Intermittent Fasting Food List (9 Critical Foods)

Intermittent Fasting Food List – Overview

Intermittent fasting is the idea of alternating between fasting and eating sessions. Advocates of this approach say it’s an effective and safe method of losing weight by restricting your calorie intake for a few days per week.

Here are some tips you should keep in mind while engaging in intermittent fasting.

  • Reduce your intake of processed foods
  • Prepare delicious and flavor-filled meals that you love
  • Eat a balanced diet comprising lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and healthy carbohydrates
  • Eat slowly to your satisfaction

There are no defined intermittent fasting menus. However, there are some meals you should include in your intermittent food list and others you should either eliminate or limit, as we shall learn below.

What you Should Include in Your Intermittent Food List

Protein

Intermittent Fasting Food List

Intermittent Fasting Food List – Protein

The amount of protein you should consume for each kilogram of body weight is 0.8 grams based on the RDA (recommended dietary allowance).

However, your needs may depend on your activity level and fitness goals.

Protein boosts metabolism, makes you feel fuller for longer, and reduces energy consumption to promote weight loss. Your intermittent fasting food list should contain the following protein options. 

  • Eggs
  • Fish and poultry
  • Seafood
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and milk
  • Whole grains
  • Soy
  • Legumes and beans
  • Chicken breast
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Tempeh and tofu
  • Shellfish 

Carbohydrates

Intermittent Fasting Food List

Intermittent Fasting Food List – Carbohydrates

The American dietary guidelines state that; humans should get up to 65% of the calories they consume daily from carbohydrates.

Carbs are the core source of energy in the human body. There are different types of carbohydrates, with the most common being starch, fiber, and sugar.

While carbs are said to trigger weight gain, not all carbohydrate types cause fattening.

Gaining weight or lack of it depends on the amount and type of carbs you consume. Always ensure your carbs are fiber-dense and low on sugar and starch.

Some studies suggest that consuming 30 grams of fiber daily can stimulate weight loss, reduce blood pressure and boost glucose levels.

Here are carbohydrate-rich foods you should include in your intermittent fasting diet.

  • Beetroots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Mangoes
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Brown rice
  • Pears
  • Kidney beans
  • Carrots
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Almonds
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Chickpeas
  • Chia seeds
  • Berries

Fats

Dietary experts recommend that up to 35% of your daily calorie intake should come from fats. Worth mentioning is that fats can be bad or good based on the type you consume. 

Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats lower the risk of heart-related disease. Further, they can reduce fat levels in your body and lower blood pressure.

Some of the healthy fat options are canola and olive oils. Here are some foods you can consume during your intermittent fasting journey to supply your body with healthy fats.

  • Nuts 
  • Avocado
  • Whole eggs
  • Cheese
  • Fatty fish
  • Dark chocolate
  • Chia seeds
  • Full fat yogurt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Fats to Consume During Intermittent Fasting

Saturated Fat Options

Intermittent Fasting Food List

Intermittent Fasting Food List – Saturated Fat Options

  • Heavy cream
  • Ghee
  • Coconut milk
  • MCT oil
  • Grass-fed butter
  • Cocoa butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Monounsaturated Fat Options
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pecans
  • Organic Lard
  • Avocados and avocado oil
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Goose grease
  • Bacon

Polyunsaturated Fat Options

  • Walnuts
  • Anchovies
  • Mackerel
  • Flaxseed
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Wild Salmon

Foods to Boost Gut Health

Studies show that a healthy gut plays a big role in your general health. The gut hosts numerous bacteria (microbiota) that can affect your mental health, digestion, and gut health.

Further, these bacteria can be crucial in preventing various chronic diseases. Your intermittent fasting food list should contain the following foods to promote gut health.

Fermented veggies

  • Kimchi
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Tempeh
  • Sauerkaut
  • All types of veggies

Apart from boosting gut health, these foods can promote weight loss by:

  • Reducing food consumption
  • Lowering fat absorption from your gut
  • Increasing the discharge of absorbed fats through stool

Foods to Promote Hydration

Intermittent Fasting Food List

Intermittent Fasting Food List – Foods to Promote Hydration

The recommended water intake for men is more than three liters, while women should take at least two liters. Hydrating well is crucial for your health, especially during intermittent fasting. 

Remember, dehydration could cause dizziness, severe tiredness, and headaches. Your intermittent food list should contain the following hydration-boosting foods and beverages.

  • Sparkling water
  • Regular drinking water
  • Black tea or coffee
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Cantaloupe
  • Lettuce
  • Skim milk
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Plain yogurt
  • Tomatoes

Some studies suggest that drinking sufficient water can promote weight loss by stimulating fat burning and reducing appetite and food consumption.

Fruits and Vegetables

Intermittent Fasting Food List

Intermittent Fasting Food List – Fruits

Vegetables and fruits are rich in fiber, phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins, which can help regulate blood sugar levels. Reduce cholesterol, and promote bowel health.

Further, they contain low calories. Some of the fruits you can consume during intermittent fasting include

  • Apricots
  • Apples
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Peaches
  • Cherries
  • Plums
  • Pears
  • Melons
  • Oranges

Vegetables to Include in Your Intermittent Fasting Food List

Intermittent Fasting Food List

Intermittent Fasting Food List – Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Chard
  • Arugula
  • Collard greens

Foods to Eliminate from Your Intermittent Fasting Food List

Trans fats and industrial vegetable oil such as

  • Margarine
  • Corn oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Partly hydrogenated vegetable oils

Remember, some of these oils are considered healthy but may not be ideal for intermittent fasting. Further, you should eat them in moderation, even when you are not fasting. 

Food Additives and Sweeteners

Often, unlabeled calorie or sugar-free foods may contain hidden calories and carbohydrates like:

Sugar alcohol and alcohol. Be on the lookout for the following ingredients:

  • Isomalt
  • Maltitol
  • Xylitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Erythritol
  • Juice concentrates and fruit juices. 
  • Sugar, fructose, sucrose, corn syrup, dextrose, and maltodextrin

Calorie-free sweeteners and additives can trigger nutrient sensors like insulin during fasting, destroying gut health. Here are some ingredients you should avoid. 

Calorie-free sweeteners and additives like 

  • Aspartame
  • Stevia
  • Saccharin
  • Acesulfame K 
  • Sucralose 
  • Artificial colors and flavors
  • Monk fruit extract

Lectin Rich Foods

Intermittent Fasting Food List

Intermittent Fasting Food List – Lectin Rich Foods

Lectins are plant-based toxins covered in grains, seeds, leaves, shells, and barks of food.

They are sticky proteins that can cling to the brain and intestines, causing autoimmune and inflammation diseases. Further, they can attach to leptin receptors and insulin stimulating weight gain.

Lectins can also cause insulin resistance causing extreme weight gain. Studies show that many people who consume seemingly healthy foods struggle to lose weight due to lectins.

If you want the perfect solution to lose weight and enhance your health, consider eliminating the following foods from your intermittent diet.

Remember, some of these foods are already in the least ideal options for intermittent fasting. You may want to consume them moderately. 

  • All grains
  • Peanuts
  • All beans and sprouts
  • Cashews
  • Quinoa
  • Sugar Peas
  • Edamame
  • Pea Protein
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Chilli
  • Hummus
  • Lentils
  • Soy
  • Structured vegetable protein
  • Soy Protein
  • Tofu
  • Goji Berries
  • Eggplants
  • Cucumbers
  • All types of melons 
  • Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • All types of cucurbits
  • Tomatoes 

Takeaway

Intermittent fasting can be an effective weight-loss program.

Some foods can be both good and bad for your intermittent fasting journey. Identify and either eat them moderately or eliminate them from your program entirely. 

Consuming seeds, nuts, veggies, fruits, and lean proteins can promote the weight loss gains of intermittent fasting.

You can combine intermittent fasting with other popular diets like vegetarian and keto diets.

Consider eating a well-balanced diet even when fasting to prevent nutrition-oriented deficiency.

Foods you Can EatFoods you Cannot Eat
Protein like eggs, fish, poultry, and seafood.

Trans fats and industrial vegetable oil like margarine, corn oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, sesame oil, and partly hydrogenated vegetable oils
Nuts and seedsFood additives and sweeteners like isomalt, maltitol, xylitol, sorbitol, and erthritol
Dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and milkJuice concentrates and fruit juices
Whole grainsSugar, fructose, sucrose, corn syrup, dextrose, and maltodextrin
SoyCalorie-free sweeteners and additives like aspartame, stevia, saccharin, acesulfame K, sucralose,artificial colors and flavors, and monk fruit extract


 
Legumes and beansLectin rich foods like all grains, peanuts, all beans and sprouts, cashews, quinoa, sugar peas, edamane, pea protein, peas, green beans, chickpeas, chilis, hummus, lentils, soy, structured vegetable protein, soy proteun, tofu, goji berries, eggplants, cucumbers, all types of melons, peppers, zucchini, all types of cucurbits, and tomatoes.
Chicken breast
Plain Greek yogurt
Tempeh and Tofu
Shellfish
Carbohydrates like Beetroots, sweet potatoes, oats, quinoa, mangoes, bananas, apples, berries, brown rice, pears, kidney beans, carrots, avocado, broccoli, almonds, brussels sprouts, chickpeas, chia seeds, and berries
Fat rich foods like nuts, avocados, whole eggs, cheese, fatty fish, dark chocolate, chia seeds, full fat yogurt, extra virgin olive oil
Saturated fats like heavy cream, ghee, coconut milk, MCT oil, grass-fed butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil

Monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil, pecans, organic lard, avocados and avocado oil, macadamia nuts, goose grease, and bacon
Polyunsaturated fats like walnuts, anchovies, mackerel, flaxseed, herring, sardines, wild salmon
Gut health boosting foods like fermented veggies, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, tempeh, sauerkaut, and all regular types of veggies
Fruits like, apples, blackberries, blueberries, peaches, cherries, plums, pears, melons, and oranges
Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, green beans, cauli flower, tomatoes, spinach, kale, cabbage, chard, arugula, and collard greens

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