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So you've decided to go keto. You're not alone: the low-carb, high-fat eating plan has become increasingly popular in recent years. And although the buzzy diet can be accompanied by certain side effects that you should be aware of before you try it for the first time, many followers rave about its ability to seemingly melt away fat.
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.
Grocery shopping on the keto diet can be a bit tricky. Many processed, packaged foods are off-limits, and even certain whole foods are too starchy (sorry, sweet potatoes). You need to fill your plate with low-carb, high-fat foods such as meat, seafood, non-starchy produce, and healthy fats.
Ready to get shopping? We polled nutritionists to find out which foods should be part of your keto beginner meal plan.