Which Foods Cause Ketosis?

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Ketosis is a natural state of the human body, which occurs when it burns fat instead of glucose. Ketosis is often associated with low-carb diets, but it can occur in any diet that reduces carbohydrate intake and increases your protein intake. Fatty meats, and foods with high in fat and low in carbs like avocados for example. In this article, we’ll discuss what causes ketosis and how to prevent or reverse it if you’re experiencing side effects from being in ketosis.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like tuna, salmon and mackerel are high in protein and low in carbs. They’re also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health.

To get the benefits of a ketogenic diet without adding too many carbs to your diet, try eating 2-3 servings per week of fatty fish (preferably wild-caught). You can eat it raw or cooked—just make sure you don’t overcook it!


Meat, poultry and seafood are all high in protein and fat. They also contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is a type of fat that’s found in animal products (including eggs), but it’s also found in some plant-based foods like avocados and olives.

Cholesterol helps build hormones, vitamin D and bile acids—all of which play important roles in your body’s metabolism. As you may already know from reading your nutrition label on food packages at the grocery store, saturated fat is one type of fat that can raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels if consumed too much over time or if eaten at high levels for a long period of time (like eating 2 pieces of bacon every day).


Cheese is a good source of nutrients for the body, including protein and calcium. It can also be eaten in moderation.



Avocados are a great source of fat, so they’re often used as an ingredient in ketogenic recipes. They can be added to salads or sandwiches, or eaten plain with a spoon. When you eat avocados, you’re getting fiber which helps to keep your digestive system working properly by slowing down digestion and absorbing nutrients from food more efficiently. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, it’s important that your body doesn’t use up all its insulin before it has time to clear sugar from your bloodstream—this is what causes hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Eating foods rich in healthy monounsaturated fats like avocados can help prevent this by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing cravings for sugary snacks.


Eggs are a great source of protein, but they’re also high in fat and low in carbs. They’re an excellent source of vitamins and minerals like folate, vitamin D and choline. Eggs also contain all nine essential amino acids your body needs to function properly.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a great source of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are easily digested and used for energy, so they don’t cause ketosis. Additionally, coconut oil contains lauric acid—which has been shown to help prevent obesity in mice by regulating appetite.[1]

Coconut oil can also be used as a cooking oil or dressing on salads.

Foods that are high in fat and low in carbs promote ketosis

Foods that are high in fat and low in carbs promote ketosis. The following foods can help you reach a state of nutritional ketosis:

  • Fatty fish, meat, cheese, avocados, eggs and coconut oil.
  • Fatty fish like salmon or mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids (which help to lower triglycerides). They also contain monounsaturated fats that increase levels of HDL cholesterol while reducing LDL levels (the bad kind).
  • Beef is another excellent source of protein as well as other nutrients such as iron and zinc which may reduce the risk of heart disease.


All of the foods listed above can cause ketosis, as well as many other different types of symptoms. It’s important to know what you’re eating so you can make an informed decision about what will be best for your body and health goals.


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