The keto diet is an extremely low carb, high fat diet.
The goal is to achieve a metabolic state of ketosis, in which your body burns mostly fat instead of carbs for energy (1, 2, 3, 4).
While controversial and not for everyone, the keto diet has been linked to weight loss and potential short-term health benefits like improved blood pressure (5).
If you’re looking to begin or maintain ketosis, there are some foods to avoid — specifically, foods that are too high in carbs.
The structure of carb molecules is simple, making them easy for your body to break down. Thus, they’re an efficient source of energy. If your body is provided a lot of carbs, especially at once, it will do what’s most efficient: use carbs instead of fat for energy (1, 2, 3, 4).
On the keto diet, carbs are typically restricted to 20–50 grams per day. Generally, this total doesn’t tally the portion of carbs made up of dietary fiber, as these aren’t digested by your body (5).
On a 2,000-calorie diet, a keto diet will typically be composed of 55–60% fat, 30–35% protein, and 5–10% carbs (2).
Here are 16 foods to avoid or limit on the keto diet, some of which might surprise you.