15 Things You Need to Know Before Starting the Keto Diet

Do I need a meal plan?

Fresh raw Prime Black Angus beef steaks on wooden board: Tenderloin, Denver Cut, Striploin, Rib EyeDavidchuk Alexey/ShutterstockMaking a formal meal plan is a great way to set yourself up for success. Plan for variety in your keto diet, so you don’t get bored. Keto meals are very high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates.

“This diet is great for carnivores and people who like lots of fatty foods,” says Keith-Thomas Ayoob, EdD, RD, FAND, associate clinical professor emeritus at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “The focus is on fat, however, not protein, because high fat is what keeps your body ‘ketotic.'”

What’s not allowed? “You’ll want to avoid processed foods and most packaged foods… sugary desserts and plain starches,” Dr. Axe says. He also recommends avoiding farm-raised fish, conventionally-raised beef and poultry, and hydrogenated/high omega-6 vegetable oils.

And you’ll want to watch your carbs. Healthy sources of carbs include non-starchy vegetables, like broccoli, leafy greens, cauliflower, asparagus, and cucumber, Dr. Slater says. “The bulk of your diet includes red meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, avocado, coconut oil, bacon, butter, and cheese,” Derocha says.

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