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
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.
- Fish and poultry
- Nuts and seeds
- Dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and milk
- Whole grains
- Legumes and beans
- Chicken breast
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Tempeh and tofu
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.
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- Kidney beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Chia seeds
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.
- Whole eggs
- Fatty fish
- Dark chocolate
- Chia seeds
- Full fat yogurt
- Extra virgin olive oil
Fats to Consume During Intermittent Fasting
Saturated Fat Options
- Heavy cream
- Coconut milk
- MCT oil
- Grass-fed butter
- Cocoa butter
- Coconut oil
- Monounsaturated Fat Options
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Organic Lard
- Avocados and avocado oil
- Macadamia nuts
- Goose grease
Polyunsaturated Fat Options
- 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.
- 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
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
- Skim milk
- Plain yogurt
Some studies suggest that drinking sufficient water can promote weight loss by stimulating fat burning and reducing appetite and food consumption.
Fruits and Vegetables
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
Vegetables to Include in Your Intermittent Fasting Food List
- Green beans
- Collard greens
Foods to Eliminate from Your Intermittent Fasting Food List
Trans fats and industrial vegetable oil such as
- 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:
- 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
- Acesulfame K
- Artificial colors and flavors
- Monk fruit extract
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
- All beans and sprouts
- Sugar Peas
- Pea Protein
- Green beans
- Structured vegetable protein
- Soy Protein
- Goji Berries
- All types of melons
- All types of cucurbits
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 Eat||Foods 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 seeds||Food additives and sweeteners like isomalt, maltitol, xylitol, sorbitol, and erthritol
|Dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and milk||Juice concentrates and fruit juices|
|Whole grains||Sugar, fructose, sucrose, corn syrup, dextrose, and maltodextrin|
|Soy||Calorie-free sweeteners and additives like aspartame, stevia, saccharin, acesulfame K, sucralose,artificial colors and flavors, and monk fruit extract
|Legumes and beans||Lectin 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.|
|Plain Greek yogurt|
|Tempeh and Tofu|
|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|