The most difficult part of starting the Keto diet is learning which foods you should enjoy and those you should limit. My Ketogenic Diet Food List should help make that a little easier. Print out a copy and stick it on your refrigerator or take it with you to your favorite grocery store.
Remember, as long as you keep your daily carb limit to 20g of carbs, you’ll stay in ketosis. This will ensure that you burn fat for fuel in place of sugar and should help with weight loss, inflammation, mental health and a variety of other issues.
* items marked with an asterisk have a carb content and need to be moderated.
Aside from animal fat on your meats, you will want to focus on the following healthy fats for optimal health.
- coconut oil
- duck fat
- olive oil
- red palm oil
- avocado oil
- macadamia nut oil
- MCT oil
When buying meats, you want to try and choose options with a good fat content. If you are using lean meat, you can add fat to it if you like, such as butter or coconut oil.
- ground beef
- ribs (pork/beef/lamb)
- roasts (pork/beef/lamb)
- pork loin, chops & steaks
- chicken (skin-on breasts, thighs, wings, drumsticks)
- offal and organ meats (liver, brain, tongue, oxtail)
- deli meats (double check nutrition for certain brands that use carb fillers)
- cured meats (pepperoni, salami, prosciutto)
There are many people who insist that organic and grass-fed meat is the only option on the Keto diet. This is simply not true. If you have the means and desire to purchase all grass-fed and organic, go for it.
It isn’t, however, a requirement to be successful with this way of eating. Conventionally raised meat is fine.
Most fish and seafood is fairly low in carbohydrates and fits easily its into a Keto diet. Some shellfish actually have a decent amount of carbs though, so be sure to read up on the nutrition information before consuming.
The key to finding Keto-friendly dairy is to look at the carb and sugar content. Regular cows milk is generally out as it’s loaded with lactose (milk sugar), but heavy cream can be a great and tasty substitute. Personally, I love to explore and try new cheeses.
- full-fat cheeses
- heavy whipping cream
- full-fat sour cream
- butter (avoid margarines)
- full-fat cream cheese
If you find that you’re stalling when trying to lose weight, I would try to limit dairy. I find that I am essentially bloat-free when I take a break from cheese and heavy whipping cream.
Most of your carbohydrates will come from vegetables — primarily those that are green and grow above ground.
- squash (spaghetti, butternut, pumpkin, etc.)
- peppers (jalapeno, bell, banana, etc.) *
- Brussels sprouts
- various leafy greens (spinach, romaine, arugula, bib lettuce, etc.)
- artichoke hearts
- garlic *
- onion *
Remember, if you are counting net carbs, you can subtract the fiber from the total carbohydrate count.
Most fruits aren’t super Keto-friendly, but you can still enjoy the following in small amounts:
- blueberries *
- raspberries *
- blackberries *
- strawberries *
- cranberries *
Nuts & Seeds
Be careful when consuming nuts. They are extremely easy to overeat and they do have a carb content. This includes nut butters.
- almonds *
- hazelnuts *
- macadamias *
- pistachios *
- walnuts *
- pecans *
- sesame seeds *
- sunflowers seeds *
- pumpkin seeds *
- flax seeds *
While there are plenty of low carb versions of our favorite condiments with added sugar, some of the naturally Keto-friendly options include:
- soy sauce (tamari or coconut aminos if you’re eating gluten-free)
- hot sauce
- salad dressings (full-fat Ranch, Caesar, Bleu Cheese, Italian) *
- lemon/lime Juice
- salsa *
As always, check the nutrition information on all of your condiments. Some companies are really sneaky about adding additional sugar to things that shouldn’t need it.
- cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- almond milk (unsweetened)
- coconut milk/cream (unsweetened)
- almond meal/flour
- stock or bone broth
- pork rinds
- beef jerky * (I like Keto Carne — zero carbs!)
- dark chocolate (85% cocao+)
Sweeteners are a great way to cut carbohydrates and still enjoy your favorite treats. Of all that I’ve tried and researched, the following are the best options:
This is just a simple version of a ketogenic diet food list. It will be your choice to decide whether some things are worth purchasing, like diet sodas, for example. If you read the food labels and stay within your 20g carb limit — you should be just fine!
Ready to get started? Try some of my favorite Keto recipes.