What Can I Eat on the Ketogenic Diet?

My trip down the Keto trail started one morning when searching online for a way to avoid having to take medications for Type II Diabetes. I had not been diagnosed with this chronic disease, but I was on deck. Both sides of my family of origin are chockablock with people who ended up with high blood sugar. Sadly, several probably had shorter lives than they might have, had this insidious condition not taken hold.

The older sibling closest to me in age (I'm the 6th of 7 children) had just been diagnosed. I knew I was next. I was fat. I was depressed. I was going to have to take medication for something I had done to myself. I was totally buying in to message all fat people have been sent: "If you simply ate less and moved more, you wouldn't have this problem. And now you're going to have the shame of having to take meds. Fatty, fatty. Slack a$$"

There's more to this topic and much to write about, but for now, let's get to the point of this post....

If you're considering following a ketogenic food program - or low carb/high fat (LCHF) as it can also be termed - you'll wonder not only what you can't eat but what is allowed. Although the name of the more colloquial name of Low Carb tells you pretty much what to avoid, it's not always obvious what carbs are. Moreover, what foods does that leave one to eat? Because, let's be real here, many people are so habituated to eating meals that consist of bread, pasta, grains, sauces, rice, desserts, snack food, fast food and packaged food we can lose sight of what a non-carbohydrate is. 

For a quick reference I suggest you watch this video of Dr. Eric Westman of Duke Health (it's what I came across that morning in my kitchen, looking for a way to avoid insulin for my surely pending Type 2 Diabetes). It's very basic and accessible. It's the good doctor speaking to actual patients at his Duke clinic. And it's a classic. Lots of people just refer to it as 'the white coat video'.

You'll hear "page 4" mentioned several times. I don't have the actual page 4 Dr. Westman references but I have a food list I used based on this video.  You can see what food list I followed here. [Note: it's actually 2 pages. Life can be imprecise...]

So, if you're wanting to know what to eat - and not - watch the video, print the attachment and if it's not on the food list, don't eat it! Happy viewing!


The information I present here is based on my own experiences and personal research. While I’ve been fortunate to have much person-to-person exposure to leading researchers, physicians and journalists regarding the ketogenic specifically and LCHF (low carb/high fat) more generally, we are all responsible for our own choices, including what we put in our mouths. I welcome questions, comments and even civil criticism. I’m still learning. So, i you have something to add, go for it. Thanks!  - Casey