While there are many different types of pasta today, the classic cooked, unenriched traditional pasta is about 30 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams. That’s your entire daily carbohydrate intake on the ketogenic diet, if you’re lucky. After that comes a minuscule 0.9 grams of fat, about 6 grams of protein and minimal micronutrients. Even whole wheat pasta, advertised as a health food, contains 37 grams of total carbohydrates[*].
Hi Gigi, Low carb and keto is about the balance of macronutrients eaten (fat, protein and carbs), not specifically meat or lack thereof. Most people on keto do eat meat, though some people do vegetarian keto. Fat is actually necessary for many body processes. There is no issue for the kidneys with a high fat diet, but if you eat too much protein that isn’t great for the kidneys. It’s a common misconception that keto is high protein (it isn’t). Keto is great for diabetics as it naturally helps stabilize insulin. All of this being said, please know I’m not a doctor and you should consult your doctor on any medical questions or before starting any diet. If you have more questions that aren’t medical questions, I recommend our low carb & keto support group here.

Non-GMO low-carb pastas are a good option if you're concerned about the potential effects on your health of consuming genetically altered ingredients. Though there are competing views in the scientific community with regard to the long-term safety of regular GMO consumption, many choose to eat only non-GMO products as an extra-cautious measure. Similarly, organic low-carb pastas that include ingredients that haven't been treated with or exposed to chemicals are easy to find.

Another option is to decrease the intake of carbohydrates slowly, over a few weeks, to minimize side effects. But the “Nike way” (Just Do It) may be the best choice for most people. Removing most sugar and starch often results in several pounds lost on the scale within a few days. This may be mostly fluids, but it can still be great for motivation.

There are several different types of flour made from seeds. Flaxseed meal is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and can be used in muffins, pancakes and other baked goods as an oil or butter substitute. A 1/4-cup serving has 8 grams of carbohydrates. Although more difficult to find, sunflower seed flour is very low in carbohydrates with less than 6 grams per 1/4 cup.
Must say, however, that the shape of choice (for most pasta-like results) are the cavatelli. Both because the ridges help the sauce to stick better, and for the resulting texture and mouthfeel. Though you’ll need to procure a (9 bucks!) cavatelli & gnocchi board. Cavatelli are very similar to gnocchi in shape (which you can make too!), though slightly thinner and with more of a bite. 

Your glycogen stores can still be refilled while on a ketogenic diet. A keto diet is an excellent way to build muscle, but protein intake is crucial here. It’s suggested that if you are looking to gain mass, you should be taking in about 1.0 – 1.2g protein per lean pound of body mass. Putting muscle on may be slower on a ketogenic diet, but that’s because your total body fat is not increasing as much.5Note that in the beginning of a ketogenic diet, both endurance athletes and obese individuals see a physical performance for the first week of transition.
Yancy WS Jr, Westman EC, McDuffie JR, Grambow SC, Jeffreys AS, Bolton J, Chalecki A, Oddone EZ, “A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet vs orlistat plus a lowfat diet for weight loss,” Arch Intern Med. 2010 Jan 25;170(2):136-45. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20101008?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=2.
Y. Wady Aude, MD; Arthur S. Agatston, MD; Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, MD, MSc; Eric H. Lieberman, MD; Marie Almon, MS, RD; Melinda Hansen, ARNP; Gerardo Rojas, MD; Gervasio A. Lamas, MD; Charles H. Hennekens, MD, DrPH, “The National Cholesterol Education Program Diet vs a Diet Lower in Carbohydrates and Higher in Protein and Monounsaturated Fat,” Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(19):2141-2146. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=217514.
Because some cancer cells are inefficient in processing ketone bodies for energy, the ketogenic diet has also been suggested as a treatment for cancer.[59][60] A 2018 review looked at the evidence from preclinical and clinical studies of ketogenic diets in cancer therapy. The clinical studies in humans are typically very small, with some providing weak evidence for anti-tumour effect, particularly for glioblastoma, but in other cancers and studies, no anti-tumour effect was seen. Taken together, results from preclinical studies, albeit sometimes contradictory, tend to support an anti-tumor effect rather than a pro-tumor effect of the KD for most solid cancers.[61]
I just found your site a few days ago. I’d like to try to go low carb (at least some of the time, as I want to start off slow and not change everything at once). How strong is the almond flavor? How strong is the coconut flavor? I don’t mind purchasing each and trying (but if I did that, I’d want the smallest available size available), but I’m not asking for myself, as I don’t mind (I love almonds and coconut, so neither bother me lol). There are people n my household that can’t have/don’t like almonds/the taste of almonds and they don’t like strong, strong coconut flavor. I thought I’d make a list and try to get some things delivered some time this week, so I can try out a snack or dinner (my biggest downfalls, ie lots of pasta). I’d like to keep all ingredients under $20-30, which I know may be hard, as I’ve seen some places where just the flavor can be that much. 🙁
If you prefer your cereal hot, try this grain-free version from Wildway, a favorite of Aimee Aristotelous, RD, a certified nutritionist and author of The Whole Pregnancy. "It contains real food ingredients, [is] certified gluten-free, paleo-friendly, soy-free, and sweetener-free," she tells us. Not a fan of hot cereals? She also recommends the brand's grain-free granola.
You deserve a medal for this recipe!!! I made it earlier today and it is absolutely AMAZING! It exceeded my expectations! It’s so delicious! It made enough to completely fill an extra large rectangle Tupperware. I was obsessed with natures valley granola before I went Keto and this is the same exact look and texture but this tastes even better! I’m so excited about this because I was getting sick of eggs for breakfast lol. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Hi Mel, Assuming that your ranch dressing doesn’t have sugar added, you don’t need to worry too much about limiting it, but within reason. This is my homemade ranch dressing recipe, which has 0.9g net carbs per 2-tbsp serving. It would be hard to find a store bought one with much less than that, even though some round anything less than 1g down to 0g, which isn’t truly accurate. Also, keep in mind that if weight loss is your goal, some people find that too much dairy can cause a stall. Finally, make sure you aren’t using all your “available” carbs on ranch dressing – have it with some low carb veggies!
The first modern study of fasting as a treatment for epilepsy was in France in 1911.[12] Twenty epilepsy patients of all ages were "detoxified" by consuming a low-calorie vegetarian diet, combined with periods of fasting and purging. Two benefited enormously, but most failed to maintain compliance with the imposed restrictions. The diet improved the patients' mental capabilities, in contrast to their medication, potassium bromide, which dulled the mind.[13]
Hi Woody, Yeast works by consuming sugar (either added sugar or sugar in wheat flour), so it would not work with these ingredients. You could try adding some yeast *and* some sugar (knowing that the yeast would consume most of it), but I haven’t experimented with that. Aside from that, mixing the batter well can help create more air bubbles, and make sure you are using fresh baking powder.
If you are low carb and nut-free, coconut flour may be one of your best options for low carb and keto baking. Still, it’s not an easy flour to work with, especially if you are new to this low carb diet thing. So before you start, I suggest you read my primer on How to Bake with Coconut Flour. You can’t just sub in coconut flour for regular flour or for other low carb flours. It’s very dense and it requires an inordinate amount of eggs to bake properly, so direct substitutions will result in utter failure!
Hi Vivian – I am 60 yo and researching Keto and would love more information from you since we are same age. What is TDEE? What fat sources do you use and how much daily? What are some meals you make regularly and what does a day of food look like? What is the easiest/best way to count carbs getting started? If you and Brenda are ok with you giving me your email I would love to learn more from you! I just need some help getting started. Brenda – thank you for all your information and recipes!
Protein: When people first reduce carbohydrates in their diets, it doesn't seem as though the amount of protein they eat is as important to ketosis as it often becomes later on. For example, people on the Atkins diet often eat fairly large amounts of protein in the early stages and remain in ketosis. However, over time, some (perhaps most) people need to be more careful about the amount of protein they eat as (anecdotally) the bodies of many people seem to "get better" at converting protein into glucose (gluconeogenesis). At that point, each individual needs to experiment to see if too much protein is throwing them out of ketosis and adjust as necessary.
Low-carb baking can be a challenge because many of the substitutes for wheat flour, such as bean flour, are very carbohydrate-dense. Flours made with nuts, seeds, soy and coconut are good options, but you will have to play with oven temperature, baking time and recipe ingredients. For the best results, look for recipes that call for your preferred low-carb flour. Remember that although the flour may be low-carb, other ingredients such as sugar will add carbohydrates.
In general, people on ketogenic diets tend to consume a lot of foods high in monounsaturated and saturated fats such as olive oil, butter (often butter from grass-fed cows is recommended), avocado, and cheeses. The high oleic types of safflower and sunflower oils (but not the regular forms of these oils) are also good choices, as they are high in monounsaturated fats and low in polyunsaturated fats.

The granola in this product is made from all organic seeds. It’s crunchy and has a vanilla and cinnamon flavor. Egg whites are the protein ingredient for about 12 grams of protein building amino acids. At 14 total carbohydrates, 12 grams of fiber and 2 grams of net carbohydrates, this type of cereal is proven to be diabetes-friendly. It also is high protein.


Arguably the most challenging period of transitioning to a ketogenic diet is the first few days as your body adjusts to the dramatic decrease in carbohydrate intake and your metabolism begins its shift to fat as its primary fuel source. It is not uncommon during this period to experience a lack of energy, irritability, ravenous hunger, and brain fog, symptoms commonly referred to as the “low-carb flu.” These uncomfortable symptoms arise because a ketogenic diet eliminates the spikes in blood sugar that follow carb-heavy meals, keeping insulin levels low (because it is no longer needed in response to said blood sugar spikes) and triggering the kidneys to excrete high levels of electrolytes—think sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Additionally, many people transition to a ketogenic diet from a standard, modern diet, which was likely rich in processed foods packed with sodium, so electrolyte levels drop simply because you aren’t getting enough sodium to replace that which you previously took in from processed foods. In the end, if you do not replace these excreted and/or missing electrolytes in your new ketogenic diet, it can ultimately lead to a drop in blood pressure and bring about the symptoms of “low-carb flu.”


Thanks for this article. I just started a Keto diet so found it appropriate to my current lifestyle. Though I don’t believe your bottom line is strong enough since you simply stating that the diet is “hard to follow” and food is “notoriously unhealthy” without evidence going deeper into why those “notoriously unhealthy” foods are worse than keeping carbohydrate-heavy food that are addictive and give the body a quick sugar high for energy. I believe “hard to follow” is your opinion only, since acceptable Keto foods are found at all restaurants easily and also all grocery stores. All the foods you mention: “rich in very colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and lots of water” are all Keto-friendly. Many people have been on a Keto-diet for years. A healthy lifestyle is a healthy mindset change and making right choices – it’s not going to be easy.
Most recently, Wilson et al. (27) investigated the effect of a 10-week KD on strength, body composition, blood lipids and hormonal response in resistance trained males, while following a periodized resistance training program. The investigation included a 2-week dietary adaptation period, and a control group, which followed a more traditional macronutrient ratio consisting of 55% CHO, 25% fat and 20% protein (WD). The 10-week dietary intervention was followed by a 1-week CHO re-introduction for the KD group. Average caloric consumption across the 11-week intervention was similar between groups. Blood lipids remained constant and were not significantly different between groups. The KD group did, however, elicit a significant increase in blood triglycerides during week 11, with the re-introduction of CHO. Total testosterone was significantly increased in the KD group, compared to WD, however, free testosterone was not significantly different between groups. While both groups saw increases in lean body mass, the KD group realized gains significantly greater than the WD group. Similarly, the KD group experienced significantly greater decreases in fat mass during the 10-week CHO restriction period. There were no significant differences in measures of strength or power between groups. From this, the authors concluded that the KD favorably impacted body composition, with no negative impact on blood lipids or muscular strength and power.
Just wanted to post in case others share my initial trepidation about trying the recipe. I avoid anything super high maintenance, but was intrigued by the positive reviews, so I gave it a try. Success! I did everything the recipe said not to (used a silicone pan and cheap almond flour that was definitely not ultra fine, and I have no idea how old my baking powder is), and they still turned out great! I did liberally butter the silicone pan to make sure I could get the donuts out and also added a smidge of xanthan gum to help hold them together.
Carbohydrates are your body's favorite fuel source; it breaks them down into glucose. Without a steady intake of carbohydrates, your body turns to using protein for fuel. But if you also are limiting how much protein you eat, your body is forced to burn stored fat as its primary source of fuel. That can result in weight loss, and ketones are a byproduct of burning fat.

Maya, Thank You so much for this recipe. I made it as written with your suggestion of 2-3 Tbsp of psyllium husks and I am in heaven! Thank you so much! Being keto has been an amazing thing for me and my health but was truly starting to miss certain foods. This was so good and my family loved it too! Definitely a keeper for me. Thank you again! A quick question- if I halved the coconut oil, would that throw the texture off too much?

I really like this stuff. I've been following the THM plan for around a month now and it's working great. I have recently started using a lot of the THM recipees and this is one of the ingredients that are used quite often. It makes it a lot easier just to use their blends but, you can use other things as a substitute. It really does work great in baking and tastes good too. I will definitely purchase it again.
When you’re limiting carbs, cereals with dried fruit mixed in are best left on the shelf, because fruit increases the carb grams. Nuts are low in carbohydrates, so they add crunch and flavor without boosting the carb count. Three nutty cereals from Nutritious Living are lower-carb choices. Dr. Sears Zone Cereal in the honey almond flavor has 16 grams per ½-cup serving. It contains multiple grains and is sweetened with honey, molasses and evaporated cane juice crystals. Hi-Lo cereal comes in two nut-wielding flavors -- vanilla almond and maple pecan -- both with 13 grams of carbs per ½-cup serving. Like the regular flavor, these Hi-Lo cereals get their sweetness from an artificial sweetener, sucralose.
Fanatic? Someone with T2D, a disease usually claimed to be progressive and a never ending stream of problems and medications, was REVERSED. That’s something to shout from the rooftops. The drop in medication use alone, but the big pharma companies would prefer that people’s stories of reversing (well, putting it into remission) T2D get called fanatical instead of insightful.
These products all tend to differ a lot between different brands which unfortunately makes low-carb baking a bit tricky. For example, some brands of ground psyllium husk powder color the dough purple. It doesn’t seem to affect the taste but makes the outcome a bit more… purple. The amount of carbs in almond and coconut flour can also vary quite a bit between different brands. Read the labels and choose the best one available.
Hwu believes risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes — which are both associated with high blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol — may be reduced by following the ketogenic diet, based on research. A recent study from Johns Hopkins found a ketogenic diet was not only safe, but effective for adults who had certain severe forms of epilepsy, supporting previous research.
My daughter loves cereal, but I rarely let her have it because it jacks her blood sugar like crazy, and is rarely filling enough. This is low carb enough that if she likes it, I can fill her up with other stuff, too, while letting her have the cereal she so badly wants. I was just admonished by the nutritionist at her endocrine clinic for letting her often have a nutritionally vacant breakfast (toaster waffles; we get so busy in the morning! I need to be better at pre-prep).
Hi Maya! I’ve been trying to lose weight on a low fat diet, to no avail, so I’m trying Keto. I came across your recipe while looking for almond flour bread recipes. (Love the occasional turkey breast half-sammie for lunch or the occasional toasted slice for breakfast). Yours appears to be a very carefully thought-out recipe which I’m anxious to try. I really like how you explained things so thoroughly, gave tips. There’s nothing like learning with the benefit of others’ tried and tested experience. I’m not rating this recipe since I haven’t tried it yet, but based on your effort alone, it gets five stars! Many thanks, Alice
In terms of weight loss, you may be interested in trying the ketogenic diet because you’ve heard that it can make a big impact right away. And that’s true. “Ketogenic diets will cause you to lose weight within the first week,” says Mattinson. She explains that your body will first use up all of its glycogen stores (the storage form of carbohydrate). With depleted glycogen, you’ll drop water weight. While it can be motivating to see the number on the scale go down (often dramatically), do keep in mind that most of this is water loss initially.
Several studies have investigated the potential of LCD or KD on weight loss. For example, Brinkworth et al. (2) compared one year of low-fat (LF) vs. LCD diet in adults with abdominal obesity. Subjects were randomly assigned and diets were isocaloric, with moderate energy restriction. Both groups realized significant weight loss, however, there was no significant difference between groups, suggesting that a LCD was equally effective as a LF diet.
I just made these and followed the advice of another comment. I added a scoop of vanilla whey protein and a scoop of sour cream. I did not have a donut pan so used my regular sized muffin tins. I buttered the tins very generously. I filled half full and it made 10. I shortened the baking time to 13 minutes which was perfect. I made a glaze of heavy whipping cream and powdered swerve for half and the cinnamon sugar combination for the other half. They are fabulous!
The biggest difference is in the fat!! Your fat should be around 70-75% of your daily food intake! When I first heard that, I was like, “Are you kidding, No Way, I will surely gain weight!” I was truly wrong and misguided. I think we’ve all been too accustomed to hearing for years and years that fat makes you fat! That is the farthest thing from the truth. Let’s not blame the butter for what the bread did. Sugar and Carbs are the culprit to gaining weight among other health related issues.

When you consume sugar or carbohydrates, they must be processed into glucose and shuttled into the cells via a hormone called insulin. Oftentimes, people with poor blood sugar stability will experience pronounced spikes and crashes in their blood sugar which leads to many health problems including weight gain, low energy, and emotional instability.

A survey in 2005 of 88 paediatric neurologists in the US found that 36% regularly prescribed the diet after three or more drugs had failed, 24% occasionally prescribed the diet as a last resort, 24% had only prescribed the diet in a few rare cases, and 16% had never prescribed the diet. Several possible explanations exist for this gap between evidence and clinical practice.[34] One major factor may be the lack of adequately trained dietitians, who are needed to administer a ketogenic diet programme.[31]
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.
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