Jimmy — I’d love to hear you do a podcast with an expert on diabetes who could advise those of us on insulin. I have been VLC on WB (Wheat Belly) for two months (and on-again-off-again kinda sorta LC for twenty years!) and I still can’t get my blood sugars down where they should be. I hate taking so much insulin because it is a fat-storage hormone. I feel so sad and discouraged and stuck between a rock and a hard place …. do I decrease the insulin which will result in higher blood sugar, or do I increase the insulin (no! not MORE!) and get my blood sugars down to where Dr. Richard K. Bernstein, the LC diabetes expert, would like them to be? I am not losing on VLC and I have been totally honest and faithful for two months.
Now is the time to forget the 1980s strategy of low-fat/reduced-fat/fat-free. When you're assembling your keto diet food stash, go full-fat. And don't stress over the dietary cholesterol content, a factor of how much animal protein you eat, suggests a study published in The Journal of Nutrition. For the healthiest blood cholesterol levels, instead focus on consuming a higher ratio of unsaturated fats (flaxseed, olive oil, nuts) to saturated fats (lard, red meat, palm oil, butter).
I used an online keto calculator to set a goal for calories, carbs and fat. I mostly followed the suggestions, with the exception of fat. The calculator suggested over 200 grams of fat each day. That's tough to hit without loading ghee into my coffee or swigging some coconut oil before lunch. Can it be done? Absolutely. I just couldn't get there. For me, the focus was on reducing carbs. I let the other pieces just fall into place.
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Blanket statement: It’s always best to check with your doctor before starting on this regimen. With that said, “the keto diet isn’t recommended for those with liver or kidney disease, or someone with a medical condition, such as a gastrointestinal issue, who can’t metabolize high amounts of dietary fat,” says Sarah Jadin, a Los-Angeles based registered dietitian and founder of Keto Consulting, LLC. If you’ve had your gallbladder removed, the keto diet may be a no-go. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and people with certain rare genetic disorders shouldn’t try this diet.

How about plain Greek yogurt? Cabot is 63% calories from fat (23g fat, 12g carb, 18g protein), and Voskos is 69% (20g fat, 8g carb, 12g protein). I wasn’t sure I could like plain yogurt, but the Cabot is quite tasty. I guess when you don’t take all the fat out of something, you don’t need to add sugar to make it taste good. I have to see if I can find the Voskos locally.
For someone new to the ketogenic diet this is a great starting cookbook.  The explanations and details within the first quarter of the book are important in informing the reader about the different ingredients that will be utilized in the recipes that you may not be familiar with.  Not only do the authors do an excellent job of describing the ingredients and their purpose, but they also offer suggestions of their preferred brands.  Most ingredients and spices used in this book are staples in ketogenic households.  Finally, the kitchen tips provide insight into storing the final products as well as temperature suggestions for preheating and ingredients.
I ate a lot of bacon, cheese, eggs and meat (steak and chicken mostly). For a person whose eating philosophy is typically more plant-based and whole-food-focused, eating processed pork products every morning took a lot of personal persuasion. It also took a complete mental shift, because eating multiple pieces of bacon every day for weeks on end goes against everything I've been taught for personal health.

Eggs are highly regarded as one of the perfect breakfast foods on the ketogenic diet. They are versatile and can be incorporated into many different dishes in many different forms. Beyond being low-carb and high-fat, eggs have powerful nutritional value. Eating eggs can increase your levels of high-density lipoprotein (or HDL) cholesterol, which is known to many as the "good" kind, which can result in a lowered risk of heart disease and stroke. We recommend that you scramble over to the egg aisle right away.


I guess these products may indeed help some on their journey to keto success. They are certainly helping some keto entrepreneurs on their journey to financial success. I’ll admit, I even thought at one time that I, too, would try to cash in and bring keto replacement bread products and cauliflower pizza crusts to market — picture them in freezer cases across North America! (No doubt someone is already doing this.) I did buy up a bunch of creative keto domain names just in case.
Thanks so much for chronicling your experiences, Jimmy! You look fabulous. 🙂 I’ve been following closely, and ultimately attempting my own run at NK. Regarding dark chocolate, I’ll have to check out the Taza, as I’ve never heard of it before and it sounds a little similar to my favorite: Endangered Species 88% (chocolatebar.com). It has a slightly coarse mouth-feel — much more interesting than, say, Ghirardelli, which I find too smooth and bland — and the flavor has hints of coffee bean.
Ketosis takes some time to get into – about two weeks of low carb eating is required for the initial adaptation. During this time there will be bouts of sluggishness, fatigue, headaches, and some gastrointestinal issues as you adapt, often referred to as “keto flu“. Proper electrolyte intake will correct most of these issues. In addition, the “diet” aspect of this ketogenic diet plan – that is, the caloric restriction – shouldn’t be worried about. Weight loss will come as your body regulates appetite as it the addiction to sugar and processed food lessens, so restricting calories during the initial two weeks isn’t recommended. 

If you choose to make your sauces and gravies, you should consider investing in guar or xanthan gum. It’s a thickener that’s well known in modern cooking techniques and lends a hand to low carb by thickening otherwise watery sauces. Luckily there are many sauces to choose from that are high fat and low carb. If you’re in need of a sauce then consider making a beurre blanc, hollandaise or simply brown butter to top meats with.

Many ketogenic dieters also swear by MCT oil. (MCT simply stands for medium chain triglycerides.) MCT's energy-sustaining powers can be explained as follows: When MCT oil is metabolized in the body, it behaves more like a carbohydrate than a fat. Unlike other fats, MCT oil does not go through the lymphatic system. Instead, it is transported directly to the liver where it is metabolized so it releases energy like a carbohydrate and creates lots of ketones (which can be used for fuel) in the process.
When it comes to starting the keto diet (or any diet for that matter), there's one thing all experts agree on. You *must* have a plan. "Never try to wing a keto diet," says Julie Stefanski, R.D.N., C.S.S.D., L.D.N., a dietitian based in York, PA, who specializes in the ketogenic diet. "Set a start date and get prepared by reorganizing your pantry, planning out meal and snack options, and purchasing appropriate foods and dietary supplements," she says. "The biggest reason people have a hard time sticking with keto is that people don't have enough interesting foods to turn to, and high-carb favorites win out over good intention. If you didn't buy foods at the grocery store that fit the guidelines, there won't be an easy option in the fridge when you really need it." (A great place to start is this List of High-Fat Keto Foods Anyone Can Add to Their Diet.)
Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, is a doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist and author with a passion to help people get well using food as medicine. He’s the author of the books “Eat Dirt: Why Leaky Gut May Be the Root Cause of Your Health Problems,” “Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine” and the upcoming “Keto Diet: Your 30-Day Plan to Lose Weight, Balance Hormones, Boost Brain Health, and Reverse Disease” (February 2019, published by Little, Brown Spark). He’s a co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, a health company where the mission is to restore health, strength and vitality by providing history’s healthiest whole food nutrients to the modern world.

Typically you want to stay away from any brands that use filler ingredients like maltodextrin and dextrose, or high glycemic sweeteners like maltitol. Many low-carb products that claim low net carbs usually use these sugar alcohols. Many candies that are “sugar-free” also use these sweeteners. Avoid them where possible. These specific sweeteners respond in our body in a similar way sugar does.


The transition process can be hard, especially when moving away from a diet that is normally carbohydrate heavy. This can sometimes bring on flu-like symptoms for a couple of days – ‘keto flu’ is a thing! Symptoms of the 'keto flu' include brain fog and fatigue, moodiness, migraines, and muscle cramping or tightness, which usually occur as a result of electrolyte changes or dehydration.
Another benefit of meal prepping is that it greatly reduces your time spent in the kitchen. That’s right… you no longer have to work as a short order cook for 2 hours a day! This budget meal plan will make use of all the items we prep as well as the rest of the items on the shopping list. There is still some cooking required, but it will only be about 10-15 minutes a day, and is mostly just cooking broccoli/cauliflower. I would encourage you to check out this keto on a budget meal prep video we’ve put together as it was made specifically for this meal plan:
If your digestive system can tolerate dairy, you have tons of options to add fat and minimal carbs to your meals and snacks. It’s OK if certain or all of these products bother your stomach: There are other ways to make up for the loss. But don’t shy away from it because you’ve heard it isn’t good for you. It’s all about choosing the best varieties.
This is another big one. This is one step further to the dark side of food manufacturing. If a product is labeled low carb or sugar-free, it does not mean that it is good for you. Different manufacturers often label sugar alcohols as zero carbs, which they always are not. When trying low-carb or sugar-free products, do your research and make sure that you are not getting hidden carbs.
Avoid meat with condiments. Because, even if you’re enjoying a 4th of July barbecue with grass-fed burgers, a dollop of ketchup might be all it takes to kick you out of ketosis. (Depending on many factors, you may need to limit your total net carbs to 25-50 grams per day to stay in ketosis.) So, enhance your meats with natural spices and herbs instead.

Something that makes the keto diet different from other low-carb diets is that it does not “protein-load.” Protein is not as big a part of the keto diet as fat is. Reason being: In small amounts, the body can change protein to glucose, which means if you eat too much of it, especially while in the beginning stages, it will slow down your body’s transition into ketosis.


Today is day one! Breakfast was delicious. So happy I found your blog and thank you for the recipes and especially the shopping list! You’ve left me with no excuses and actually a little bit excited to begin this 21 day adventure. This is huge. I’ve done Paleo before, felt good, but it didn’t last long term. My body needs to be low carb, no sugar, so again, thank you.
Option 3: "Make your own keto 'lunchable' with cubes of grilled chicken, a slice of nitrate-free ham, cheese cubes, pickle slices, a hard-boiled egg, a few raw grape tomatoes, raw veggies like cauliflower or broccoli, a few almonds or walnuts, guacamole, and ranch dressing," says Stefanski. (Looking for something meat-free? Here are 29 Vegetarian Keto Recipes for Plant-Based Eaters.)

"Plenty of people jump right in, thinking all they have to do is cut carbs and increase fat. All of a sudden, they hit a wall and get 'keto flu.' They feel tired, lethargic, and experience headaches," Wittrock says. "The primary reason they get these symptoms is lack of the three primary electrolytes: sodium, potassium, and magnesium. If you're deficient in any of these, you'll suffer mentally and physically. This is the single biggest reason people fail on the keto diet."
The only way you can know how you respond to dairy is by slowly adding it to your meals. If you eat dairy and don’t notice any issues, you will probably be okay using dairy as a great source of fat. If however, you find that after eating yogurt or cheese you feel bloated, have cramps, get diarrhea or start vomiting, you will want to eliminate dairy until you figure out the cause. In some cases, people who were previously lactose intolerant have been able to add dairy into their diets after eliminating carbs, so you just never know. Food allergies are a tricky thing. 

Essentially, the keto diet for beginners works by “tricking” the body into acting as if its fasting (while reaping intermittent fasting benefits), through a strict elimination of glucose that is found in carbohydrate foods. Today the standard keto diet goes by several different names, including the “low-carbohydrate” or “very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet”(LCKD or VLCKD for short).

Polyunsaturated Fats. Naturally occurring polyunsaturated fats are good (like found in meat and fish).  But, processed polyunsaturated fats are bad for you. In general, polyunsaturated fats are unstable and not suitable for high-heat cooking. Polyunsaturated fats include omega 3 and omega 6 fats which are essential fatty acids that your body needs for brain function and cell growth.


Nina- I like to make different olive oil dips….I’ll roast a head of garlic and mix the roasted cloves w/a lot of olive oil- which I like to pour on my chicken, steak, salad- basically anything I’m eating b/c it is so so good. I will also mix olive oil w/parsley, crushed garlic, and salt- also really good. I do find that although I eat the same foods everyday- I don’t suffer from boredom, I think b/c the food is so delish.
Achieving optimal ketosis hinges on finding the right balance of macronutrients (or “macros” in keto-speak); these are the elements in your diet that account for the majority of your calories, a.k.a. energy—namely, fat, protein, and carbohydrates. By the way, it’s often “net grams” of carbohydrates that are counted toward your daily intake; “net” deducts the amount of fiber in a food from its carbohydrate total.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for taking the guesswork out of putting a plan together. Thank you for putting in the time, your dedication and commitment helping people you don’t even know. I get overwhelmed putting a plan together. What I think is healthy is not! I am starting the 3 day kickstart this week. I am putting my shopping list together. While doing so, I find myself asking- are these ingredients enough for 1 person or more? Should I increase the quantity of items to feed the family? I have a family of 5 and we all need to eat healthier. More specifically, my husband and I will be doing Keto. The kids (14, 18 & 20’year olds) will most likely do the dinners and snacks. Thank you for your help with this. Sorry in advance if you already answered these questions. I went through other comments and didn’t notice if it had been addressed. Thanks again!

Thank God I found this site. I started with another blogger’s site and book. It was dairy free, without stating that in the book description on Amazon. And because of this you consume a TON of MCT oil, avocado oil, etc. It was a rough two weeks and super expensive. And I barely lost anything despite adhering to it strictly. As I was trying to find the other blogger’s site I stumbled across IBIH. The name of the blog made me feel like I met a kindred spirit because I feel like I am that way. Anyway, without much organization on my part I jumped on the SCKC menu plan and in two weeks I dropped 6 pounds. The food was yummy, the prep didn’t take me all day, I felt satisfied, and it didn’t break the bank. I went off a bit due to losing a friend and other personal stuff that derailed me so I decided to start from scratch with the 3 day kickstart. I am on day two and so far so good. Without your site I can guarantee I would be off keto by now. I have recommended your site to anyone that will listen. Thank you for great recipes, the easy to use menu’s, and all the other info!


Cheese is one of my favorite foods. Sadly, most people think Velveeta and American cheese are cheese. Nope! Not even close. They are highly-processed, cheese-like products that you really don’t want to eat, no matter how low the carb counts might be. Hard cheeses like cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Swiss are better choices. Find the ones that you enjoy, and be sure to buy the full-fat versions. Selecting low-fat cheeses defeats the purpose, and won’t help you reach nutritional ketosis. Cheese is so versatile! Put on top of just about anything, or eat us all by itself. I’ve even found that spreading cream cheese (see below) between two slices of cheddar cheese is an excellent high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb snack. I’ve also found cheese adds the perfect extra ration of protein on days that I lift weights at the gym. Can you tell I love my cheese? 

Hi Stacey, I can’t give medical advice and definitely recommend following your doctor’s recommendations. You can ask him/her if low carb would be better suited for you. Also, you may want to double check with him/her if the kidney concern was related to high protein, because that is a common misconception about keto – it is not a high protein diet/lifestyle.
The Ketogenic Diet is unlike any other diet in the world in that it utilizes a high fat, minimal carbohydrate and moderate protein system in order to reset your body’s ability to burn unwanted, stored fat. By restricting  carbohydrates that are converted into glucose, you begin the journey to re-program your metabolism to start burning stored fats for fuel and energy instead of first burning beneficial glycogen that is stored in your muscles.
Because people with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, there’s a specific concern that the saturated fat in the diet may drive up LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels, and further increase the odds of heart problems. If you have type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor before attempting a ketogenic diet. They may recommend a different weight-loss diet for you, like a reduced-calorie diet, to manage diabetes. Those with epilepsy should also consult their doctor before using this as part of their treatment plan.
I know it may be challenging to follow a healthy low-carb diet, especially if you are new to it. I hope this comprehensive list of keto-friendly foods will help you make the right choices, whether your goal is to lose weight or manage a health condition such as type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and even cancer.
The keto diet works by eliminating carbohydrates from the your daily intake and keeping the body’s carbohydrate stores almost empty, therefore preventing too much insulin from being released following food consumption and creating normal blood sugar levels. This can help reverse “insulin resistance,” which is the underlying problem contributing to diabetes symptoms. In studies, low-carb diets have shown benefits for improving blood pressure, postprandial glycemia and insulin secretion. (7)
Hi Gigi, Low carb and keto is about the balance of macronutrients eaten (fat, protein and carbs), not specifically meat or lack thereof. Most people on keto do eat meat, though some people do vegetarian keto. Fat is actually necessary for many body processes. There is no issue for the kidneys with a high fat diet, but if you eat too much protein that isn’t great for the kidneys. It’s a common misconception that keto is high protein (it isn’t). Keto is great for diabetics as it naturally helps stabilize insulin. All of this being said, please know I’m not a doctor and you should consult your doctor on any medical questions or before starting any diet. If you have more questions that aren’t medical questions, I recommend our low carb & keto support group here.
There’s no denying that the ketogenic diet (keto for short) is the hottest new nutrition trend. And although it’s still controversial among dietitians, doctors, and other nutrition experts, there is some scientific research to back it up. In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that following a ketogenic diet can help control hunger levels and improve metabolic rate. If you want in on these weight-loss benefits, you need to make sure you are adhering to the diet’s key principles, which begins by stocking up on the right keto diet foods.
Although you'll be cutting way back on carbohydrates and sugar, some fruits are still okay to eat on the keto diet (though you'll still want to be mindful about quantity in order to remain in ketosis). The fruits that make the cut contain far fewer carbs than their off-limits cousins such as apples, pears, bananas, pineapples, papayas, grapes, and fruit juices in general.
I totally understand how you feel! 😊 But the truth is that most people can't do that... speaking from my own experience. When I started following a low-carb diet my palate was completely different to what it is now and I couldn't imagine skipping sweeteners, bread alternatives and other substitutes. They helped me transition into the way I eat now. These days I don't use any sweeteners - or just a small amount in occasional treats. I keep my diet very simple and often cook with just 5-10 ingredients.
You should note that cutting the amount of sugar that you consume can help you to answer questions like how to lose five pounds of extra weight in a week. The key thing here is that low carb weekly diet plans are efficient and effective when you learn not only to consume fewer carbs but also how to control the portions and select snacks which are healthier to take when you get hungry in the day. Taking a snack that is rich in fat and protein will definitely last you longer than going for one that is full of carbs and sugar. This, in turn, means that you will be going to get hungry again after a short period of time and there is a possibility that you will take another snack repeating the very same vicious cycle.
Hi James, One of the best things about a low carb or keto diet is you probably won’t be hungry. It’s a very satiating lifestyle. As for calories, they still matter, but whether you need to count or not varies from person to person. Some people succeed by just eating low carb or keto foods, others need to be more strict and count. If you want to find out the right amounts for you, check the macro calculator.
Carbs in fruits and veggies do count, but you don’t add up the carbs and sugar. Sugar is already included in the carbs – it’s just listed separately on labels because some people want to see a breakdown of how much of the carbs are sugars (versus other, complex carbs). If it says 2g carbs and 2g sugar, it means there is 2g total carbs and all of them are sugar (in this case).
One downside to a ketogenic diet for weight loss is the difficulty maintaining it. “Studies show that weight loss results from being on a low-carb diet for more than 12 months tend to be the same as being on a normal, healthy diet,” says Mattinson. While you may be eating more satiating fats (like peanut butter, regular butter, or avocado), you’re also way more limited in what’s allowed on the diet, which can make everyday situations, like eating dinner with family or going out with friends, far more difficult. Because people often find it tough to sustain, it’s easy to rely on it as a short-term diet rather than a long-term lifestyle.

Thankyou for the breakdown! I’m quite excited to get started. I’m a T1 newly diagnosed (6m) and the hospital educator had me eating 30gm Carbs per meal which saw me a) Nearly vomit every meal as it was too much food b) gain a ridiculous amount of weight! (never really been a big carb eater, but my issue was not eating frequently!) (15+kg gained!) so bring on 2019 with a better relationship with food and a better relationship with myself, knowing how and what works with for my body. blessings xx😘
I was a vread and sweet person as well. Once you start you will not believe that you don’t crave those things. It was not hard as I thought but what helped with the lack of cravings is starting my day with the coffee, ghee and tablespoon of coconut/mct oil. I don’t do heavey cream . Once you begin youll see thats the least worry you will have. You can do it

Some shellfish like oysters and mussels contain some carbohydrates so take that into consideration when eating out. The easiest thing to do is PLAN. Before you go out, find the restaurant’s menu and nutrition info if possible (if not just read the menu carefully and don’t be afraid to ask questions). This is just another reason to make sure you are using My Fitness Pal to calculate your meals, and if you have the app, you can add them while you wait for your food!


Today we are sharing this extensive Keto Food List and FREE printable Keto Grocery List. If you scroll down to the bottom you will find links to purchase some keto food products that you may have a hard time finding in your local grocery store. When I first started keto I had a hard time figuring out what I could and couldn’t eat, which is why I decided to create this huge list for you!
I have PCOS as well. Research a PCOS-specific diet. It often overlaps with Keto or Paleo recipes. But you have to also avoid holstein cow produced dairy products, red meat, pork, soy products (which are in almost every processed food) in addition to carbs and sugar. And absolutely avoid anything you can’t be sure doesn’t have extra hormones injected into it (like many mass-farmed meats). Vigorous exercise is also necessary to lose weight when you have PCOS (It’s much, much more difficult for us to lose weight than people with normal hormonal balances).
For both keto and Bulletproof diets, opt for full-fat, grass-fed, raw, and organic dairy to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3s and CLA. Dairy is a great source of fat on a ketogenic diet, but be mindful not over-do the protein. Although milk (yep, even raw, full-fat, or goat milk) is too high in lactose sugars, you can stay in ketosis with foods like butter, ghee, and colostrum. Avoid sweetened or low-fat dairy, evaporated or condensed milk, and buttermilk to keep your fat intake high.
The cyclical diet is another one that focuses on more carbs. This is more of a cycle—hence the name. You’ll get five days where you follow the standard diet and then two days where you get more carbs. This sort of diet could be perfect for those who struggle to stick to a plan or just know they wouldn’t be able to last without any potatoes, bread or pasta at all. Think of this like your 5:2 diet, where you get two days off.
The common misconception about the keto diet is that it contains no fibre, and instead the dieter is left eating mountains of bacon rashers, bulletproof coffees, butter and steak. In reality, a well-formulated keto diet will consist of an array of wholefoods including leafy greens, healthy fats from nuts, seeds and coconut, and a small amount of fruit. When keto is done properly, quality fibre is provided in abundance.
For those who love their potatoes, pasta, and even fruit, this is a diet that will change your lifestyle completely. You’ve probably already guessed that the pasta and other wheat foods are not allowed. Potatoes and other starchy foods, like legumes and beans, are also on the banned list and that makes sense to many. But fruit? Is fruit not allowed?

Although you'll be cutting way back on carbohydrates and sugar, some fruits are still okay to eat on the keto diet (though you'll still want to be mindful about quantity in order to remain in ketosis). The fruits that make the cut contain far fewer carbs than their off-limits cousins such as apples, pears, bananas, pineapples, papayas, grapes, and fruit juices in general.
Herbs are great ketogenic foods that pack some of the most powerful antioxidants.  Bitter herbs like ginger, turmeric, and parsley stimulate digestive function by improving gut health. They support enzyme and bile secretion from the liver as well as the gallbladder. Consequently, food transit time increases, fats are better digested, and detoxification pathways are provided a boost. (2).
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