Eating is a balancing act. You need to get enough variety in to meet the macro and micronutrients your body needs to thrive. However, when following a specific eating plan such as a keto diet, it can be challenging to do so. That's why it’s crucial to incorporate a variety filled diet with as many nutrient-dense foods as you can. Read on below to explore six of our favorite, dietitian approved, keto*-friendly foods!
Almonds are a great, keto*-friendly food to always have on hand. Not only do they contain good-for-you fats, protein and fiber, they also contain other nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium and potassium. In fact, a one-ounce serving of almonds provides 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, which can help promote feelings of fullness. With their crunchy texture and delicious flavor, almonds are an amazing snack for on-the-go eating or pair perfectly as a “crouton” in your salads and bowls.
The incredible egg is a convenient source of 13 vitamins and minerals, is a great addition to a balanced diet, and just so happens to be a keto*-friendly fan favorite food as well. Plus, a large egg delivers 6 grams of protein for just 70 calories and has no carbs! Fun fact, eggs are also one of the most concentrated sources of choline. Choline is a b-like vitamin that 90% of Americans aren’t getting enough of. You need choline to support brain health, memory, muscle function and more.
Contrary to what you may have heard, you should be eating the whole egg, yolk included, to reap the full benefits of the 13 vitamins and minerals eggs provide. Research shows you can include one egg per day in a balanced diet without an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
This leafy green contains a great variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and iron. Spinach won’t add many carbohydrates to your diet (with less than 1 gram per cup), making it an excellent addition to any keto*-friendly meal plan. To reap the full benefits of the dietary fiber it contains (roughly 1 gram per cup), you’ll want to volumize your meals with this green beauty. Think of adding it to your smoothies, pureeing it in your keto*-friendly muffins or tossing it into your salad bowl with your romaine for the added benefit of more color and nutrients.
Avocados really are the green goddess that everyone, keto or not, just loves. Just one serving (or 1/3 of a medium avocado) provides about 80 calories and nearly 20 different nutrients, many of which are considered heart-healthy, including unsaturated fat, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin E, potassium and more.
Consider replacing traditional butter, margarine, egg, yogurt, cheese or processed meats with an equivalent amount of avocado.
Fatty fish like salmon are swimming with nutrients, including protein, good-for-you fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. A 3-ounce serving of salmon provides 17 grams of protein and 370 IU of vitamin D. You’ll find plenty of varieties at your local grocer, but when it comes to choosing your fish, be sure to do your homework. Seafood should be purchased either from a refrigerated case, on ice or from the freezer section. Refer to this cheat sheet from the Food and Drug Administration to ensure you’re purchasing, storing, and cooking your seafood safely.
Just like any other cut of meat, choose the seafood choice that suits your lifestyle. While wild-caught is preferred for many, farm-raised is becoming quite popular, with boutique farms popping up across the globe using sustainable systems to produce safe, affordable and delicious fish. And of course, canned salmon is another great, and affordable, option as well!
A fan favorite thanks to its versatile cooking methods, broccoli is a great way to get a variety of vitamins and minerals in your diet. In fact, 1 cup of broccoli has 6 grams of carbs and contains 90% of the daily value for vitamin C alongside other nutrients, like vitamin K, folate, and potassium, as well. Broccoli is also a decent source of fiber, with 2 grams per cup, it can help promote digestive health and keep you feeling fuller longer.
TO GET THE MOST NUTRIENTS IN YOUR DIET, EAT THE RAINBOW
In order to live a healthy, well-balanced keto*-friendly lifestyle, make sure you’re consuming a variety-filled diet. There’s a reason health professionals advise you to eat the rainbow because each and every color present in whole foods provides your body with an array of nutrients! Whether you’re choosing one of the six foods above, or finding other favorites of your own, try amping up the variety in your meal plan so you can reap the benefits and conquer your keto goals.
*Always consult your physician before starting an eating plan that involves regular consumption of high-fat foods.