Keto Diet Plan for Indians

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Written by Brenda Peralta, Registered Dietitian and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

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Nowadays, more and more people are following a keto lifestyle. Either for weight loss or other reasons, you may be considering making the switch. However, people who follow an Indian diet might find it difficult or think it is impossible to follow. After all, much of the Indian diet consists of carbs. 

Nonetheless, it is possible to follow an Indian diet and be keto at the same time. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know on how to apply this lifestyle to your current diet. Some of the topics we will dig into are what the ketogenic plan for Indians is, the benefits and drawbacks of following it, how to start, and foods to eat and avoid. You’ll also find a one-day meal plan and a shopping list.


What is a keto diet for Indians?

A ketogenic diet consists of a low-carb, moderate in protein, and high-fat diet. It has the following macronutrient percentages:

  • Carbs: 5-10%
  • Protein: 20%
  • Fats: 70-80%

Hence, an Indian keto diet plan focuses on traditional dishes and ingredients seen in Indian culture, all from keto-friendly ingredients.

The main goal of following a low-carb diet is to reach a ketosis state. Here ketones are formed to be used as the primary source of energy in the body, and the result is burning more fat to produce these ketones.

Following a ketogenic diet is unsuitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women, and for people with type 1 diabetes or other health conditions. Please speak with your doctor to find out if a low-carb diet is compatible with your medical history.


Benefits of an Indian keto diet

The most common reason people follow a ketogenic plan is for weight loss. Although the number might vary, on average, a person can end up losing around 4-7 kilos (10-15 pounds) per month. 

There are other additional benefits you may experience when following a low-carb plan:

  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced blood glucose levels
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Reduced cravings
  • Increased energy

There are some of the possible advantages of this type of diet. Additionally, by decreasing the carb intake, there seems to be a reduction in bloating and increase in overall gastrointestinal wellness.


Side effects of a ketogenic diet for Indians

Although there are several benefits of following a low-carb high-fat diet, there are also some drawbacks. The biggest disadvantage is its sustainability. A traditional Indian menu involves a lot of carbohydrates, and although you can follow a keto plan at home, it may be challenging when going to social gatherings with food that others have prepared. This is a possible source of friction that can occur when pursuing this type of plan, and leads some people to give up.

Here are additional disadvantages that might happen with this eating plan:

  • Keto flu. During the first days, you might have headaches, nausea, and stomach cramps.
  • Constipation. Due to the reduction in carbohydrates, a decrease in fiber can lead to constipation. One way to prevent this is to eat more fiber-rich low-carb foods, like artichokes, broccoli, and spinach.
  • Bad breath. Ketones may create bad breath in some people.
  • Liver and kidney problems. Make sure to plan regular medical check-ups.


How to start an Indian ketogenic diet plan

Before you start a ketogenic diet, it is advised that you go to a healthcare professional to determine if you can follow this diet. Once the healthcare professional gives you the thumbs up, you are good to start the next couple of steps.

  1. Calculate your daily caloric intake. You need to determine if you are using keto for weight loss, building muscle, or maintaining your weight. Once you know your goal, you can determine how many calories you need during the day.
  2. Calculate your daily macros. Once you have your daily calories, you can determine the amount for each macronutrient (fat, protein, and carbohydrates) following the percentages stated above.
  3. Determine which dishes to include. Make a list of the traditional Indian recipes you normally eat. See if you can modify them with keto ingredients. If not, look for those that are fat-based.
  4. Make a weekly or monthly plan. Now that you know how many calories, macros, and which dishes you like, you are ready to make a weekly meal plan. When you have a plan written out, it is easier to follow.




Indian foods on keto

Now it’s time to talk about food (yum!). 

When following a ketogenic diet, although you don’t eliminate your carb intake entirely, you must keep it very low. This means that it would be best to avoid any food that is high in carbs.

Cakes, pastries, sugar, honey, biscuits, and regular soda are typically very high in carbohydrates. Although you can control the portion, they don’t offer any nutritional value, so it is best to avoid them. 

Bread, roti, naan, rice, samosas, and potatoes are other high-carb foods that should be avoided. (Luckily there are some alternative recipes you can make, such as using almond flour instead of wheat flour.)

There are some carbohydrates that you can include in moderation. As long as you measure the portion size and deduct it from your total carbs, there is no problem with adding them in small amounts. Sweet potato, lentils, beans, chickpeas, quinoa, and brown rice are examples of carbs you can add if you are careful with the portions. This means that if you are making a curry with lentils, you can eat it as long as you are careful with the number of lentils you serve.

Fruits are another group that is relatively high in carbs. However, you can include certain fruits in controlled serving sizes. The best fruits to include are berries because they are low in carbs and sugar. Try to add these more than any other fruit.

Now that we know which foods to avoid and which to eat in moderation, let’s talk about which ones to have more frequently.

Fats are the primary energy source, which means that you need to eat them in large quantities. Focus on unsaturated fats, which are healthier. You find these usually in plant-based sources, such as avocado, olive oil, olives, nuts, and seeds. Eat saturated fats in moderation, which are normally found in animal sources — for example, sour cream, heavy cream, butter, or ghee.

Protein is another essential part of a healthy keto diet, and it helps you to maintain your muscle mass. Any animal protein of choice is great to add. You can have eggs, plain Greek yogurt, chicken, fish, and seafood

If you want to do keto as a vegetarian, plant-based protein sources include tofu, seitan, tempeh, edamame, nutritional yeast, spirulina, soy milk, hemp seeds, chia seeds, nuts, and nut butters.

Veggies are a great option to add more nutrients and fiber to your diet. Try to have at least three colors of veggies each day. This will add several nutrients to your diet. Any vegetable of choice is excellent to add, as long as it is low in carbs (no potatoes, corn, or cassava).


Indian ketogenic grocery list

We now know which foods to add and which to avoid. Here, you can find a grocery list with all the keto-friendly ingredients to get the next time you go to the supermarket.

  • Fat
    • Avocado
    • Olive oil
    • Coconut oil
    • Butter or ghee
    • Heavy cream
    • Sour cream
    • Nuts (cashews, almonds, peanuts, or walnuts)
    • Seeds (chia, hemp, flaxseed)
    • Almond or peanut butter
  • Protein
    • Lamb
    • Chicken
    • Seafood
    • Fish
    • Plain Greek yogurt
    • Eggs
    • Cheese
    • Paneer
    • Tofu or soy
  • Carbs (only in small amounts)
    • Legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils, quinoa)
    • Sweet potato
    • Brown rice
  • Fruits  (only in small amounts)
    • Berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries)
    • Apples
    • Pears
    • Peaches
    • Figs
    • Coconut
  • Vegetables
    • Eggplant
    • Cauliflower
    • Broccoli
    • Leafy greens
    • Zucchini
    • Onion
    • Tomato
    • Garlic
    • Bell peppers
    • Mushrooms
  • Extras
    • Herbs and spices
    • Tea
    • Coffee
    • Cocoa powder
    • Stevia or monk fruit
    • Sugar-free beverages
    • Almond milk


1-day sample Indian keto meal plan

Now it is time to put everything we have learned into practice! Here you find a one-day menu with some traditional Indian dishes and how you can include them when following a ketogenic diet.

  • Breakfast: Paneer bhurji
  • Morning snack: Cashews with blueberries
  • Lunch: Coconut curry chicken with cauliflower rice
  • Evening snack: Plain Greek yogurt with almond butter and figs
  • Dinner: Kachumber salad with shrimp

Calories: 2,540 | Macros: 78.2 g net carbs – 158.2 g protein – 181.1 g fat

BREAKFAST Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Paneer bhurji Eggs 3 units 215 1.1 18.9 14.2
  Olive oil 1 tablespoon 120 0 0 13.6
  Onion  1 tablespoon 4 0.8 0.1 0
  Garlic 1 clove 4 1 0.2 0
  Tomato 1/4 cup 6 0.9 0.4 0.3
  Turmeric 1 teaspoon 9 0.3 0.3 0.1
  Corriander 1/4 teaspoon  0 0 0 0
  Garam masala 1/4 teaspoon  0 0 0 0
  Paneer 50 g 160 1.8 12.5 12.5
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
518 5.9 g 32.4 g 40.7 g            
MORNING SNACK Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Cashews with blueberries Cashews 2 oz 314 15.4 10.4 24.8
  Blueberries 1 cup 84 18 1.1 0.5
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
398 33.4 g 11.5 g 25.3 g            
LUNCH Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Coconut curry chicken with cauliflower rice Olive oil 1 tablespoon 120 0 0 13.6
  Onion 1 tablespoon 4 0.8 0.1 0
  Chicken 1 unit 289 0 55.9 5.6
  Tomato 1/2 cup 12 1.8 0.8 0.6
  Coconut milk 1 cup 445 6.4 4.6 48.1
  Chicken broth 1 cup 38 2.9 4.8 1.4
  Curry powder 1 teaspoon 6 0.1 0.3 0.3
  Gournd ginger 1/2 teaspoon 3 0.5 0 0
  Paprika 1/4 teaspoon 2 0.1 0.1 0
  Cauliflower 1 cup 26 3.2 2 0.2
   Garlic 1 clove 4 1 0.2 0
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
949 16.8 g 68.8 g 69.8 g            
EVENING SNACK Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Plain Greek yogurt with almond butter and figs  Plain Greek yogurt 7 oz 146 7.9 19.9 3.8
  Almond butter 1/8 cup 193 2.6 6.5 17.3
  Figs 1 small 30 6.5 0.3 0.1
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
369 17 g 26.7 g 21.2 g            
DINNER Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Kachumber Salad with shrimp Onion  1 tablespoon 4 0.8 0.1 0
  Tomato 1/2 cup 12 1.8 0.8 0.6
  Cucumber 1/2 cup 7 1 0.4 0.1
  Radishes 1/4 cup 4 0.5 0.2 0
  Lemon juice 1 tablespoon 3 1 0 0
  Green chilli 1/4 teaspoon 0 0 0 0
  Shrimp 3 oz 72 0 17.1 0.4
  Butter 2 tablespoon 204 0 0.2 23
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
306 5.1 g 18.8 g 24.1 g            
DAILY TOTALS   2,540 cal 78.2 g net carbs 158.2 g protein 181.1 g fat




Questions about an Indian keto diet plan

Do you still have some questions related to the ketogenic diet and Indian cuisine? Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions on this topic.

Yes! However, it depends on the ingredients used.

In most cases, curry is vegetable-based, so it can be a great source of high-fiber carbs. Vegetable curry is good to eat for keto if you make it with a fat source like coconut milk, heavy cream, or any other fat.

However, be on the lookout for curries made with legumes (lentil or chickpeas) since these can be too high in carbohydrates and can only be eaten in small quantities.

Yes, but it would have to be a keto-friendly version.

If you make chapati with almond flour, then it is ok to have it on a ketogenic diet. If you do include regular chapati, make sure to measure the serving size and subtract from your daily carbohydrate intake.

No, regular Atta flour is not low in carbs. Since it is made with wheat, it is very high in carbohydrates.

However, NutroActive Keto Atta is an excellent option for those looking to have an Indian keto diet. It is very low in carbs and very nutrient-dense.

No, Ragi flour is a high-carb food. If you are going to include it, make sure to measure the portion size and deduct it from the daily carb intake, so you don’t consume more than allowed.

No, traditional roti is high in carbohydrates. However, if you choose low-carb roti options, you can include them in a ketogenic plan. You can make them with almond flour so that they are lower in carbs and more keto-friendly.

Chicken tikka is a great keto dish. It is high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and moderate in fats. This is one of the best dishes to include when you are on an Indian low-carb diet. Make sure not to add legumes since it would increase the carb content.


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