Why Does the Keto Diet Work? Part 3 of 3- Making a Meal

In the previous post “‘Southern Keto’ Cookbook, by Natasha Newton,” I broke down what a healthy diet should look like for someone who has NOT had bariatric surgery. Here’s a refresher: 75% fats, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.

Below is what a healthy diet should look like for someone who HAS had bariatric surgery. (Why is it different? Because although the ketogenic diet is what we recommend, you may not be able to reach/maintain the “ketosis” state. If you actually ate 75% fats, you may not be getting enough protein or vegetables to stay healthy because the amount of food you are able to eat would just not be enough).

Here’s a snapshot of what your plate should look like long-term:


Half of the food you eat each day should have protein in it.  Always eat your protein first!  


Chicken / Fish / Shrimp / Crab / Pork / Beef / Turkey / Ham / Sausage / Beef jerky

Be aware of sauces or breading on meats— that is where the carbs/sugars are consumed


Almonds / Walnuts / Cashews / Peanuts / PB2 (peanut butter powder) 

Avoid regular peanut butter— it has added sugar; use PB2 and mix with water or vegetable oil, or add it to plain greek yogurt


Hard cheeses ( such as cheddar, provolone, swiss, parmesan, pepper jack) / Soft cheeses (such as feta, mozzarella, blue, ricotta) / Greek yogurt (plain or low-sugar such as Oikos Triple Zero) 

Limit cow’s milk- it has natural sugars (skim, 2%, and whole all have the same amount of sugar); limit to 4-6 oz per day and then switch to unsweetened almond milk 


Fats are not bad!! On the contrary, they are better for you than sugar/carbs are. 

Butter / Olive oil / Avocado / Nuts (as listed above) / Dairy (as listed above)


All vegetables have natural carbohydrates in them.  Focus on the ones that have a small number of carbs.  Here are some examples:

Squash (yellow, spaghetti) / Zucchini / Green beans / Green peas / Broccoli / Cauliflower / Tomatoes / Mushrooms / Asparagus / Greens (collard, mustard) / Eggplant / Brussels sprouts / Kale / Lettuce / Bell peppers / Olives

Avoid sweet potatoes, White potatoes, Corn, Butternut squash— they have a lot of natural sugar/carbs

Limit carrots— they have a moderate amount of sugar/carbs; limit to 2 servings per week


These foods will slow down your weight loss and prevent you from making progress.  We suggest that you cut these foods out completely until you get to your goal weight, and then add them back ONLY in small amounts and ONLY as long as you are able to maintain your goal weight.

Fast food / Fried foods / Pasta / Rice / Bread / Potatoes / Potato chips / Crackers / Candy / Baked goods (cookies, cake, croissants, danishes, cinnamon rolls)

NOTE: For those who are serious about the ketogenic diet and wish to add as much fat into your diet as possible, we recommend picking proteins that are a good source of fat, such as salmon, red meat, avocado, nuts, or dairy. These foods will do double duty in getting you both protein and fat!!