The keto diet is popular for many reasons. Whether you want to lose weight fast, improve your body composition, boost your immune health, or take better care of your body – there is a host of different benefits to enjoy.
You’ve decided to give this lifestyle a try, but you’re still a bit uncertain where to start. Information on the internet and even in magazines or books can feel a bit overwhelming. The truth is, there are different ways to follow a keto lifestyle. One is not necessarily better than the rest. Remember that your body, your circumstances, and your goals are unique to you.
Someone who wants to lose weight will have different goals than another who wants to build muscle mass.
Keeping this in mind, there are a few “golden rules” that you can follow on the keto diet. This, at the very least, make it a bit easier to understand how the diet should be implemented.
By now, you have already seen a countless number of posts tell you to stop eating carbs and move to fats. Sure, it’s easy to read this – but without more precise guidance, you may still feel somewhat lost.
This is why I decided to set up a quick post with what you should avoid on the keto diet. One major problem that people have with the diet is the inability to effectively cut their carb intake. If you can’t lower your carb intake, then you won’t enter ketosis – and that’s the whole point of the keto diet!
You will notice that some foods have much more carbs that you previously thought. This is where that major issue comes in. You think the foods you eat are low in carbs – but they might not be. Thus, looking at a list of common areas where carbs tend to sneak into a keto diet helps you adjust your diet a bit. In turn, this could give you better (and faster) results.
The Keto Diet No-No List
Reading a bit about the keto diet online will give you many lists of what to eat. Now, these are helpful – don’t get me wrong.
The problem I had, however, is a lack of “what not to eat on the keto diet”.
In the beginning of my experience with the keto diet – I initially thought the diet was not as effective as I was led to believe. I also didn’t experience signs of my body entering ketosis.
After some investigation, I discovered that I wasn’t really in ketosis. Why? Because I was still consuming the wrong foods.
Guides only told me what foods to include in my diet. They often failed to give me details on the foods that I should eliminate. Thus, I found myself thinking that simply removing the more obvious foods is important. I was wrong!
Following a few adjustments to my diet, I was able to see real results. My body entered ketosis, and after a simple test – I found that my ketone levels was now as expected.
Without further delays, let’s take a look at the most important foods you need to avoid if you are trying to achieve success with the keto diet.
Keto Packaged Foods
First on my list is something that you might not expect. When you enter a shop and see a treat that reads “keto friendly” – the first thought might be to grab it. You feel happy that companies are considerate to people who are following this low-carb high-fat diet.
Unfortunately, these companies are mostly after your money – and may not care the very least about your desire to remain in ketosis.
Before I continue, I do want to take a moment to make something clear. I’m NOT saying that every single product on the market that claims to be keto friendly should be considered bad.
There are a few companies able to produce highly efficient products for the keto diet – products that really do have low carb content. This, however, is not always the case.
Many products have been found to promote “keto friendly” or “low carb” on their labels, when they actually have hidden carbohydrates. This means consuming these products is going to take your body out of ketosis. This pulls you off track – and could even cause some side-effects to develop.
My suggestion is to always study the label for a product VERY well. With a keto friendly product, more ingredients is bad. Try to choose those products that have fewer ingredients. You should be able to recognize every ingredient listed on the product’s label.
Some companies have been found to lie on their packaging too. In 2014, a company that makes pasta had to pay a fine of $8 million. This was after officials examined their “low carb” pasta variations. It was found that the “low carb” pasta actually had a normal amount of carbohydrates – in comparison to other pastas from the brand.
Who doesn’t love some grains with dinner? If you’re planning to be successful with the keto diet – then I really hope you didn’t just raise your hand.
Sure, grains are filling and a great way to make a delicious meal “complete”. The problem, however, is that most grains are high in carbs. You’re aiming to reduce your carbs, so adding grains to your diet is going to have the opposite effect.
There’s a variety of grain products that you should look out for. Some of these are obvious and easy to avoid. Others may be lurking around in the ingredient list on product labels.
A few examples of grains and grain-based foods you want to avoid on the keto diet include:
- White flour
- Corn tortillas
Take note that bread and pastas are generally made from grains. With this in mind, include these foods in the list of grains to avoid. This would obviously account for pizza bases, crackers, cookies, and pies too – they all use flour and other grain-based ingredients.
“Eat your veggies”… that’s something we’re all familiar with. Since a young age, your parents have been doing their best to help you realize the importance of vegetables each day. Even scientists have shown that the nutrients provided by veggies are superior to those found in supplements.
We know that we need to get our daily dose of veggies – but did you know that some vegetables are actually “bad” for the keto diet? I’m placing “bad” in quotes – why? Because these veggies are not bad for your health. Instead, they are rich in carbohydrates. This means they will interfere with your ability to continue enjoying the benefits of the keto diet.
Try to gain a maximum of 15 grams net carbohydrates from vegetable sources each day when on the keto diet. This is a good number to aim for, although some prefer to go a bit lower to around 12 grams.
When choosing vegetables to add to dinner, lunch, or any other meal of the day, always take the carb content into account.
The following list gives you an overview of vegetables that are better avoided:
- Sweet potatoes
Just like there are some vegetables that contain too many carbs for the keto diet, take note that certain fruits are similar. If you do not plan ahead for fruits that are low in carbs, it could end up pushing your intake of carbohydrates too high.
This means your body will not enter ketosis. In case you are already in ketosis, your body may start to turn to the sugars in these high-carb fruit as a source of energy. This means your progress may feel lost and your body now needs to enter ketosis all over again.
Always consider the sugar and carb content of fruit before having a bite. An Apple, for example, is a very health fruit – yet it has a high carb content. This makes is inappropriate when you are trying to get the best results on the keto diet.
Another fruit to avoid eating would be bananas. This fruit gives you a high dose of electrolytes, sure, but it is also high in carbs…
Candy & Treats
Everything deserves an opportunity to treat themselves from time to time, sure. Unfortunately, mistakes on the keto diet are not something that you can really afford. When you have a “cheat day” on the keto diet, it’s going to upset the ketosis that you have reached. Your body is thrown back into its old habits – and your progress kinda goes out the window.
This means the more “traditional” selection of candies, chocolates, and other treats should now be off the table. Candy bars, jelly babies, jelly beans, that creamy ice cream – these are treats all packed with carbs. They are anti-keto foods!
So, does this mean you can’t treat yourself at all? Absolutely not! In fact, there are many delicious treats you can prepare on the keto diet – and they will contribute to your daily fat intake, while reducing the carb load.
Try making your own batch of Keto Cups. These homemade treats are sure to satisfy your tastebuds and won’t overload your body with carbs. That’s a win-win in my eyes!
What’s more, you only need three ingredients to make your own Keto Cups:
- Chocolate Chips
- Coconut Oil
- Coconut Butter
You’ve guessed it – keto cups are going to be an explosion of coconut in your mouth. It might seem a little overwhelming, but it’s really great to enjoy as a treat – trust me!
Just be sure to shop carefully for chocolate chips. You should be opting for dark chocolate chips. Remember that dark chocolate is actually a treat you can enjoy on the keto diet. Alternatively, you can also look for chocolate chips sweetened with stevia. This is a good alternative if you do not like the bitter taste of dark chocolate.
The process to make these is quick and easy:
- Start by melting the chocolate chips. Use a saucepan over boiling water to achieve the right consistency without burning the chocolate. Add some coconut oil to the melted mixture. Combine the two ingredients by stirring.
- Add the melted chocolate to small silicone cups.
- Soften the coconut butter – either by allowing it to stand outside for a while, or by adding it to the microwave for a few seconds. Add a layer of the coconut butter above the chocolate.
- Use the melted chocolate mixture that remains to create a third layer in each cup.
- Add the cups to the fridge and wait for them to become firm – then enjoy 🙂
Other Food To Avoid
Now that we’ve considered crucial things to avoid on the keto diet, there are still a few remaining no-nos that you should take note of.
It is better to be well educated on this topic – ensuring you do not cross that low carb barrier on a daily basis. Success is only achievable when you follow a keto diet through – which means keeping your carb intake to less than 10% of your daily calories.
Apart from the foods that I’ve already shared, here are a few more that you should not overlook:
- Potato chips
- French fries
- Commercial breakfast cereal
- Vitamin water
- Sport drinks
- Regular beer
- Condensed milk
- Low-fat yogurt
- Fat-free yogurt
- Creamed cottage cheese
- Hot chocolate
- Root beer
- Grape soda
- Ginger ale
- Iced tea (sweetened variants)
- Pina coladas
My Take-Home Message
The keto diet is wonderful and really works – but you need to realize that results will not simply fall into your lap. Just like any other diet that can work, you need to do your part, put in the effort, and then expect results.
This means knowing what to eat and what to avoid too. Failure to recognize high carb content in your favorite foods, and continuing to eat these, is going to push you off the road to success with a keto lifestyle.
Take a good look at the foods that I’ve shared with you today. These are the “no no” foods that have too many carbs in them. Sure, it can be tough to stop including these foods and drinks in your daily diet (who doesn’t love cuddling up with a pizza and a cold one on a Friday night!) – there are alternatives that still allow you to enjoy every meal.
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