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We know the keto diet is so much more than butter and bacon—at its core, yes, it’s a low-carbohydrate, high-fat eating plan, but it can also be nuanced depending on your body’s individual needs. Plant-based folks, for example, can follow a vegan keto diet; those overwhelmed by all the metrics can opt for the lazy keto, which may feel more sustainable for them in the long run.
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So when it comes to the specific foods to eat on a keto diet, how should you navigate your personal menu? It only makes sense to consult the king of keto, Dom D’Agostino, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of South Florida who focuses on neuropharmacology, medical biochemistry, physiology, and neuroscience. On this episode of the mindbodygreen podcast, D’Agostino breaks down exactly what he eats in a day—call it keto-friendly inspiration.
D’Agostino loves his berries—blueberries, to be specific. “Most of my carbohydrates come from berries,” he says. “I typically get about 30 grams of carbs from wild blueberries.” Not to mention, blueberries also boast tons of fiber and polyphenols. As for D’Agostino’s morning meal, we’d safely assume it’s chock-full of those blues: perhaps an iteration of this blueberry beauty smoothie or these keto-friendly blueberry muffins.
“I usually have stir-fried vegetables and one or two salads per day,” he continues. True to his keto lifestyle, we’ll wager he sticks to low-carb veggies, like leafy greens (arugula, spinach, kale, etc.), broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and mushrooms. Of course, you can’t go wrong with any nutrient-dense veggie on your plate, but these are some of your basic keto-friendly options to highlight.
Oftentimes, D’Agostino sticks to post-dinner snacks (otherwise known as dessert, which we’ll get into momentarily), but he does dabble in some daytime snacking from time to time. Whenever he’s feeling peckish, he likes to dig into a keto-friendly snack bar: Either FBOMB Real Food Snack Bars, Perfect Keto bars, or HVMN Keto Food Bars. “They’re my go-to snacks that I keep on hand,” he says.
D’Agostino considers himself an omnivore (he eats plenty of fatty fish, meat, egg yolks, etc.), but he does love a good helping of plant-based protein. “I actually eat more plants on a ketogenic diet than I did growing up eating a high-carb diet,” he says. “Now, I have a lot of gut-healthy salads, vegetables, nuts, artichokes, and greens.”
He also touts the satiating power of legumes: “My wife makes this traditional Hungarian lentil soup,” he says. “Sometimes I’ll have [it on] meat-free days.” A hearty, keto-approved evening meal.
Get this: D’Agostino nibbles on dark chocolate every single night. He breaks off about a third of an 80% or 90% raw cacao bar and pairs it with a blueberry chocolate mousse. He combines some frozen blueberries with sour cream, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and sweetener (either monk fruit or stevia) and swirls it until it reaches a whipped consistency. “I have that with my dark chocolate, and that’s like something I look forward to every night.” The sweet tooth in all of us is salivating.
You can make a variety of tweaks on the keto diet; D’Agostino’s personal menu may not look like your own, and that’s OK. However, if you need some inspiration from the king of keto himself, look to D’Agostino’s list of keto-friendly meals.