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7 Days of keto menus and recipes

The ketogenic diet has been trending for the past few years: eating more fat and hardly any carbs in order to lose a few pounds or boost your energy. 

In this article we briefly cover the basics of the keto diet, and if you've decided to start it and are looking for ketogenic diet menu ideas, below you'll find a full week of easy meal examples that are both healthy and compatible with this type of diet.

What is the Ketogenic Diet? 

The ketogenic or "keto" diet is a very specific way of eating that consists of consuming a majority of your daily calories from lipids (or fats). 

In reality, 75 to 90% (on average 80%) of your daily energy intake will be covered by fats (knowing that the classic recommendations are 30 to 40% of fats for the general population) and the remaining 20% will be covered by proteins and carbohydrates: at a rate of 12 to 15% of the total calories from proteins and only 2 to 8% of the total energy from carbohydrates. 

The goal of the ketogenic diet is to induce ketogenesis: a secondary metabolic process in the liver that provides energy by producing ketone bodies, a fuel (other than glucose) for the cells in our body.

Why the ketogenic diet?

By replacing carbohydrates (which often make up more than half of our energy intake) with fat, we activate ketogenesis, which will eventually allow the body to tap into its fat stores and thus begin weight loss.

By following a low-sugar diet, we also limit the insulin spikes that occur after eating, which allows you not to feel a fatigue hit after eating. In addition, because of its high fat content, following a ketogenic diet you will have a day full of energy. 

Also, thanks to this high fat content, the keto diet will give you a fairly quick satiety during the meal and that lasts, so you will eat correct portions and without the desire to snack: another asset for the loss of excess weight.

Then, as cell membranes are composed mostly of lipids, the quality of your skin and hair will gradually improve.

A final argument in favor of the ketogenic diet is the natural origin of the food that conforms to it. You will discover in a moment that this type of diet is based on raw, unprocessed foods and this has only benefits for your well-being.

Ketogenic diet, your 7 days menu

When you decide to start, you often need inspiration, so you will find a menu for the ketogenic diet below. The ideas are organized by meal, and if you wish, it is possible to exchange the lunch and dinner preparations.

7 Ketogenic Breakfasts:

Breakfast is the foundation of your food day, and the keto diet is no exception. It will provide you with energy to recover from the nightly fast and is essential to getting the morning off to a good start. 

It is perhaps the meal that poses a little more difficulty, because we are used to eating bread or pastries in the morning. With this ketogenic menu, give yourself the opportunity to have a savory breakfast, and if your palate is still "sweet", there are options to indulge yourself.

2 herb fried eggs (cooked in butter) + ½ avocado

Almond flour bowl cake with homemade peanut butter

Full-fat cottage cheese with a mixture of nuts (walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecan nuts).

Smoked trout rolls + fresh goat cheese with nuts.

Smoothie: whole or coconut yogurt (unsweetened), flax and chia seeds (crushed), fresh spinach, lemon juice.

Blueberry pancakes (with coconut flour), with homemade hazelnut puree.

Bacon and cheese omelet

  • You can drink coffee, tea (green or black) or herbal tea, as long as they are not sweetened.
  • If you feel like sweetening your drinks or preparations, think about stevia or even erythritol.

7 Ketogenic Lunches:

The purpose of lunch is to give you energy and nutrients for an active afternoon, without "energy crashes" and without cravings. Here is a week of breakfasts to continue your ketogenic diet menu.

Green salad (+ nut oil) + roast pork with slivered almonds and herbs

Shrimp curry with coconut cream and cashew nuts

Fried chicken with mushrooms and bacon in a creamy sauce (with soy or fresh cream).

Breaded tofu with crushed sesame seeds + fried zucchini vermicelli with sesame oil.

Tomato-mozzarella salad with homemade pesto + salmon with lemon and dried fruit crust (almonds and hazelnuts)

Turkey meatballs with bacon + cauliflower gratin (cream + cheese)

Keto burgers: steak, bacon, cheese (in two large mushrooms or with keto bread) + cucumber salad with flaxseed oil

  • If you feel like dessert, take a yogurt or plain cottage cheese (with milk or vegetable), nuts (almonds, hazelnuts) or a small handful of berries.

7 Ketogenic dinners:

In the evening, it's best to eat slightly less hearty options than at lunch, but still keep the same premise: don't worry about fat, and stick with really low-carb options. Here are some ideas:

"Tacos" (in salad leaves) with beef, avocado, onions and spices.

Roasted chicken leg (with skin) + trio of roasted peppers.

Grilled sardines with herbs, olive oil and lemon + green salad, roasted nuts.

Spicy Thai soup with chicken and bacon, leeks and coconut cream.

Beef carpaccio with parmesan cheese (with extra virgin olive oil) + avocado - tomato salad.

Ceviche style sea bream (flax oil, lemon, coriander, onion, bell pepper, chilli).

Arugula salad - lamb's lettuce - avocado + oven-roasted lamb chops

7 keto ideas to fill a small hunger

Even if the ketogenic diet offers you a lot of satiety, in some cases (sport, physical work...) you may feel a little hungry between meals. If this is the case, here are some options for a snack adapted to your new way of eating.

Mug cake (in the microwave) with almond flour

Energy balls: crushed dried fruit, coconut oil, dark chocolate (unsweetened) 85% cocoa.

Cookies with almond or coconut flour.

Mixed nuts: almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, peanuts + unsweetened cottage cheese

Keto-friendly appetizer: sausage sticks, olives, raw cauliflower or celery and cucumber sticks with homemade guacamole and/or unsweetened yogurt tzatziki

Hard-boiled egg + parmesan tiles

Smoothie: plain cottage cheese (with whole milk) + crushed or pre-soaked flax or chia seeds + 2 tablespoons of fresh or frozen red fruit

What foods should I choose on the ketogenic diet?

According to the principles of the keto diet, approximately 80% of the calories you ingest must come from fat. In this regard, it is recommended to include sources of fat in each meal of your ketogenic diet menu, including:
  • Vegetable oils of all types, if possible unrefined: olive, coconut, flax, rapeseed.
  • Animal fats such as butter, but also duck fat or lard.
  • Oleaginous fruits: nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds or peanuts and chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, as well as their derivatives (flours, purees, pasta, etc.). Avocados, olives and coconuts are also among the oleaginous fruits to be favored in this diet.
Natural sources of protein must also be present in any ketogenic diet menu, but the portions must be reasonable so as not to exceed the 20% of daily protein intake to allow ketogenesis. You can then eat: 
  • Meats in general, especially those with a good fat content: beef, pork (bacon, lard, rillettes), lamb, poultry and fish, especially fatty fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel ...).
  • Eggs.
  • If you wish, tofu and soy proteins. 
  • Dairy products, if possible with whole milk: cheese, milk, unsweetened yogurt, fresh cream.
In order to have fiber and vitamin intake, but low amounts of carbohydrates to allow the formation of ketones, you should include in your ketogenic menu a small amount of fruits and vegetables:
  • Low-sugar fruits: such as red fruits (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries) and citrus fruits (orange, clementine, grapefruit, lemon).
  • Leafy vegetables (lettuce, lamb's lettuce, spinach, arugula, watercress), other low-sugar vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, radishes, leeks, peppers), seaweed and mushrooms

what are the foods to avoid on the ketogenic diet?

When you decide to start a menu adapted to a ketogenic diet, it is important to avoid foods that are sources of carbohydrates, whether they are starches (slow sugars) or fast sugars. Good to know:
  • Cereals and cereal-based products: rice, pasta, semolina, breakfast cereals.
  • Potatoes, sweet potatoes.
  • Bakery products in general: breads, rusks, cookies, cakes, pastries (home-made and industrial).
  • Pulses (legumes): lentils, chickpeas, white or red beans, split peas...
  • Sweets: sugar, honey, candy, chocolate, nougat...
  • Commercially prepared meals.
  • Most fruits, because of their sugar content.
  • The sweetest vegetables: beet, peas, carrots, old vegetables (parsnip, turnip...)

Some recommendations for starting the keto diet

Before starting a ketogenic diet, it is advisable to consult your doctor in order to know if this type of diet is compatible with your health condition, as well as to go see a dietician-nutritionist who will be able to guide you for the realization of this diet gently and without risk, and who will advise you if necessary, vitamin C supplements.

You will start gradually, following an adaptation phase at the beginning, where the increase in lipids and the reduction in carbohydrates will be progressive until you reach your objectives.

As for cooking, you should know that the preparation of meals will be a little different from what you are used to cooking, since carbohydrates will not be very present. Of course, you must keep in mind that it is essential to use sufficient quantities of fats: oils, butter, oilseeds at each meal... but don't panic! A ketogenic diet menu can be quite simple and delicious.

In conclusion

Although the ketogenic diet is a way of eating that is a little different from our contemporary habits, it is nevertheless quite feasible with a little organization and this is why we are offering you some ideas for composing an easy menu.

It is still recommended to start slowly and if possible, under the supervision of a nutrition professional, in order to adapt the food plan to your needs and your goals.

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