Keto diet

Keto Diet 101; a detailed guide by our Nutritionists in Puerto Vallarta

What is a Keto Diet and how to start one?

A Ketogenic Diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that can offer many health benefits. Moreover, in certain cases, it can even help you prevent and/or manage some of the ailments of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. This diet is called (keto) because its goal is to put your body in a metabolic state called ketosis.” When your body comes into a state of ketosis, it becomes very efficient in burning fat for energy production. Due to this fact, this type of diet can be very effective in helping you lose weight. Likewise, reduce your blood sugar and insulin levels.

With these important benefits in mind, the question is: How to start a Keto Diet?

Starting a ketogenic diet can be very simple and straightforward. Primarily, you would have to avoid carb-based foods and base your diet on foods such as eggs, meat, fish, nuts, low-carb vegetables, healthy oils, and avocados. In this case, when you start your diet we would recommend changing your eating habits gradually over a two week period, going from your normal meal plan to a full-fledged ketogenic diet. Accordingly, to help you start your diet, we have included a list of food items that you should eat, and others you should avoid.

The keto diet is a high fat, low-carb dietary regime that can help you to lose weight and reduce your blood sugar and insulin levels. How does a Keto Diet work? It works by changing your body’s metabolism, moving it away from carbs and into fats and ketones. 

The Ketogenic Diet

What can you eat on a ketogenic diet?

Foods to eat on a ketogenic diet; you should base most of your meal plans on the following foods:

  • Eggs, meats, and fatty fish: In terms of meat, you should eat red meat, turkey, chicken, ham, bacon, and sausages. Similarly, you should eat eggs and fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, and trout.
  • Red fruits: Only berries, strawberries, and other red fruits should be eaten with this diet.
  • Seeds and nuts: you can eat your favorites; chia seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts.
  • Butters and creams: you can eat any type of butter and cream, although we recommend eating organic and/or grass-fed whenever possible.
  • Avocados and healthy oils: One of the best things about this diet is that you can eat avocados, guacamole, and healthy oils such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil.
  • Low-carb vegetables: you can eat all the green vegetables that you like, as well as onions, tomatoes, peppers, etc.
  • Cheese and condiments: Goat cheese, cheddar cheese, blue cheese, and mozzarella are all acceptable options. Finally, in terms of condiments, you can eat most spices, salt, and pepper.
  • Healthy Keto snacks: if you are hungry between meals, you can always eat healthy keto snacks. Accordingly, you can eat a bunch of almonds, boiled eggs, strawberries with dark chocolate, and almond-milk milkshake with nut butter, yogurt with nuts and berries, and guacamole with celery.    

What not to eat on a ketogenic diet; as a rule of thumb, you should avoid most of these foods:

  • Grains and starches: avoid rice, pasta, wheat-based items, and cereals.
  • “Sugar-free” foods and diet foods: These can affect your ketone levels, as they usually have a high content of sugar alcohols and are highly processed.
  • Alcohol containing beverages: Alcoholic beverages can affect ketosis due to their high carb contents.
  • Fruit: you should avoid all fruits, except red fruits such as berries and strawberries.
  • Foods high in sugar: smoothies, sodas, ice cream, cake, and candy are not recommended.
  •  Some vegetables and root vegetables: you should avoid potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other similar vegetables.

Keto Diet Recipes

If you are tired of following grueling dietary regimes, the keto diet might be just right for you! The keto diet has several advantages that you will enjoy. For example, it is a filling diet, which means it will keep you feeling full all day (you won’t feel hungry all day!). In addition, there are some delicious keto diet recipes that you can follow. Here are two of our favorite keto diet recipes:

Keto Diet Recipe # 1: Bulletproof Coffee Recipe.

Bulletproof coffee, also known as butter coffee or keto coffee, is one of our favorite coffee alternatives that is made with high-quality fats and coffee beans. Moreover, it’s a healthy beverage that will help you feel full and energized for several hours.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: 6 to 8 ounces of filtered water, 2 ½ tablespoons of ground coffee, one tablespoon of butter (without salt), one tablespoon of coconut oil, and half a teaspoon of half and half cream.

Preparation instructions:

  1.   Prepare your cup of coffee as usual, preferably with freshly ground coffee.
  2.   Add one tablespoon of butter (without salt), one tablespoon of coconut oil, and half a teaspoon of half and half cream.
  3.   You can add Stevia, Splenda, cinnamon, and/or your favorite spices.
  4.   Mix all of the ingredients in a blender for 30 seconds, until it has the appearance of a foamy latte.

And finally…. Enjoy your Bulletproof Coffee!

Keto Diet Recipe #2: Protein Bread Recipe.

This protein bread recipe is your perfect choice for a healthy breakfast or Keto snack.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: One scoop of a low-carb protein, one egg, one tablespoon of butter, a pinch of cinnamon, nuts and almonds (as many as you like).

Preparation instructions:

  1.   Mix the protein with the egg.
  2.   Add the melted butter, the cinnamon, nuts, and almonds, and mix them thoroughly.
  3.   Place all the mixed ingredients in a microwave-safe cup.
  4.   Put the cup with the ingredients in the microwave for one minute and a half.

** For your protein bread, we recommend using a protein powder that’s low on carbs; Chocolate and vanilla protein flavors work best with this recipe. **

at your favorite foods and lose weight!

7-day Keto Diet Meal Plan

Knowing what you can eat and what you should avoid can be very useful, but even with this information, creating the perfect meal plan can be cumbersome. Thus, to help you start on the right path, we have the perfect 7-day keto diet plan for you:


  • Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs, 1/3 of an avocado, and your choice of tea or coffee.
  • Morning keto snack: ham and cheese roll.
  • Lunch: Salad, chicken breast stuffed with ham and cheese.
  • Afternoon keto snack: Low-calorie gelatin (1 to 2 cups).
  • Dinner: Chicken chop suey with chopped celery, onion, soy sprouts, and a bit of soy sauce (120 grams).


  • Breakfast: two turkey sausages with cheese and pico de gallo, and either coffee or tea.
  • Morning keto snack: Bulletproof coffee.
  • Lunch: Chicken tacos on lettuce leaves (120 grams of chicken).
  • Afternoon keto snack: pork cracklings.
  • Dinner: Steamed vegetables with Salmon and one teaspoon of butter.


  • Breakfast: Cheese and mushrooms omelet (two eggs), with your choice of coffee or tea.
  • Morning keto snack: Low-calorie gelatin (1 to 2 cups).
  • Lunch: steamed broccoli with cheese. Oven-baked fish (120 grams) with onion and spinach.
  • Afternoon keto snack: a handful of almonds.
  • Dinner: Shrimp skewers (120 grams) with bacon, bell peppers, onion, and tomatoes. Spinach with cheese.


  • Breakfast: low carb shake prepared with almond milk and three frozen strawberries. Plus either coffee or tea.
  • Morning keto snack: pork cracklings. 
  • Lunch: tuna salad prepared with one spoon of mayonnaise and vegetables.
  • Afternoon keto snack: Guacamole with celery sticks.
  • Dinner: Chicken skewers, with bell peppers, onion, and tomato (120 grams of chicken).


  • Breakfast: two scrambled eggs with turkey sausage and guacamole (3 tablespoons), and your choice of tea or coffee.
  • Morning keto snack: a handful of almonds.
  • Lunch: Salad with shredded beef (100 grams of shredded beef) with tomato, onion, vinegar, 1/3 of an avocado, and one tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Afternoon keto snack: two slices of cheese.
  • Dinner: two ham and cheese rolls.


  • Breakfast: 120 grams of barbecue with vegetables and a fresh sauce (without tortillas), and either coffee or tea.
  • Morning keto snack: Low-calorie gelatin (1 to 2 cups).
  • Lunch: Green salad with chicken (120 grams of chicken with two tablespoons of sliced almonds), and two tablespoons of grated cheese.
  • Afternoon keto snack: a handful of nuts.
  • Dinner: Lettuce Salad with beef fajitas (120 grams of beef), three tablespoons of guacamole, and pico de gallo.


  • Breakfast: Protein bread with nuts and almonds, and either tea or coffee.
  • Morning keto snack: bulletproof coffee.
  • Lunch: steamed broccoli with one tablespoon of butter. Fish steak with shrimp, bell peppers, fresh parsley, and one tablespoon of butter.
  • Afternoon keto snack: Low-calorie gelatin (1 to 2 cups).
  • Dinner: two turkey sausages with onions, sliced cabbage, broccoli, and celery.

Learn about all the benefits of a ketogenic diet

Now that you have learned the Do’s and Don’ts of a ketogenic diet, it’s important to consider all of the health benefits that you can achieve with it. Particularly, there are two main types of benefits that you can gain through this diet: Weight loss benefits and health benefits.  

Weight loss benefits of a Keto Diet: Research shows that the weight loss benefits achieved through a ketogenic diet are far better than those gained through a low-fat diet regime. For example, compared to a low-fat diet, a keto diet is far more efficient both in terms of weight loss and protein intake. Moreover, a ketogenic diet is far more pleasant because it is actually very filling. Therefore, you will be able to lose weight without keeping track of your food intake and the number of calories that you eat.

Health benefits of a Keto Diet: The main health benefit of a keto diet is that it can help you to lose excess fat, which can help you avoid prediabetes, diabetes and can be an aid in cancer prevention. For example, it is well known that a ketogenic diet can help you to reduce diabetes medication and improve insulin sensitivity significantly. In addition, by limiting the intake of highly processed foods and items with high sugar content, this diet can be a positive factor in cancer prevention. Furthermore, this diet is effective in reducing risk factors such as body fat, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and HDL cholesterol levels. This is important because these risk factors are known to cause and/or increase the risk of having illnesses such as epilepsy, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, and strokes.

Temporary side effects of a ketogenic diet

By gradually shifting to a ketogenic diet, you will be able to avoid most (if not all) of the initial and temporary side effects of this diet regime. In this sense, the most common side effects of this diet come from a rapid change in your eating habits. Therefore, we recommend that you avoid drastic changes to your normal diet. Nevertheless, sometimes the initial and temporary side effects of a ketogenic diet, also known as the keto flu, will be present. In this case, you might experience fatigue and poor energy, hunger, lack of sleep, nausea, and some digestive issues during the first few days of your diet.

“Remember that a Keto Diet can be an effective way to lose weight and improve your health, but it’s also not for everyone. Please seek your doctor’s advice before starting this diet, especially if you have chronic diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.”

Keto Diet frequently asked questions

Questions and answers by our Nutritionists at CMQ Hospitals in Puerto Vallarta

If you follow our recommendations, eat the food and amounts that you should, and change your eating habits gradually, this diet should be an effective and safe alternative for your health and weight loss goals. In addition, we recommend following this diet for a maximum of three months. Finally, if you have any chronic diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure, it’s important to ask your doctor if you can follow this type of diet.

The benefits of a ketogenic diet are several: it is effective in helping you to lose weight, it helps you to become healthier, and it lowers important risk factors. The cons of a keto diet are that not all people can get used to it. There are several types of food that you will not be able to eat, and you could experience temporary side effects during the first few days of your diet plan.

If performed correctly, following the advice of your nutritionist and your family physician, this diet can be very effective in decreasing your blood sugar levels. Therefore, by helping you to decrease your blood sugar levels, it can help you to avoid and/or manage your diabetes.

Yes, you can drink diet sodas while on a ketogenic diet, although you should limit your intake of these items. In addition, you can also eat sugar substitutes such as Splenda and Stevia.

As a rule of thumb, you should eat less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day.

In general, we would recommend being on a Keto diet for a maximum of three months. Afterwards, we would recommend adjusting your diet following the advice of our nutritionist, Carlos Sánchez.

Although it might be possible, it would be very difficult to follow a vegetarian keto diet. This is because when you follow a vegetarian diet, you usually increase your carb intake.

The best way to maintain your weight after ending your ketogenic diet is to gradually transition to an adjusted diet with the help of your nutritionist. In general, you should slowly start to decrease your fat intake. While increasing your intake of wholesome carbs, lean protein, fresh fruits, whole grains and beans.