and pineapples should not be in your diet. The same goes for tangerine and grapes since they both have high amounts of carbohydrates. Dried fruit including raisins and dates can still be consumed as long as you don’t eat a lot.
12) Soy and Soy Milk
Soy milk might not be dairy, but it isn’t great for your ketogenic diet as well. The common belief is that it’s a great alternative to milk since it is low in carbs and has a good amount of fat and protein. Soy milk typically gives you only two grams of net carbohydrates since your body won’t take in the remaining two grams of fiber. However, this drink isn’t a healthy option for your keto diet.
For one, soybeans have phytoestrogen, which is a chemical compound derived from plants. When your body gets a lot of phytoestrogens, there is a good chance that you will experience an increase in breast size. This is because the phytoestrogens stimulate the breast tissues to develop. Also, the same chemical compounds could cause a hormonal imbalance.
Secondly, soy and soy milk are highly processed food products that have gut irritants known as phytates and lectins. Lectins can impede the nutrient absorption of your body while also leading to inflammation. Consequently, phytates cling to minerals such as iron and manganese to stop them from being fully absorbed by your body. Thus, try to get rid of tofu, soy milk, and soy sauce.
Legumes including peanuts, lentils, beans, and chickpeas aren’t recommended for your keto diet. They are vegetables packing a lot of carbohydrates. In addition, legumes have lectins and phytates, which we’ve already warned you about when we tackled soy and soy milk. The digestions of these legumes aren’t easy and they can even lead to the leaky gut syndrome, which is believed to cause chronic inflammation.
14) Starchy Vegetables
These kinds of vegetables are high in carbohydrates. If you are on another diet, starchy vegetables might actually be great to keep you fit and improve your health. After all, these are vegetables loaded with vitamins and minerals. However, the sheer amount of carbohydrates in potatoes, yams, corn, peas, and parsnips makes them bad for people on a ketogenic diet.
15) Reduced Fat and Fat-Free Dairy Products
Finally, it’s time to give up on dairy products that get rid of what you need for your keto diet in the first place. What you require are sour cream, butter, and yogurt that are full of fat. Otherwise, you shouldn’t be buying them. For example, a container of fat-free yogurt gives 16 grams of carbohydrates. Similarly, two tablespoons of reduced-fat whip cream have three grams of carbs. Evaporated skimmed milk has 10 grams of protein, but it has 14 grams of carbs and just 0.2 grams of fat.
Here’s a video of foods to avoid when you are on a keto diet:
Overall, you need to practice discipline if you want to accomplish your diet goals. Products high in fat aren’t ideal if they also have a lot of carbohydrates. It’s undoubtedly going to be difficult to follow these tips, but you shouldn’t give up. Likewise, don’t forget that there are alternatives for these foods.
Fat bombs exist so that you don’t have to rely on chocolate bars and candies to satisfy your sweet tooth. Secondly, refined oils can be replaced by unprocessed oils like virgin coconut oil and olive oil. Moreover, moderation is what will help in maintaining your ketosis even if you do consume some of these foods.
We hope that our guide for the ketogenic diet will help you succeed in becoming a healthier individual. If you have any queries, feel free to send us a comment.
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