The keto diet is an extremely low carb diet. At times, knowing which foods are good for you can get confusing especially for a beginner.
This ketogenic diet food list shows you what to eat on keto, what to avoid and how to determine it.
The kind of foods we eat are essential to our success on any diet. Likewise on the ketogenic diet, you need to be eating the right foods to get the results you want. Knowing what to eat on keto and what to avoid is definitely important.
This keto food list contains the list of over 130 keto-friendly foods that get the green light and the also the foods that get the red light, so you’re never confused.
Prefer to read offline, You can download your Free Keto Diet Food List Printable here
The ketogenic diet: what to eat and what to avoid
The ketogenic diet is a low carb high fat (LCHF) diet. On keto, about 70% of your calories comes from fats, about 20 – 25% from protein while the remaining 5 – 10% comes from carbohydrates.
Basically you need to take lots of good and healthy, adequate protein and reduced carbs, allowing you to enter ketosis.
On the side of carbs, this represents ideally less than 50g total carbs and 35g net carbs per day for the average person. So your total food intake, including snacks should follow such ratios.
A good way to know the exact amount of each macronutrient you personally need is by using a keto calculator.
One thing to note is that since the ketogenic diet is a low carb diet, you need to get foods that are low in carb and support ketosis for you.
In a nutshell, here’s are the main foods that are eaten on the keto diet.
- Fish and other seafood
- Leafy green vegetables
- High fat diary
- Healthy fats and oils
- Nuts and seeds
- Berries and other low carb fruits
- Low carb sauces and spices
Let’s get a bit more into detail.
The food list: What to eat on keto
Fats and oils
We’re starting off with fats because they are the macronutrient that make up the highest percentage of your calories at about 70%. Plus, they are going to serve as your new energy source on the keto diet. So getting fats that are good and healthy is essential.
Basically there are 4 types of fats you will encounter
- Saturated fats
- Monounsaturated fats
- Polyunsaturated fats
- Trans fats
Some saturated fats are healthy and ok. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good as well. Although polyunsaturated fats are more unstable and tend to become oxidized when heated at relatively high temperatures.
Trans fats are unhealthy and should generally be avoided. Although some naturally occurring trans fats are ok. For more information, check out our article on fats on the ketogenic diet.
When choosing fats on keto, organic and grass-fed sources are generally be better. Here are the fats and oils that get the green light on keto
|Butter||Avocados and Avocado oil|
|Ghee||Extra virgin olive oil|
|Egg yolks||Flaxseed oil|
|Coconut oil||Sesame oil|
|MCT oil||Fatty fish oil|
|Red palm oil||Hemp seed oil|
|Cocoa butter||Pumpkin seed oil|
|Macadamia nut oil|
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds also have a very high fat content as well. In addition to that, nuts tend to go well as snacks and also with some meals. Not all nuts are permitted on keto because some of them have a high carbohydrate content which can throw you off ketosis.
But you still have a wide range of nuts and seeds to choose from on keto. One thing to note with nuts is that they are easy to snack on and also easy to overconsume.
They have individual carb counts which can quickly add up when you overconsume them and can throw you off ketosis when taken in excess.
With that aside, here are some keto friendly nuts and seeds
|Brazil nuts||Chia seeds|
|Macadamia Nuts||Flax seeds|
Protein make up around 20 – 25% of your calories on the ketogenic diet. Proteins are good for building and maintaining muscle mass, as well as carrying out other functions in the body.
Grass-fed and unprocessed sources of protein are usually very low carb and keto friendly. On keto, it’s important to eat the right amount of protein.
Eating too little will make you lose muscle mass along other side effects while eating too much may affect ketone production.
For more on how much protein you should eat, check out our article on protein intake on keto and how it affects ketosis
There are a lot of protein sources to enjoy on the ketogenic diet. From a wide variety of meats and organ meats to seafood and eggs.
|Beef, lean steak||Turkey||Sardines|
Here are some eggs and organ meats you can enjoy on the keto diet
|Bone Marrow||Ricotta eggs|
You can still enjoy dairy products on the ketogenic diet. But if you don’t like dairy, you can definitely do without it as it’s not a compulsory component on keto.
Dairy is calorie dense and has nice options if you decide to add them to your diet. If you are sensitive to lactose, hard and long aged dairy might be for you as they contain less lactose.
It’s always good to know what foods you are sensitive to as it saves you a lot of stress when choosing meals.
Another good thing to note when choosing dairy is that the processed dairy options usually contain more carbs than the natural one.
Here are some good dairy options you can enjoy on keto
|Blue cheese||Cottage cheese|
|Goat cheese||Heavy whipping cream|
|Gouda||Half n half|
Fruits and vegetables
Vegetables and fruits are a healthy part of our lives. Although some are high in carbs and can’t fit into the ketogenic diet, there are still tons of low carb options to enjoy.
Vegetables that grow below the ground are high in carbs and starch while the ones that grow above the ground are usually lower in carbs.
Whichever you may decide to add to your plate, just ensure they don’t kick you over your carb limit for the day.
Almost the same goes for fruits. A lot of fruits are high in carbs but there are still low carb options that you can enjoy.
And even occasionally, there are ways you can use the ones slightly higher in carbs and still stay in ketosis. This is where planning and moderation comes in.
That being said, here are the some fruits and veggies to enjoy on keto
|Endives||White and green cabbage||Eggplant|
|Bok choy||Onion||Hearts of palm|
Spices and herbs
Spices and herbs have their own carb count as well so it’s good to note that. But there are still tons of low carb spices and herbs to enjoy on keto.
Here are some spices and herbs you can enjoy on the ketogenic diet.
Flours and powders
- Almond flour
- Coconut flour
- Sesame seed flour
- Cocoa powder
- Protein powder
There are still other low carb foods to enjoy such as low carb sweeteners
- Monk fruit
Drinks on keto
This keto food list would not be complete without drinks, because what you drink on keto is also as important as what you eat. There are a lot of drinks to enjoy on the ketogenic diet.
|Water (obviously)||Diet soda||Some light beers|
|Unsweetened Coffee||Flavored water||Scotch|
|Coconut milk||Lemon water||Vodka|
|Almond milk||Red wine|
Foods to avoid on keto
I’m sure by now from this keto food list, you have a nice concept on the kind of foods to avoid. Here’s more detailed information on the foods to avoid on keto
- Sugar – this is pretty obvious. Sugar should be avoided on keto. Rather opt in for low carb sweeteners as listed above. Sugary foods like candy, cookies, cakes etc should be avoided. Don’t worry. You won’t miss them. There are keto friendly ways to prepare them. We’ll show you
- Starch – starchy foods are high in carbs and can quickly throw you off ketosis and should be avoided.
- Low fat foods- low fat foods are usually loaded with carbs. The keto diet is a high fat diet, so you shouldn’t be afraid of fat. Especially when you’re eating the good and healthy ones.
- High carb fruits – unfortunately, a lot of fruits are high in carbs and should be avoided. Not to worry. There are lots of low carb fruits to enjoy and certain ways to still be able to catch up on few others
- Grains – grains like pasta, cereal, and barley should be avoided as well
- Margarine – surprised margarine made this list? Well, margarine contains trans fats which are not the healthiest fats you want to be taking. Find out more in this article.
Your keto food list: more tips to note
Here are some tips to note when choosing what foods to eat on keto
- Always opt in for healthy options – You may see some foods termed low carb which may actually be unhealthy in stores. Make sure your foods are both healthy and keto-friendly
- Ensure to check for added sugars – many processed foods can claim to be low carb and still contain added sugars. Be sure to check for hidden sugars because they can throw you off your carb limit.
- Focus on real whole foods – real foods are generally better than their processed counterparts in terms of carb count and nutrients. Focus on eating more real foods than processed
- Use a keto calculator to know your carb limit – a keto calculator helps you determine the amount of carbs as well as other macronutrients to take on keto. knowing your recommended amounts will definitely help when shopping
Frequently asked questions on keto foods
If you have questions on what to eat on keto? Here are some frequently asked questions to help you. Also, if you have further questions, feel free to drop them down in the comments.
- I’m allergic to some of the keto-friendly foods. What can I do? – It’s not compulsory to eat a particular food just because it is keto-friendly. If you are allergic to something, it’s best to avoid it. Fortunately, there are tons of keto friendly foods to serve as alternatives if you ever find yourself allergic to anyone.
- Is there a way I can create keto friendly versions of my favourite high carb meals? – Definitely. There are many keto friendly alternatives you can use to replace high carb options. That way you can enjoy the keto friendly version of your favourite foods. Check out our guide on keto alternatives.
- I don’t like dairy. Is there a way I can exclude it? – Dairy isn’t compulsory on keto. You can definitely do without it if you don’t like it. There are also good meal plans and recipes that are dairy free.
That is all you need to know on what to eat on keto and what to avoid. Did you enjoy it? Feel free to share it with your friends and spread the keto goodness.