A keto diet keeps carbohydrates so low that your body uses fat instead of carbohydrates for fuel, but there are different ways to achieve it. You can vary the amount of the other macros, which are protein and fat, or change when you have them.
These are four keto diet variations that may be worth considering as you plan your keto diet. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any type of new diet or meal plan. Then head to Netrition to see which keto-friendly foods and snacks can make your keto diet easier, more successful, and more fun.
Ketogenic Diet Basics
Carbs are key on a ketogenic diet. To achieve ketosis and stay in it, you need to keep your daily carb intake to under a certain level. On a keto diet, you may keep carbohydrate intake around 25 to 50 grams per day. That is a lot lower than a typical American diet, and can be challenging. The rest of your calories come from protein and fat.
Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD)
A standard ketogenic diet (SKD) was developed to manage conditions such as epilepsy. It is traditionally high in fat, so you may be looking for foods that are known as “fat bombs.” On an SKD, you may get about 10% of calories from carbs, 20% from protein, and 70% from fat. On a 1,600-calorie diet, that works out to about 40 grams of carbs, 80 grams of protein, and 120 grams of fat each day.
Targeted Ketogenic Diet
On a targeted keto diet (SKD), the carb count is a little higher to accommodate the needs of more active people, such as athletes, who burn off a lot of energy while exercising. You might get 15% of calories from carbs, 20% from protein, and 65% from fat. On a 1,600-calorie daily diet, that amounts to 60 grams of carbs, 80 grams of protein, and 115 grams of fat.
You might aim to consume the extra carbs right after workouts to replace glycogen stores. That gives more energy for the next workout.
Cyclical Ketogenic Diet
On a cyclical keto diet (CKD), you cycle in and out of ketosis. Some days are “keto” days on a traditional keto diet. The other days have high carb intakes, with a breakdown of around 70% calories from carbs, 15% calories from fat, and 15% calories from protein. On a 1,600-calorie diet, that amounts to about 280 grams of carbs, 60 grams of protein, and 27 grams of fat.
With such a high carb intake on “non-keto” days, it is important to emphasize healthy sources of carbs. High-fiber carbs are more filling, Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and beans are examples. High-fiber foods at Netrition include Fiber Gourmet Pasta and NuNaturals Oat Fiber.
High-Protein Ketogenic Diet
A high-protein ketogenic diet (HPKD) gets about 5% of calories from carbs, 35% from protein, and 60% from fat. That works out to 20 grams of carbs, 140 grams of protein, and 100 grams of fat each day on a 1,600-calorie diet.
The HPKD can be easier to follow than a SKD due to having more protein and less fat. That means you can rely more on lean proteins such as chicken breast, fish, and egg whites. The HPKD also may be better for bariatric surgery patients if they need more protein. On the other hand, this diet can make it harder to hit ketosis since the body is able to turn protein into glucose, a type of carbohydrate, to use for fuel instead of fat.
Foods on a Ketogenic Diet
On a keto diet, you will be restricting high-carbohydrate foods. Examples include the following.
- Grains and grain products, such as cereal, bread, rice, crackers, and pasta.
- Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes, corn, and peas
- Beans and lentils
- Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks, sweetened coffee and tea, and sports drinks
- Sugar-sweetened foods, such as candy, cookies, cake, pies, jam, and many condiments
Your diet may be highest in foods that are high in fat and/or protein, and low in carbs, such as the following.
- Meat, poultry, fish, and seafood
- Yogurt, cottage cheese, and cheese
- Butter, cream, and oil
- Nuts and seeds
- Lettuce and other leafy green vegetables
Help with a Ketogenic Macro Diet
There are ways to make it easier to stay on a keto diet and to achieve your macro goals. It is helpful to use a tracker that counts your macros for you so that you can be sure your counts are accurate.
It can also be helpful to get certain foods to overcome challenges such as loving carbs or not getting enough protein. Netrition has all sorts of keto-friendly foods that include low-carb swaps for high-carb foods, and high-protein versions of snacks, meals, and desserts.
These are some keto-friendly foods at Netrition that can help you stay on track.
- Protein Chips and Pretzels
- Protein Bars and Protein Meat Bars
- Bean, Fish, and Cheese Snacks
- High-Protein Mashed Potatoes, Pasta, and Breads
- Keto-Friendly Granola and Cereal
- Sugar-Free Salad Dressings, Marinades, Syrups, BBQ Sauces, and other condiments
They are convenient, high-quality, and delicious. You can find ones that fit special needs, such as being dairy-free, gluten-free, or paleo, for example.
Another consideration on a keto diet is feeling deprived if you see people eating foods that you love, but you feel that you are not able to eat them. Again, Netrition has plenty of low-carb, sugar-free options for a sweet tooth. These are some examples of Netrition products that can help you stick to a keto diet without feeling deprived.
- Sugar-Free Chocolates, Candy Bars, and Caramels
- Keto-Friendly Baking Mixes
- Sugar-Free Gummy and Hard Candies
Staying Healthy on a Weight Loss Diet
Remember that the long-term effects of a keto diet are not completely known yet. There are some concerns over heart health and kidney and liver health, for example, from following a keto diet for a long time due to the possibility of a high intake of saturated fat and protein.
There can also be side effects from a keto diet. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, fatigue, and bad breath, for example. Such a meal plan can make it difficult to exercise. Ask your healthcare provider which foods and macro ratios are best for you in the short and longer term.
A ketogenic diet needs to be low in carbs, but there are different ways to count your macros. Whether you choose a standard, targeted, high-protein, or cyclical ketogenic diet can depend on your nutritional needs, your personal preferences, and what your healthcare provider recommends. Regardless of which you choose, Netrition is there to support your efforts and provide the products you need to keep your macros on track.