The ketogenic diet has become extremely popular over the last few years, as a way to lose weight and improve a number of health factors, such as cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels (at least in the short term; long-term studies are still pending). The premise of the eating plan is to enter a metabolic state called “ketosis” by reducing carb intake and greatly increasing fat consumption. When ketosis is achieved, your body gets energy from stored fat instead of glucose.
Related Reading: The Best New Keto Snacks We’ve Tried
However, this low-carb, high-fat lifestyle isn’t always the easiest to adhere to, as many people are used to eating carb-heavy diets. Whether you’re thinking about trying a keto diet for yourself or have been eating this way for a while, there are a number of essential products that can help make adhering to a keto diet a little easier.
The following keto essentials are must-haves for anyone who’s adopted a keto lifestyle.
Delicious Keto Cookbooks
Try: “Keto Comfort Foods: Family Favorite Recipes Made Low-Carb and Healthy” by Maria Emmerich, $17 from Amazon
It can be tough to balance flavor and proper nutrition when you’re on a keto diet, which is why “Keto Comfort Foods” is such a great cookbook. This book by Maria Emmerich is filled with keto-friendly variations of your favorite family recipes, proving that keto foods don’t have to be bland and boring. After all, when you genuinely enjoy what you’re eating, you’re more likely to stick with the keto lifestyle.
What can you expect from this cookbook? It includes more than 170 classic dishes for every meal of the day. There are variations of cinnamon rolls, steak fries, chicken cordon bleu, and even cheesecake! And while the pictures in this cookbook certainly look tantalizing, the real selling point is the thousands of glowing reviews from people who call the recipes delicious and memorable with “deep flavor profiles.” Check out some other great keto cookbooks for even more options. Buy Now
A Beginner Keto Guidebook
Try: “The Keto Diet: The Complete Guide to a High-Fat Diet, with More than 125 Delectable Recipes and 5 Meal Plans to Shed Weight, Heal Your Body, and Regain Confidence” by Leanne Vogel, $17.99 from Amazon
If you’re just starting out with keto, you may want a more intensive guide to help walk you through the first few weeks, and one of the best books for this is “The Keto Diet” by Leanne Vogel. This book starts out with a comprehensive 100-plus page introduction to the keto diet, explaining everything from how the diet works, what to expect as you transition, and the best stores to shop for ingredients.
“The Keto Diet” discusses five different “styles” of keto and includes a questionnaire to help determine which one is best for your needs. There’s also a 28-day meal plan for each style, so you can focus on making the transition without having to plan out your meals. Reviewers call this guide book a great resource both for beginners and those more experienced with the keto diet—all that to say, it’s worth the investment! Buy Now
Keto Test Strips
There are a few ways to measure your ketone levels, but most people find the most convenient method to be urinalysis. With test strips like the Nurse Hatty High Performance Keto Strips, you can analyze the level of ketones in your urine in less than a minute, helping you to adjust and improve your diet for optimal results.
Each bottle includes 150 long strips, which have a 90-day shelf life once opened. The bottle includes a color chart that will help you analyze the results of the strip, and while many reviewers have found these test strips to be very accurate, you can assess their accuracy for yourself with the brand’s Ketone Test Solution.
In general, while strips that test urine are cheaper and easier to use, they may be less accurate, especially over a prolonged period of use; they may also give inaccurate readings if you’re dehydrated. So if you’re willing to invest a bit more—and prick your finger—a keto blood test kit is another great option. Buy Now
Keto Meal Kits
Try: Green Chef Keto
If you want to make eating keto as easy as possible, you can order keto-friendly meal kits from Green Chef. This popular meal subscription brand offers a keto meal plan to fit your low-carb lifestyle, and they’ll deliver the ingredients you need to make three two-person meals each week (six servings total).
There are five recipes to choose from each week, and they contain no grains, fruit, excess sugar, gluten, or soy. You can expect to make meals like Sesame-Crusted Tuna, Chicken with Herb-Tahini Sauce, and Mustard-Roasted Pork, and this meal delivery service costs $12.99 per serving, plus a $7.99 shipping fee.
Keto Snacks You’ll Want to Eat
One of the challenging aspects of the keto diet is giving up your favorite snacks, but luckily, there are a wide variety of keto snacks to choose from, including these HighKey Mini Low Carb Cookies. These mini chocolate chip cookies are made with natural ingredients like almond flour, coconut oil, and collagen, and each serving contains three grams of protein and just two grams of net carbs.
Reviewers say these cookies are an amazing keto-friendly snack for when you need to satisfy your sweet tooth—many claim they taste just as good as real chocolate chip cookies. You get three small bags per purchase, and while several people note the price is a bit high, most agree the delicious snack is worth the splurge, especially if it helps you stick with your keto eating plan.
Keto Meal Prep Helpers
An Instant Pot will be your best friend if you’re on a keto diet (or even if you aren’t, honestly). This 6-quart multitasking appliance makes it quick and easy to whip up all sorts of meals, from weeknight dinners to entire keto-friendly holiday menus.
What’s so great about an Instant Pot? Glad you asked! The Instant Pot Duo has seven functions—pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute pan, yogurt maker, and warmer—and it cooks foods up to 70 percent faster with little to no effort on your part. It’s the ideal way to cook meats, soups, vegetables, and more, making keto meal prepping faster and easier than ever. If you need recipe inspiration, just visit Pinterest, where you’ll find hundreds of tasty keto Instant Pot meals just waiting to be made. Buy Now
Fat Bomb Molds
To increase daily fat intake, many keto dieters turn to “fat bombs,” small, tasty treats made from high-fat ingredients like butter, coconut oil, and nuts. Many people make their own fat bombs at home (again, check out Pinterest for a huge collection of recipes), and it can be extremely helpful to have a silicone mold handy when doing so.
These Freshware silicone molds are designed for making truffles or chocolate, but reviewers say they work perfectly for keto fat bombs, too. The molds are made from food-grade silicone, and the cavities are roughly 1-inch spheres. The molds are dishwasher- and oven-safe, and according to reviewers, each cavity holds roughly 1 tablespoon, which is perfect for portioning out fat bombs. You get four molds in this set. Buy Now
Keto On-the-Go Support
Try: Prep Naturals 3-Compartment Glass Meal Prep Containers with Snap-On Lids, 5 for $34.99 from Amazon
Meal prepping, or making food in big batches to last for several days, can be quite helpful when you’re on a ketogenic diet, as it saves you the hassle of having to cook every day. If you’re prepping your keto meals, you’ll be thankful you have these Prep Naturals glass meal prep containers, which will keep your food fresh in separate compartments until you’re ready to eat.
This set of five glass containers includes spill-proof locking lids, and each one is segmented into three compartments to keep different ingredients separated. The containers can go in the microwave, oven, and dishwasher, and reviewers say they’re impressively durable, so you don’t have to worry about breaking them. Pack everything in advance and you can simply grab and go, to make sure you have a keto meal at the ready even when you’re out and about (when keto fast food may not cut it). Buy Now
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