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The Keto Newbies Guide to the Ketogenic Diet (Beginner-friendly)

The Keto Newbies Guide to the Ketogenic Diet (Beginner-friendly)

by Tom Davis -

Whether the focus is macronutrients, ketosis, or intermittent fasting: the wonderful world of keto opens us up to new concepts and modalities that can benefit our health and well-being—along with helping us shed unwanted weight.

It is essential to understand the fundamentals of eating a low-carb, high-fat diet, and once you do, you'll realize that its guidelines are there to safeguard rather than deprive you.

And while learning of the many benefits of ketosis and the different approaches to the ketogenic diet are exciting, sometimes it's wise to start simple so as not to become overwhelmed with a lot of information all at once.

If you're a beginner, you're probably especially eager to learn some simple and satisfying keto recipes to turn to as staples for your low-carb meal plan, and we've got you covered there, as well.

So, if you're interested in making a change and committing to a ketogenic diet as we enter the new year, keep reading because we've got many tips, resources, and recipes to share to make the transition to nutritional ketosis a joy.

What is Ketosis, and is it Safe?

Modern society had turned away from homesteading and traditional cooking methods for a time, with the rise of big business industries and moving away from a heavily agricultural community.

Our fundamental societal shift led to the advent of highly-processed foods and insidious ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, resulting in less nutrient-dense foods at the turn of the century.

Plus, many foods common to the Standard American Diet (SAD) are high in calories and filled with loads of unwanted sugars and starch, now associated with overweight, obesity, and metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.

When eating a SAD diet, your body relies on glucose (sugar) for energy, but that approach leads to energy spikes and dips that can adversely affect hormone regularity and mood.

And while foods containing sugar and starch may be mouthwatering, their impact on the body immediately and overtime may make you want to reconsider including them in your daily diet.

But, no worries, we'll share many recipes that can cover for old favorites without loads of carbs—we've got you!

The key to achieving metabolic ketosis and reaping all its many health benefits is eliminating sugars and carbs from the diet. Instead, focus on eating an abundance of healthy fats and proteins, accented by the inclusion of a limited amount of low-glycemic carbs, to maintain stable glucose levels and promote rapid fat loss.

Once the fat is the cornerstone of your diet, your body will switch from running primarily on glucose to functioning with fat and ketones as a primary energy source, a cleaner, and longer-sustaining energy source.

You'll likely notice increased energy and heightened mental acuity once in metabolic ketosis—and you're probably down several unwanted pounds once you begin to see these hallmark signs of fat-adaptation.

In addition to improved concentration and increased energy levels, many note experiencing the following additional benefits when in nutritional ketosis:

  • Appetite Suppression
  • Improved Good Cholesterol
  • Improved Blood Sugar Regulation
  • Reduced Epileptic Seizure Activity and Seizure Management
  • Improved Heart Health
  • Supports Proper Hormone Function
  • Increased Stamina and Physical Performance
  • Reversal of Diabetes and Prediabetes

Plus, the ketogenic diet appears to improve the mitochondria's ability to deliver our bodies the energy it needs, to power our cells with sustainable energy.

Besides, nutritional ketosis reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, which helps ward off many illnesses and diseases.

Furthermore, we fortify our bodies’ ability to combat several diseases and better manage the ravages of life's stressors thanks to environmental variables as well as our modern way of living.

Keto Made Easy

A ketogenic diet relies on following a single primary premise: reduce your carbohydrate intake and increase your consumption of healthy fats and muscle-building proteins.

Now, which foods and beverages you include in your keto plan are up to you once you follow that simple initial tenet. And believe us when we tell you that leaves a plethora of tasty options to enjoy and still lose body fat with ease.

First, let's touch on some commonly-eaten keto fare, and then we'll cover some super-simple and delicious keto meals to make for yourself and your family.

Meat & Poultry

  • Beef (ground, chuck, stew cuts, etc.)
  • Lamb
  • Pork (e.g., bacon, chops, etc.)
  • Duck (save the pure fat renderings for a shelf-stable healthy fat for cooking)
  • Deer
  • Elk
  • Bison
  • Chicken
  • Turkey

Fish & Seafood

  • Salmon
  • Catfish
  • Trout
  • Haddock
  • Tilapia
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Crab
  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Lobster
  • Mackerel
  • Tuna
  • Swordfish
  • King Fish
  • Red Snapper
  • Oysters
  • Clams
  • Mussels
  • Octopus
  • Squid
  • Sardines

Can I Enjoy Fruit on Keto?

All fruit isn't advisable on a low-carb diet because they land too high on the glycemic index and threaten metabolic ketosis security, not a goal at all.

However, certain fruits like the luscious and fat-rich avocado or any of the many low-glycemic berries we're permitted are an excellent addition to any keto plan for weight loss and improved health.

Plus, the fruits suggested on a ketogenic diet are rich in vitamins and nutrients—a perfect complement to the other foods advised on a keto diet.

Here are some fruits you can add to your low-carb, high-fat grocery list without reservation:

  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Unsweetened Açaí Puree
  • Coconut (shredded and unsweetened)

Plus, there is a variety of veggies that you can enjoy, especially paired with flavor-enhancing fats, that will elevate your keto game with minimal effort.

Besides, we have creative and simple ways to integrate veggies into effortless recipes that your family will adore; we know we do!

Here are some particularly low-carb vegetable options to incorporate into your weekly meal plan to boost nutrition as well as flavor and complexity:

  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Bell Peppers (e.g., red, orange, green, or yellow)
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Bok Choy
  • Cabbage
  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • Kimchi
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms (all varieties)
  • Zucchini
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Eggplant
  • Artichoke
  • Hearts of Palm
  • Jicama

Plus, there is a wide variety of dairy products like grass-fed butter and aged cheeses to add the mixture to your food offerings further—charcuterie, anyone?

From halloumi (a.k.a., fried cheese) to a decadent triple-cream brie, adding cheese to your keto meal plan can offer satisfaction as well as more food pairings to enjoy.

Furthermore, you can tap many dairy options for an affordable price that offers ample amounts of protein to hit your daily macro goals while intensifying flavor and overall mouthfeel.

Here are some excellent dairy options to include in your low-carb,high-fat diet:

  • Heavy Cream or Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Cream Cheese
  • Crème Fraîche
  • Brie
  • Hard Cheeses (e.g., asiago, parmesan, etc.)
  • Camembert
  • Swiss
  • Muenster Cheese
  • Provolone Cheese
  • Cheddar
  • Mozzarella, Buratta
  • Bleu Cheese
  • Goat Cheese
  • Feta
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Butter
  • Ghee
  • Kefir
  • Greek Yogurt (plain, unsweetened or a keto friendly brand, such as Two Good)

And, the fat sources don't stop at dairy or avocado. There are many oils that we can use on keto to support health and metabolic function; here are our top picks:

  • MCT or Coconut Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Grass fed butter
  • Ghee

Plus, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention our primitive and highly-effective forms of animal fat in the states of lard and tallow or renderings.

We advocate using the cleanest, organic, animal fat available from the following sources:

  • Lard (Pork Fat)
  • Bison
  • Chicken Schmaltz
  • Leaf Lard
  • Wild Boar Lard
  • Buffalo Tallow
  • Lamb Tallow
  • Duck Fat
  • Beef Tallow

The types of fat mentioned above haven't always fallen on the side of health consciousness within the collective medical community. Still, these animal fats were commonly used by our ancestors as unprocessed cooking agents for centuries.

Easy Keto Meals

OK, so you've got a bunch of low-carb groceries on your kitchen countertop, and the eerie feeling of overwhelm begins to creep in as you wonder where to start.

There are no worries; there are endless keto-friendly amounts of fat-rich recipes to make and enjoy, regardless of your cooking skill level. Here are our favorite go-to, beginner-friendly keto meals at the moment:


  • Amazingly Keto Acai Bowl: The acai berry is rich in antioxidants that help stamp out oxidation and free-radical damage while providing ample dense nutrition.
  • Ultimate Strawberry Cheesecake Keto Shake: Few meals are more manageable or faster than blending a nutritious and delicious smoothie. All you need is a few ingredients, including our supercharged Keto Shake, and you'll have a tasty treat to sip in seconds!
  • Cheesy Spinach Keto Puffs: Sometimes mornings are an excellent time for something savory or a mix of savory and sweet—whatever you like!

    Make these perfect keto poppers ahead and have them ready for a quick and easy a reheat-and-eat meal in moments.

  • Strawberry Ricotta Pancakes: Sear some salty bacon and pair it with these little pancakes with strawberries and a dollop of homemade whipped cream for breakfast that feels like a naughty dessert—guilt-free!
  • Crunchtastic Keto Granola Recipe: Some additions elevate even the most simple starters. Top some keto-friendly yogurt with a sprinkling of low-carb granola for a super-tasty and quick breakfast that is sure to become a family favorite.
  • Konscious Keto Strawberry Chia Smoothie: Strawberries are the perfect berry to have fresh or frozen to add to a wide variety of ketogenic recipes, and this smoothie is an excellent option if you're looking for a fast and fabulous meal option.
  • Too Good to be True Keto Bagels: Making bagels before eating a keto diet may feel like nothing short of intimidating, but you can quickly whip up a batch—even without a boiling bath step—on keto.
  • Ham & Gruyere Keto Casserole: We love this chic and delicious keto treat because it is so simple to make yet appears to require advanced skills and ability in the kitchen.

    Plus, anything made in single-serve ramekins automatically feels like something made special, a delectable treat just for you!

  • Triple Berries and Cream Keto Smoothie: Bring on the berries, please! We love adding a medley of berries to various meals on keto because they add an abundance of nutritional value and taste great!

    Try our newbie-friendly berry medley smoothie recipe for a super-satisfying breakfast—or anytime—shake that even the kids will ask for by name!


Midday may be when you break the fast, or it could be the second meal or so of the day, but whatever the case, it must be delicious!

Plus, lunch is a great time to connect with self or others to check-in on how they're doing during the day to recharge to power through the remainder of the day.

Here are some straightforward and tasty options for midday noshing:

  • Keto Cajun Parmesan Salmon: Dried out fish may discourage unseasoned kitchen dwellers from venturing to the bountiful blessings offered within the sea, but our simple recipe will remove all fear of failure; give it a try!
  • Zoodle Keto Alfredo with Bacon: Making zoodles is fun for the kiddos and adults alike, and cranking some spirals out is a perfect preparation to whip up some zoodles with alfredo sauce and sprinkles of perfectly-crisped bacon.
  • Keto Savory Pie with Zucchini: A savory pie or quiche is a fantastic template recipe. This recipe is fail-safe, and you can also use this format to empty your fridge or tap the ingredients in your pantry to put together a unique and varied casserole at a moment's notice—based on whatever you have on-hand.
  • Bang Bang Keto Shrimp: Frying fish could be a frightening proposition if you're new to the kitchen, but we'll make it easy and have a wonderful universal dredging mix you can use to fry just about anything!
  • Keto Broccoli Cheese Soup: Meal preparation is essential to maintaining any eating style. Even the most committed follower of any plan can fall short if ill-equipped and surrounded by high-carb or other triggering foods.
  • Crispy Keto Chicken Tenders: Most kids love crispy and savory chicken fingers, and they pair perfectly with keto fries! Try the chicken finger recipe and get ready to be amazed by how easy and delicious this recipe is.


  • Warm Me Up Slow Cooker Chili: Cool winter nights call for comfort food, and chili fits the bill perfectly. Plus, the recipe is easy; pretty much set it and forget it—until it's time to eat, of course!
  • Golden Cauliflower Bake: This recipe is like an ode to mac and cheese but revised with a sprinkling of crispy bacon bits—delicious!
  • Keto Pizza: Weekends or just Wednesdays are the perfect night for a large pizza topped with loads of keto-friendly toppings. Try our straightforward keto pizza recipe to make this week's movie and game night extra delicious!


  • Keto German Chocolate Cake: OK, we know this sounds like a lot, but we've got you. This deep chocolatey cake slathered with luscious icing will stun friends and family alike. You'll officially be assigned cake duty for years to come.
  • Keto Cheesecake Fat Bombs: Keto cheesecake recipes rarely disappoint, but that can be the gag: it's hard to control portions!

    Try our cheesecake Fat Bombs for a perfectly portioned treat that also makes for the A perfect surprise to use to fill decorative festive tins for gift giving!

  • Keto Almond Cake: Teas of all kinds, like cinnamon chai or apple spice, brighten any present-opening gathering, and serving sweet slices of moist keto almond cake make holiday memories even more extraordinary.
  • Keto Vanilla Cupcakes: We'd probably not be above creating holidays so we can make these sweet treats more often; they're fantastic!

    Whether celebrating a birthday, anniversary or baking up cakes to create a masterful and creative gender reveal platter; these iced vanilla cupcakes are the perfect centerpiece confection.

  • Holiday Orange Cake: A delightful spread of mains, sides, cookies, and showcased cakes displayed to tempt and tease are visually alluring—but we're all the wiser that the slices of this orange holiday treat are entirely guilt-free.
  • Keto Holiday Cookies: Plates lined with jam-filled cookies or those dusted with confectioners sweetener or colorful sprinkles are a tasty reminder that the holiday season is upon us, and we've almost made it through another year.
  • Keto Activate Holiday Fudge: It's always an excellent time for fudge, and this recipe is so easy to make that the kids could probably handle it on their own—but don't go too far because mischief may still ensue.

    Plus, here are some other popular keto recipes that you can easily find online, with step-by-step video tutorials to make execution a breeze:


  • Keto Coffee
  • 90-second Keto Bread
  • Konscious Keto Strawberry Green Goddess Smoothie: Blend up a boost of tangy and sweet nutrition and even add an extra benefit with the addition of a scoop of our Supreme Greens Blend, a perfect complement for the keto dieter on-the-go.
  • Make a platter of perfectly-crisped bacon (we love the Applegate Farms brand and handy bacon-crisping gadgets to create consistent results every time!)
  • Keto Oatmeal
  • Meat Lovers Cheese Omelet
  • Cream Cheese Keto Pancakes
  • Overnight Chia Pudding (add a little MCT oil once you warm the pudding for an added boost of nutrition and instant energy!)


  • Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • Easy Cheese and Veggie Frittata (this is a very forgiving recipe; use whatever cheese and veggies you have.)
  • Avocado Caprese Salad
  • Easy Keto Chicken Salad
  • Grass-fed 80/20 Burgers
  • Easy Keto Egg Salad
  • Simple Keto Cesar Salad
  • Prosciutto-wrapped Asparagus
  • Keto Meatballs

Dinner & Sides

  • Keto Meatloaf
  • Creamed Spinach
  • Creamy Cauliflower Mash
  • Bacon-wrapped Brussels Sprouts
  • Zucchini Lasagna
  • Pesto Chicken
  • Easy Shrimp Scampi
  • Cheesy Spaghetti Squash
  • Keto Kung Pao Chicken
  • Garlic Rosemary Pork Chops
  • Keto Stir-fry with Zucchini Noodles
  • Creamy Cauliflower Mac & Cheese



  • Pepperoni Chips
  • Parmesan Chips
  • Cloud Bread
  • Cheesy Keto Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • Keto Jalapeño Poppers
  • Keto Kale Chips or Spinach Chips
  • Moon Cheese
  • Pork Rinds (chicharrones)
  • Beef Jerky (or your preferred jerky, sugar-free)
  • Cheese
  • Nuts
  • Berries

Plus, some quick and easy staples will help you enjoy all the recipes and meals you know and love, without the carbs. Here are some articles dedicated to how to make new keto staples that you'll love:

Here is our curated collection of keto eBook cookbooks that we know will set you up for success as you start keto and act as a solid foundation for many adventures in the kitchen for years to come:


There's no need to be an expert to get into the kitchen and start experimenting. Please keep it simple, locate some recipes you find exciting, and master those before moving on to more advanced techniques and processes—build upon small successes to gain confidence.

Plus, the recipes we've shared are so tasty and straightforward that you'll likely gain new abilities and skills in the kitchen to gain further belief in yourself and the vast range of easy meals you can create on a low-carb-high-fat, ketogenic diet!


  • Boaz, M., & Raz, O. (2015). Low Fat vs. Low Carbohydrate Diet Strategies for Weight Reduction: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy, 05(05). doi:10.4172/2165-7904.1000273
  • Kossoff, E. H., & Freeman, J. M. (2004). The Ketogenic Diet. Epilepsy and the Ketogenic Diet, 53-61. doi:10.1007/978-1-59259-808-3_3
  • Boschert, S. (2007). Low-Carb Better Than Low-Fat Diet for Lipids. Family Practice News, 37(3), 11. doi:10.1016/s0300-7073(07)70131-7
  • Pearson, H. (2004). Low-carb diets get thermodynamic defense. Nature. doi:10.1038/news040816-2
  • Slomski, A. (2019). Low-Carb Diets Help Maintain Weight Loss. Jama, 321(4), 335. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.22031
  • Ketogenic Diet and Metabolic Therapies. (, 2016). Oxford Medicine Online. doi:10.1093/med/9780190497996.001.0001
  • Hopkin, M. (2007). The metabolic switch delivers healthy fat. Nature. doi:10.1038/news070709-2

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