Types of Keto Diets

Types of Keto Diets

For the past two weeks, we’ve looked at the keto diet – what it is, the theory behind it, macronutrients, etc. This week we’re looking at the different types of keto diets you have to choose from.

As discussed in past blogs, the keto diet is based on the process of ketosis, the burning of fat instead of glucose. The word is derived from ketogenisis, which is the biochemical process by which organisms produce a group of substances collectively known as ketone bodies by the breakdown of fatty acids and ketogenic amino acids. [1]

So you’ve checked with your healthcare provider, researched ketogenic diets, and have decided to give it a try. What keto diet should you be considering?

Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD)

This is the basic keto diet and consists of 5% carbs, 20% protein and 75% fat. This type of keto diet is preferred for health and longevity benefits. A 500 calorie deficit a day is generally recommended as a starting point for losing weight. But you’ll need to adjust your nutrient intake depending on your rate of fat loss. Caloric intake also depends on which keto diety you’re using. Make sure your diet consists of animal proteins, eggs, nuts/nut butter, coconut and cruciferous, low-carb vegetables. [2]  In order to begin and stay in ketosis you’ll need to limit your carbs intake to 30g or fewer a day. You’ll want to avoid fruits, starches, added sugars and other foods high in net carbs. [3]

High Protein Ketogenic Diet

The high protein keto diet is very similar to the standard keto diet, except for the higher ratio of protein. This diet consists generally of 5% carbs, 35% protein and 60% fat. There’s debate over the benefits of a high-protein keto diet but one study abstracted in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that high-protein, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets reduce hunger and lower food intake significantly more than do high-protein, medium-carbohydrate nonketogenic diets. [4]

Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD)

The target ketogenic diet allows you to add extra carbs around your workout days/times. This will be higher than the SKD carb levels of 5%. This diet is recommended if you’re extremely active and workout more than twice a week. [5]

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

On the cyclical keto diet, you will combine carb loading days with the standard keto diet. This version is used mainly by individuals who are very advanced in their high-intensity exercise levels. Therefore you’ll find a lot of athletes and bodybuilders using this version of keto diet. The goal of the CKD is to completely replete glycogen during carb loads and deplete glycogen and increase ketone levels between the carb loads. [6] The usual regimen is to rotate keto days with high-carbs days, usually a 5:2 ratio. This is also referred to as ketogenic carb cycling. [7]

See below for an example of a ketogenic diet:


Types of Keto Diets

Approved Keto Foods

Here are some examples of foods that are allowed on the keto diet. [8] For a full list see the Further Reading section below.


  • American
  • Bleu Cheese
  • Swiss
  • Provolone
  • Feta
  • Gouda
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cream Cheese


  • Almond Butter
  • Avocado Oil
  • Walnut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Full Fat Mayo
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Fish Oil


  • Chia
  • Hemp
  • Safflower
  • Sunflower
  • Flax
  • Pumpkin
  • Sesame


  • Eggs
  • Duck
  • Turkey
  • Quail
  • Chicken
  • Goose


  • Avocados
  • Blueberries
  • Tomatos
  • Green Olives
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Raspberries

Dairy/Dairy Substitutes

  • Almond Milk (unsweetened)
  • Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
  • Heavy Cream
  • Soy Milk (unsweetened)
  • Whipped Cream
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Sour Cream


  • Certain Cuts of Beef
  • Certain Cuts of Pork
  • Lamb
  • Bologna
  • Pepperoni
  • Venison
  • Veal


  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini

For Further Reading

Keto Food List

Keto Shopping List

6 Things You Must Know Before You Try the Keto Diet

15 Best and Worst Keto Diet Foods

30 Day Ketogenic Diet Plan

3 Ketogenic Diets Explained



Image Credit: Kettle & Fire

Image Credit: BioKeto

Post by Andrea Rogers