I’m sure you’ve seen the Keto diet appear almost everywhere in the dieting community. But if you’re not sure what it’s all about, here’s a quick run down about it. Keto is short for “ketogenic diet”, which is a term for a low-carb diet. The concept is simple – consuming foods with high fats, moderate proteins, and very low carb content. The key is to get more of your calories from proteins and fats and less from easy to digest carbs that spike your blood sugar like sugar, soda, and white bread.
But removing a certain food group from your diet can increase your risk for nutrient deficiency. That’s why it’s important to choose nutrient dense foods that supply you with what you need, while also being keto-friendly.
Nutrient density is the ratio out of 100 grams of beneficial nutrients to food energy, weight or amount of detrimental nutrients. It goes beyond calories and macronutrients, and includes micronutrients and amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.
Nutrient dense keto foods are rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals but have few calories. They are also minimally processed. The best way to get the most nutrients on keto is to ensure that you are getting a full spectrum of nutrients in every food that you eat. This is the best way to go about weight loss!
So now that you know the principle behind the keto diet, today I am sharing a roundup of foods that are rich in nutrients that can help sustain a healthy keto lifestyle.
12 Nutrient Dense Keto Foods
When it comes to the keto diet, meat is your friend because of its high protein content. However, when searching for nutrient dense meat, here are a few keto-approved options you’ll want to add to your diet.
As unpopular of an option as this may seem, liver is actually a superfood that deserves more props. Beef liver is extremely nutrient dense. It’s rich in high-quality protein, vitamin A, vitamin B2, B5, manganese, and copper and provides well over 100% of the recommended daily intake for these nutrients.
You can keep it simple by prepping liver and onions for a hardy and nutrient-dense keto meal idea.
Bacon is a keto classic and for good reason. This savory food is also high in protein and contains quite a bit of vitamin B1, B3, potassium, and selenium.
Keep it simple with keto mushrooms and bacon recipe or shake things up and try your hand at turkey, bacon, and avocado taquitos.
As much as you may be tempted to only eat egg whites, here’s why you’ll want to not throw away the yolks! Chicken eggs are a high source of protein, low on carbs, and contain lots of choline, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, and even some vitamin D.
Recipes to try: keto scrambled eggs or bacon egg muffins.
Did you know? Blue crab is made up of 91% protein, 9% fat, and 0% carbs. Yeah, that’s why this keto-friendly seafood item should be on your radar. Once you figure out how to open it, you can benefit from its high zinc and copper content as well as its complete amino acid profile!
Simply stem your blue crab or make them into a keto crab cake dish.
Another kitchen staple. Add tomatoes to your keto salad or use them to make a keto sugar free ketchup. This nutrient dense and keto approved food item is high in potassium and vitamin C. Add them when you can!
You can’t go wrong with vegetables, but if you need another excuse to pick up more zucchini, here are a few. The nutrient density in this vegetable makes it worthy of this list. Although higher in carbs than others listed, zucchini is made up of 25% protein, 17% fat, and 58% carbs and also has a good amount of vitamin C and manganese.
Turn your zucchini into noodles and add it to your next pasta dish or try your hand at making a cheesy keto casserole using zucchini as your star ingredient.
This keto staple is high in vitamin C, K and folate. Cauliflower is also especially low in carbs and consists of a good source of fiber.
Try your hand at cauliflower rice or an oven roasted cauliflower with parmesan cheese.
Red bell peppers
While all bell peppers offer phytonutrients with high antioxidant power, red bell peppers are also the only food that contains capsanthin, which research suggests may help protect against cancer. Red bell peppers also provide more than 200% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. All great reasons why you’ll want to add this nutrient dense food item to your weekly grocery list.
Mix red bell peppers in with a chicken fajita or use them in a stuffed bell pepper recipe! Even if you’re not big on peppers, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give these another try.
Although higher in carbs than other items on this list, what makes turmeric among the other nutrient dense foods is its high content in potassium, copper, iron, manganese; vitamins B6 and C.
Spice up your chicken with a creamy turmeric chicken dish or try a turmeric and ginger grilled chicken.
Avocado is a super food of all superfoods. You’ll find it on many top healthy food lists – and for good reason. When opting for this healthy fat, plant-based foods, always opt for avocados. Avocados are a fatty fruit that’s high in fiber, potassium, and loaded with healthy fats. 10 out of the 12 grams in an avocado is made up of dietary fiber. Other fats you may want to opt for include butter, lard, tallow, and olive oil – all of which abide by the keto diet. Also seafood for a regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
Cut open an avocado and stuff it with a keto-friendly BLT. You can even try baking them and turning them into homemade avocado chips!
This leafy green is rich in vitamins
and minerals. Arugula contains fat-soluble vitamins A, K1, vitamin C, folate, and several minerals, including calcium.
Incorporate arugula into your favorite keto salad topped with a lemon vinaigrette.
Spirulina is a type of seaweed made up of essential nutrient contents. Spirulina has 64% protein, 10% fat, and 26% carbs. This nutrient dense food also contains high amounts of copper and vitamin B2!
You’ll have to try a spirulina strawberry smoothie bowl or sugar free, daily greens fat bomb truffles!