Milk—but not cheese—is off the list because it contains a lot of lactose, a form of sugar, which makes it high in carbohydrates. When cheese is made, all the sugar is eaten by bacteria and turned into lactic acid, cutting the carb content way down. Low- and reduced-fat dairy products are to be avoided as they’re overly processed, which strips out nutrients like the fatty acids that make you feel full. Plus, sugar is often added to make up for a loss of flavor and texture, so some actually have more sugar than full-fat dairy. Resist shredded cheese, too, as it contains a carby potato starch that keeps it from sticking together.
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Spurred by demands from a fat-phobic public, the ’80s saw the rise of new low-fat snacks, which tended to cover the spread with added sugar. SnackWell’s cookies, an icon of this age, filled up the cupboards of dieting aunts. These paired great with low- or nonfat milk, the combined sales of which surpassed whole milk for the first time ever in 1988. Between 1980 and 2014, sales of whole milk decreased 45 percent as sales of 2 percent and skim rose 7 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
Not in the mood for cake? Brownies definitely come second on that list of delicious treats that we want once we turn to a ketogenic diet. You can easily make keto brownies that you can fully enjoy without having to fight against the craving to have more. Besides using almond flour and other mixtures of flours, you can make them out of avocado as well.
Artichoke, asparagus, bok choy and celery are all excellent for adding crunch and texture to salads or sides. Arugula, lettuce, cucumber, watercress and other salad leaves add fresh green nutrition to your meal. Eggplant is an excellent source of a potent anti-oxidants found just under its purple skin. Roast eggplant with oil, spices and sesame seed paste is a traditional Arabian dish called baba ganoush which has a deep creamy flavor and is perfect for keto! Snow peas, peppers and okra can also be enjoyed, but in moderation. Green and above ground plants are typically very low carb vegetables high in fiber and densely nutritious!
I use Swerve powder and Pyure Blend. When you say you can use any sweetener you want, are the measurements 1:1 with your listed sweeteners. I’ve checked the Sweetener conversion chart you’ve provided and if you call for 1/4 cup of Erythritol, there is no conversion for Pyure, and a lot of your recipies call for 1/4 cup of Erythritol. I just want to make sure I do accurate measurements.
Up until the 1940s, Americans ate a pretty high-fat diet. According to food historian Ann F. La Berge, most Americans in the North ate “meat stews, creamed tuna, meat loaf, corned beef and cabbage, [and] mashed potatoes with butter.” Americans in the South preferred (similarly high-fat) “ham hocks, fried chicken, country ham, [and] biscuits and cornbread with butter or gravy.”

Instead of adding sugar to your coffee, you can put a few drops of stevia in there to sweeten it up. Stevia is a great sweetener and won’t increase your blood sugar levels – so it’s a perfect way to sweeten your morning coffee. If you find stevia to have a bitter aftertaste, erythritol and monk fruit extract are two other keto-friendly sweeteners worth trying.
The consensus is that the Carbs shown on nutritional labels for yogurt containers are extremely misleading. The fermentation process brought on by the active cultures in yogurt, consume roughly half of the stated carbs. The nutritional labeling system REQUIRES food manufacturers to build the label based on the pre-cooking (or fermenting in this case) stage of the food.
Since fruits are packed with natural sugars (fructose and glucose), we have to carefully watch the amount of low carb fruit we eat each day. The best strategy to minimize fruit sugar intake is to stick with berries (notably raspberries and blackberries), avocados, olives, and tomatoes as our fruits of choice on the ketogenic diet. It is also a good idea to avoid any medium and large sized fruits as they tend to have too many sugars for ketosis.
Perhaps the only thing more divisive than politics is canola oil. People have thoughts about it. Given the research available, Bulletproof and a growing number of nutrition experts are of the opinion that you should toss your canola oil. Canola oil is extracted via a process called hexane solvent extraction. This process uses chemicals and high heat to extract the oil and process it, and the final product is high in oxidation and trans fats.[3] In studies, canola oil has been linked to lower antioxidant levels in the body[4] and lung inflammation.[5] 

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Hi Fariba, Yes, you’d need more of the crust for sure, probably about 25% more (multiply the amount of each ingredient in the crust by 1.25). For the filling, you could probably keep it the same to avoid messing with conversions, and the cheesecake would just be a shorter height. Some recipes use sour cream for texture or moisture, but this recipe doesn’t need it.
Essential fatty acids (the omegas) provide core functions to the human body, but they are often times out of balance when on a standard diet. On keto, with a little bit of preparation, your omega fatty acids are easily manageable. If you want to know more about essential fatty acids, omegas, and how they interact with our body on a ketogenic diet, you can read more here >
I can’t figure out why this recipe calls for 32oz. of cream cheese, even if making into 12 cupcakes; I ended up with a huge amount of the “cake” part after filling the cups. I could have followed the Pina Colada cupcakes but because I didn’t plan to add the Pina Colada ingredients, I thought it best to follow this regular cheesecake recipe. Did I miss something that told me to reduce the amount of ingredients if making cupcakes? Everything still tasted great but I have a ton of product left over.
Thank you SO much for the breakdown. This is an excellent list that I am going to take with me to the store from now on. I haven’t started on the diet as of yet because I was trying to put a grocery list together. This list has been one of VERY few that have the foods and the guided amount without having to pay an absurd amount of money for a list of food you can and cant eat. There weren’t any recommended amounts to eat for the meat section and wanted to know if you had any recommendations for portions. Thanks again for taking time to get wonderful information out there.
Nuts are a great source of fat, and can be a great keto snack. However, it is easy to go overboard. Most nuts are calorically dense, so they can be easy to over-consume. On more than one occasion, I have found myself sitting next to the jar of nuts and “just having a few more”. Before I was aware, I had probably consumed 800 extra calories of nuts! Depending on your goals, consuming nuts in excess can hinder your progress. That’s not to say that nuts are off limits, though. Instead, portion out single servings beforehand. Avoid sitting down with the entire container. This goes for every other snack, but I feel that nuts are one of the easiest things to overeat. 

Thanks for sharing! First time making cheesecake – I’m actually new to liking cheesecake. Could be because I’m pregnant and my tastebuds have changed. But I’ve been craving it lately, and I am on a strict low carb diet. This is perfect! I didn’t have raspberries, so I tried a slice this afternoon w/natural PB. Delicious! Also, I think the crust could be a great low carb crust for other desserts, like chocolate cream pie! (Hint, Hint)
Great info. I’ll be starting again Jan 1, started before but barely got into it when I ended up in the hospital for respiratory failure, didn’t want to start a program like this on hospital food. Anyway, after doctors and oxygen, etc., I’m back in the right frame of mind, cleared out all my cupboards, fridge, etc., just have enough to get me to Jan 1. It’s been a horrible year, so gonna make 2019 MY year, all ways around. This list will help a lot, since I keep forgetting whats what, and was eating honey, thinking it was OK since it was natural, etc…..wrong! I think I kind of have the rest OK, but thanks for the reference sheet, this will help a lot.
Peanuts are technically a legume, not a nut. However, I find them to be a delicious keto snack, especially peanut butter. Peanut butter is one of the easiest things for me to overconsume, personally. The carb count of peanuts is on the higher end, so it’s important to watch the serving size if your goal is to stick to keto. My suggestion is to always measure out a serving of peanuts or peanut butter before consuming.
So this means you don’t need to go around drizzling bacon fat on everything you eat. You definitely can if you have a burning desire to do so and it fits into your macros… but it’s not at all necessary. It’s actually pretty easy to get adequate amounts of fat in your diet without going out of your way to do so. Contrary to popular belief, fat bombs, bulletproof coffee and the like are not fundamental for a ketogenic diet. They can be nice treats or occasional meal replacements if you like them, but they are often calorie bombs you don’t need in addition to balanced keto meals. While you certainly want to eat fat on the keto diet, calories still matter.
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Regardless of the reason you switched to a low carb diet, it’s important to be mindful of your daily macros and caloric intake. Watch alcohol intake because it is additional, and empty, calories and will hinder you reaching your goals. Alcohol metabolization stalls fat burning until it’s out of your system. Something we expand on further in our Guide to Keto Alcohol.
Even though ketogenic diets have seen a surge in popularity in recent years, this type of diet has been around since the 1920s. Physicians used the science of ketosis to treat epilepsy; after the introduction of anti-epileptic drugs, the use of ketosis as a treatment declined dramatically. The diet has seen a rebirth over the past decade as researchers studied ketosis both as a weight loss solution and neurodegenerative disorder treatment.

Hi Nanette, For this recipe I recommend a granulated sweetener in the crust and either powdered erythritol or powdered monk fruit in the filling. Pure stevia extract would be very concentrated and may change the end result. A stevia blend may work but the amount would vary depending on which one it is and what else is in it. You can check my sweetener conversion chart which can help if you look up the type you are using.


As any ketogenic dieter knows, the lifestyle requires a lot of diligence. Even snacking on a banana could ruin your diet. The main goal of keto is to use fat instead of carbohydrates for energy, a process known as ketosis. Generally, keto dieters eat lots of fat, a moderate amount of protein, and just 20-30 grams of carbohydrates per day to maintain ketosis. For context, that's about half a medium bagel.
Hi there, I haven’t tried this recipe with xylitol or stevia, but either one should work. For the xylitol, you can use almost the same amount as the erythritol, maybe just scant measuring cups. (Xylitol is just slightly sweeter than erythritol.) For the stevia, it will depend on the brand, because some are more concentrated than others. I have a sweetener conversion chart here that you can use, which include xylitol and several brands of stevia. If you use a granulated sweetener like xylitol in the filling, run it through a food processor or high-power blender for a few minutes first, to make it powdered. By the way, it’s very thoughtful of you to make this cheesecake for your husband’s birthday! 🙂
I’ve made this cheesecake twice now, and it is sooooooo easy and delicious! I’ve gotten great results by just following the recipe as you wrote it. I radically changed mine and my husband’s diet after we got the news that his blood sugar was a bit too high (pre-diabetic). His blood sugar is normal when he eats according to keto principles, and it’s nice for me to be able to give him a treat once in a while that won’t spike his blood sugar. Thanks so much for this recipe!
The Truvia Baking Blend would be easier to measure out. Since the Sweet Leaf powdered stevia is so concentrated, it may be difficult to measure out the right amount for the right amount of sweetness (especially for the crust, which doesn’t need a lot of sweetener). If you use the Truvia Baking Blend, you’ll need 4 1/2 tsp for the crust and 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp for the filling. For the filling, run the sweetener through a blender or food processor first to make it a powdered consistency – this will ensure a smoother texture in your cheesecake.
The problem with some meats when you’re on Keto is that they are too lean. That means, even though it’s low in carbs, some meat has too much protein and not enough fat. That doesn’t mean you can’t have those meats. It just means you’ll need to be careful not to go over your protein macro. And if there isn’t enough fat in the meat you eat, then you will want to pick up some extra, healthy fat somewhere else.
Rounding errors are common for cream cheese. Most nutrition labels, including products at the store, round up or down to the nearest whole amount of carbs, but the serving is only an ounce. Since this sugar-free cheesecake recipe calls for 32 ounces of cream cheese, rounding up adds up to a big difference! The nutrition information on the recipe card uses the exact carb count directly from the USDA National Nutrient Database, which is most accurate. If you want to see those values for all low carb foods, and see the values used to calculate my nutrition labels, you can find the full low carb & keto food list here. 

Any suggestion to substitute cream cheese with something else (not dairy and keto-friendly)? I’ve decided to try this recipe using ghee instead of butter because it doesn’t hurt me, but it’s the only “dairy” that I tolerate (if perfectly clarified, of course… no lactose nor casein allowed for me). And I’ll omit the fruity topping, but I’m thinking to experiment with a home-made sugar free “coffee syrup” using powdered decaffeinated coffee, some kind of thickening (maybe gelatin) and powdered erythritol. Do you think it could be fine?
Today, the kids don’t even know where the bacon is coming from and how it arrives on their plates.  The meat industry is big in commercials addressed to kids, but they never honestly explain to the kids how is that piece of burger or bacon really made.  Why, because if they would show how the animals are slaughtered it would terrify the children and since feeding habits form early in life they would lose an entire generation of meat consumers.

Thank you for such a wonderful informative article. You give everyone all this knowledge for free & people still want more. Give me printable versions of food list & protein charts. Come on people do a little leg work yourself, show some initiative. If you can’t your not going to be disciplined enough to make this diet work. There are links above to get free meal plans & more keto info. I’ve lost 60 lbs in 10 months & changed my life. My single best piece of advise? Buy a good keto info & recipe book. Key word in last sentence is “GOOD”. Hard copy for instant reference. Worth its weight in gold.
When consumed in moderation, the high fiber content of nuts and seeds can curb your appetite helping you to avoid excess calorie intake. The healthy fats and antioxidants in nuts is credited with providing the anti-inflammatory activities responsible for regulating lipid concentrations, preventing against depression, Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders (59).
The ketogenic diet has recently become very popular, and many food companies want to cash in by putting a “ketogenic” or “low carb” label on a new product. Be very cautious of special “keto” or “low-carb” products, such as pastas, chocolate bars, energy bars, protein powders, snack foods, cakes, cookies and other “low carb” or “ketogenic” treats. Read all labels carefully for natural low carb ingredients. The fewer ingredients the better.

Because some fruits have more carbs than others, knowing which to avoid is key for accelerating weight loss and reaping other possible benefits of keto. Just know that large, long-term, randomized controlled trials on the keto diet are limited, so it’s unclear whether keto is safe and effective to follow for the long haul, according to Harvard Medical School.
Water, sparkling water, seltzer, black coffee, unsweetened and herbal teas, unsweetened nut milks, wine, light beer, and liquor. Caffeine is fine for most people—just don’t go pouring in sugar or milk; the same goes for tea and nut milk. Lower-carb alcohol in moderation is OK, especially if you’re at the point where you’re just trying to maintain weight.
I totally understand how you feel! 😊 But the truth is that most people can't do that... speaking from my own experience. When I started following a low-carb diet my palate was completely different to what it is now and I couldn't imagine skipping sweeteners, bread alternatives and other substitutes. They helped me transition into the way I eat now. These days I don't use any sweeteners - or just a small amount in occasional treats. I keep my diet very simple and often cook with just 5-10 ingredients.
Today is the 3-year anniversary of Wholesome Yum! I am so humbled and grateful every single day that I get to do this. Thank you for being here… from the bottom of my heart! So to honor the anniversary of my little low carb recipe site (that maybe isn’t so little anymore?), I wanted to share with you one of my favorite low carb recipes. It’s not a celebratory cake or low carb dessert, but it’s a part of a popular low carb dinner staple… low carb tacos using keto cheese taco shells!
An alternative way to get your sweet fix in a keto-friendly diet is through fruit shakes or milkshakes. You can make your own shakes and use alternative, keto-friendly sweeteners or purchase premade shake mixes. The Atkins diet shakes, for instance, are low-carbohydrate, protein-rich shakes available in a variety of sweet flavors (anything from French vanilla to strawberry).
Maya, OMG this was soooo delicious! My hubby was so impressed he said we need to keep it around all the time…I was thinking I need to make it more often so I can perfect it (wink, wink). I did buy a sugar free raspberry jam for the topping because I couldn’t “find” your recipe, then I read the entire recipe all the way through and VIOLA there it was. I’ll make that one next time.
Louise holds a Bachelors and Masters in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University (UK). She attended Columbia University for her JD and practiced law at Debevoise & Plimpton before co-founding Louise's Foods, Paleo Living Magazine, Nourishing Brands, & CoBionic. Louise has considerable research experience but enjoys creating products and articles that help move people just a little bit closer toward a healthy life they love. You can find her on Facebook or LinkedIn.
First, a little background: Eric Westman, MD, director of the Duke Lifestyle Medical Clinic, explained to Health in a previous interview that in order to successfully follow the keto diet, you need to eat moderate amounts of protein, reduce your carb intake, and increase fats. When you reduce your carb consumption, your body turns to stored fat as its new fuel source—a process called ketosis. To stay in ketosis, followers of the keto diet must limit their carbs to 50 grams a day, Dr. Westman says.
Strawberries and currants have fairly high sugar content in the 7 to 9 gram-per-cup serving range. Cranberries and raspberries, on the other hand, only have between 4.5 and 5.5 grams. You should be aware that it's not just about sugar, though — the total carbs in raspberries come out to 14.7 grams per serving, while cranberries have 13.4 grams per serving. Despite this, it's easy to have half a serving of any of these berries as part of a dessert or morning smoothie and still be within keto diet parameters.
Nuts should not be one of your major sources of fat in the diet. This is because they contain carbohydrates as well as phytic acid (are a pretty high in calories). Phytic acid absorbs essential dietary minerals such as magnesium which is essential for the utilization of vitamin D among many others. In moderation however, similar to cheese nuts are acceptable as part of your keto diet plan, taken as a snack, for instance. To avoid the phytic acid, you could soak or sprout your nuts but for most people on a ketogenic diet it’s not worth the effort due to the fact it a very small part of their daily intake.

So, how do we ensure enough super-plant based nutrition on keto? Fortunately there are loads of low carb vegetables and keto friendly fruit you can choose from! Let’s start with low carb vegetables - specifically the green ones! The green color in plants is called chlorophyll. Plants use chlorophyll to capture sunlight and turn it into energy. Chlorophyll protects the body from cancer and cleanses the liver. Amazingly, our bodies can also use chlorophyll inside our mitochondria. This is why green juices, made fresh or from powders, give us a rapid natural energy boost. Green leafy plants like Kale, Spinach and Collard Greens reduce the risk of cancer and many other diseases. Make sure you eat your greens on keto!
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