Dark chocolate isn't banned by the keto diet. But it has to be really dark.Shutterstock
The ketogenic diet isn't built for those with a sweet tooth.
Typically, our bodies seek out carbohydrates (sugars, starches, and fiber) for fuel before tapping into fat reserves. So the keto plan is designed to essentially trick your body into thinking it is starving.
The keto diet was originally designed to help manage drug-resistant epileptic seizures, but it has developed something of a cult following. Many followers say the diet allows them fill up on fatty, rich foods while still losing weight, reducing their appetite, and sharpening their minds.
Like many restrictive diets, keto isn't easy to follow. You can't eat more than a handful of chickpeas or a single banana without going over your daily recommended carb count on the plan, so it's easy to understand why the regimen may not be sustainable. In fact, most nutritionists suggest that if you're looking to stay healthy long-term, less restrictive diets that are rich in unprocessed, plant-based foods and include a moderate amount of carbohydrates are some of the best for a healthy, long life.
We still don't know much about the long-term health effects of the keto diet. But clinical studies in mice suggest it may have a role to play in cancer treatment, though studies in humans are needed.
For those trying the plan, there are some tasty and healthy snacks that fit neatly into the keto rules. Here are 16 surprising keto-friendly foods.