The ketogenic diet, or the "keto diet," is an eating plan that is low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and high in fat. The idea behind keto is that by eliminating carbs from your diet, you eliminate the sugars from your body that are typically your body's energy source. But with this low-carb and high-fat diet, your body begins using fat as its energy source in place of sugar. Thus, keto claims to lead to weight loss by burning this body fat.
As far as diets go, keto is one of the more difficult to follow. You have to steer clear of foods that contain high amounts of carbs, including grains, pastas, and potatoes. You also want to avoid eating fruits that are high in sugar, such as bananas, apples, pears, pineapples, etc.
So, what can you eat? The major foods keto revolves around are fish, meat, eggs, dairy, oils, nuts, seeds, high-fat dairy, avocados, berries and green vegetables such as spinach and kale.
Here are some recipes to try:
You might be thinking your keto breakfast options are limited to parfaits with berries and plain Greek yogurt. While this is a good treat, but it's important for breakfast lovers to know that you don't have to give up your favorite meals on keto. You can even still indulge in blueberry pancakes -- with a keto twist, of course. This a great healthy substitute for traditional pancakes, made with the diet-allowed eggs, cottage cheese, coconut oil and ground psyllium husk powder. Traditional scrambled eggs are also a great keto-friendly breakfast option. You can even add bacon into your eggs for an extra crunch. Just be sure to not use milk in the recipe because it contains carbs and sugars.
Keto-friendly pancakes with blueberries. NikkiRae/Shutterstock
One perk about the keto diet is that you can eat all the high-fat dairy you want. Thus, it's time to break out the cheese. Cauliflower mac and cheese is a keto spin on the classic recipe and a delicious way to have a dish similar to traditional macaroni -- minus the high-carb pasta. You can also create a plethora of salads to munch on. A kale, blueberry and almond salad is a great choice for a keto-friendly lunch that will give you a boost of nutrients and flavor. Another salad option is a hearty cobb concoction with avocado, eggs and chicken -- this recipe has a ton of vitamins and nutrients and is high-fat and relatively high in protein, making it the ideal keto diet lunch.
Cauliflower mac 'n cheese. Alastair Wallace/Shutterstock
Dinner is your chance to pack in the fat to your dish for a filling meal. A great recipe that does just this is the keto bacon cheeseburger casserole. It's a delicious and filling keto dinner, and its layers of beef, bacon and cheese won't make you feel like you're on a diet. If you want something on the less cheesy side, try low-carb keto meatballs. They're delicious, moist, savory and will fill you up. Just remember not to serve them with pasta because it's so high in carbs. Instead, eat them as is or with a side salad or other green vegetables. If you're really craving spaghetti and meatballs, you can replace the noodles with spaghetti squash for a low-carb option.
Keto-friendly meat balls. Martin Rettenberger/Shutterstock
Who says you can't have desserts while on a diet? If you're craving something cold and creamy, this keto avocado dessert will satisfy your craving for ice cream, without the carbs and sugars. Or you can try keto lime creamsicles, which are a tasty (and healthy) reimagining of traditional popsicles and made with limes and avocados. You can even partake in a chocolate brownie mug cake by substituting all-purpose flour with almond flour, sugar for stevia and chocolate chips for cacao powder.
Lime and avocado popscicles. TunedIn by Westend61/Shutterstock
Avocado deviled eggs are a tasty keto snack, and the eggs and avocado make it a real powerhouse for health and rich in protein. This dish can also be served as a keto breakfast or a side for a larger keto-friendly meal. You can also go simpler for keto snacks -- for example, keto cheese roll-ups take mere minutes to make but are perfect for any cheese lover. Simply take cheddar or provolone cheese slices, coat them with butter, add your desired spices or herbs and roll them up. Popular seasonings are paprika, parsley or even just salt.
Avocado deviled eggs. Josie Grant/Shutterstock