Category: Checklists

Keto Food Pyramid

Ketogenic food pyramid

This Keto Food Pyramid represents our view of what we should eat on the ketogenic diet.

When you think food pyramid, you probably think of the food recommendations that the United States Department of Agriculture has been publishing since 1992.

For many years, you have probably based your dietary decisions on their food pyramid. Their food guide pyramid was abandoned in 2011 and replaced by MyPlate, but the thinking and recommendations haven’t changed that much. If you want to understand how this food guideline was developed, then check out the history here.

Given the prevalence of obesity and diabetes, this dietary guidelines has not been good for us.

When you look at our ketogenic food pyramid here, you will find that it completely turns this SAD (Standard American Diet) food recommendations on its head. 🙂

Moving from eating almost no fat, to consuming most of your calories from fat, is a complete mind shift. When you make this change your effectively change your body's fuel from glucose to ketones.

It is sad that the keto way of eating is not new and in fact has preceded these official guidelines. Unfortunately, most likely as a result of food politics, the ketogenic way of eating never made it into the official guidelines.

Keto Food Pyramid

This infographic shows in a simple way what should be eaten on a keto diet and summarizes the basic principles of the ketogenic lifestyle.

Keto Food Pyramid

Want to share this image on your site? Just copy and paste the embed code below:

More Info

If you are not sure exactly what you should or shouldn't be eating as part of your ketogenic lifestyle or just want more information, then check out our ketogenic checklists. Here you will find a list of the foods to avoid. 🙁 There is also a shopping list of food to stock your pantry with and great healthy low carb swaps you can replace your favorite foods with.

We are also happy to respond to any questions about our keto food pyramid or the keto lifestyle in general. Please leave a comment below or send us a primate message on our contact us page and we will et back to you as soon as we can.

Ketogenic Diet Foods to Avoid

I see a ketogenic diet as a lifestyle and I would have liked to say that there are no foods to avoid on a ketogenic diet. In an ideal world I would have told you to eat any food, but just eat all foods in moderation. That is kind of what we are told all the time. Isn't it? 🙁

The reality though is that there are plenty of foods that we should never have eaten in the first place and now to just say eat them all in moderation is therefore not a valid or useful argument.

Whilst on a ketogenic diet the foods to avoid can be summarized as all sugary and starchy food. This is a topic I intend to cover only once, as I prefer to focus on what we should be eating and doing, rather than what we shouldn't be. If you feel the same and want to rather check out what you should be eating, then check out our list for a comprehensive shopping list and our ketogenic diet checklist that summarizes it all.

Now, let's look into the different categories of food we shouldn't be eating and why.

Ketogenic diet foods to avoid

Ketogenic Diet - Foods to Avoid

Sugar and Candy

Avoid all sugar. This may sound easier than what it really is as sugar is added into most sauces, processed foods and even canned vegetables. But let's start somewhere...

  • All table sugar no matter the color or type
  • Any food with added sugar including all processed food
  • Fructose - Sugar found in fruit
  • Jams and preserves
  • Most sauces - Check labels carefully
  • Most salad dressings
  • All syrups
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • All candy bars
  • All cotton and hard candy
Avoid sugar - Keto diet

Pastries and Baked Goods

You need to cut these all, but it doesn't mean you can't enjoy healthy alternatives.

Foods to avoid on a ketogenic diet
  • Pastries
  • Brownies
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Donuts
  • Muffins
  • Really all traditional cakes

Grains and Starches

I know for most people this is a tough one as we are so used to grabbing a sandwich. It is a big one though.

  • All rice - white, brown, basmati
  • All pasta
  • All breakfast cereals
  • Barley
  • Millet
  • Oatmeal
  • Amarath
  • Quinoa
  • Spelt
  • Rye
  • Couscous
  • Muesli
  • Corn Starch
  • Flour from any of the ingredients above
  • All whole grains
  • All foods made from any of the above like:
  • Pizza
  • Tortillas
  • Croissants
  • Pancakes
  • Waffles
  • Porridge


Keto No No


Keto - No baked goods

Legumes

Legumes and beans are not allowed on a ketogenic diet. This makes it much harder for vegetarians and vegans to follow.

Beans and the keto diet
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas (No hummus)
  • Baked beans
  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Lima beans

Starchy Vegetables

These vegetables are not allowed as they all raise blood sugar and insulin.

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes/yams
  • Squashes and butternut
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Beets
  • Carrots
Starchy vegetables

What About Fruit?

Rather than list all the fruits that we shouldn't be eating on a low carb diet. Check out the list of the fruits we can eat here...

Not being able to eat most fruits makes me somewhat sad, but when I focus on how well I feel when my insulin levels are under control, I really am okay with it. I do have the occasional fruit, maybe an apple or a kiwi fruit.

I have cut down completely on my fruit intake, except for berries and lemon, but occasionally I have a strong craving for bananas. When this happens I have them. I know I can also look for a different source of potassium, but I feel strongly that a keto lifestyle requires me to listen to my body and that when my body tells me strongly that I need something I listen.

These cravings are different to the out of control cravings I used to have when I fueled my body with sugar and starchy carbs.

If I had to go on a starch binge tomorrow and have cravings after that, I will know what they are. They are very different to my body's real need for a nutrient that I may have neglected.

One of the big benefits of removing these highly addictive foods from my diet, is that I no longer have out of control cravings.

Dairy

Dairy is allowed on keto. But it is mostly cream, butter and some cheeses. Always make sure that they are full cream.

Keto diet what not to eat
  • Flavored milks and yogurts
  • ​Low fat or skimmed milk and yogurt
  • Milk or yogurt with added sugars or sweeteners
  • Ice cream
  • Cottage cheese
  • Full cream milk (Limit because of natural sugar content

Packaged and Processed Snacks

Who doesn't love popcorn? And now that we know we should bee eating butter, it sounds really tempting to have popcorn with lots of butter. But off course butter is only good for us when it is not eaten with carbs. So let's have a look at what snacks to avoid on a ketogenic diet.

  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Potato and tortilla chips
  • Rice cakes
  • Flavored and coated nuts
  • Cheesy and flavored crackers
  • Granola and breakfast bars
  • Protein bars
  • Any boxed or packaged snacks
Snacks to avvoid on a ketogenic diet

Drinks

The best drink on a low carb diet is water. Sugar laden drinks have lots of carbs and lots of sugar.

Drinks not to have on low carb diet
  • Sodas
  • Diet sodas
  • Juices
  • Flavored teas and coffees
  • Frozen coffees
  • Milk shakes
  • Sports and energy drinks
  • Cordials
  • Root beers
  • Cocktails
  • Beers
  • Wine
  • Malts
  • Alcopops 

What Now

Now that you know what foods to avoid on your ketogenic diet, focus on what you CAN have. There are lots of amazing real foods and snacks that you can enjoy every day. Once you feel how good it feels when you eat healthily, you won't miss these foods. And if you miss any of them, then check out some of these amazing recipes.

100 Low Carb Swaps for a Ketogenic Diet

If you are new to a ketogenic diet, you may be missing the foods that you are used to eating. We grew up with the convenience of sandwiches and grabbing a sandwich is always an easy and quick meal. When we change our lifestyles, we need to move past this initial instinct to grab a sandwich and start to reach for the healthier options. 

To help you make the mental shift to low carb and for some practical swaps, check out our ​100 low carb swaps for a ketogenic diet below...

Or if you prefer to check it out in your own time, download the PDF at the bottom of this page and study it at your leisure.

If you would like a reminder of what constitutes a ketogenic or LCHF diet then check out our keto checklist or if you need help with your shopping, check out our ketogenic diet foods shopping list.

100 Low Carb Swaps for a Ketogenic Diet

100 Low Carb Swaps for a Ketogenic Diet

Enjoy our 100 low carb swaps for a ketogenic diet. This list is broken down into the following categories:

Bread and Burger Buns

You can still enjoy a succulent burger, just change the bun to one of these delicious covers.

  • Kale leaves
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Thick sliced cucumbers
  • Roasted Portobello mushroom caps
  • Napa or Chinese cabbage

Save 18 plus grams of carbs per 2 slices of bread and 21 grams for each bun.

Low carb burger bun swop

Wraps, Tacos and Tortillas

To enjoy a healthy taco or wrap replace the wheat shells and wraps with any green leaf or make delicious cauliflower wraps.

Low carb lettuce wrap
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower wrap

Save 23 to 43 grams of carbs in traditional tacos, wraps and tortillas.

Need some inspiration? Then try these 100 simple low carb swaps for a ketogenic lifestyle

Click to Tweet

Spaghetti and Pasta

Missing your Pasta? Then try vegetable noodles. You may like them more than you think. If however you want the feel and texture of "real" pasta, then try shirataki noodles. They are high in fiber and protein with zero net carbs. The kelp noodles are also a delicious alternative.

Save 37.3 grams of carbs for each 1 cup of pasta.

Low and no net carb pasta

Lasagna Noodles

  • ​Thick cut zucchini slices
  • Sliced eggplant

Save 21 grams of carbs by replacing just 2 noodles.

Potatoes and Rice

  • Replace mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower 
  • For potato salad, used softened cauliflower chunks instead of potatoes
  • For hash browns, use cauliflower instead of potatoes
  • For hash browns, use spaghetti squash instead of potatoes
  • Replace rice with cauliflower rice

Save on average 18 grams of carbs per ½ cup.

White Flour

  • Almond Flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Nut crusting - Crushed nuts make a great low carb coating for fish and chicken

Save about 40 grams of carbs in ½ cup of white flour.

Low carb flowers

Bread Crumbs

  • Almond flour
  • Coconut flour

Save 23 grams of carbs per half a cup.

Low carb pizza crust

Pizza Crust

Who doesn't love pizza? Unfortunately the number of carbs in a normal pizza crust is really high. Here are some low carb options...

  • Portobello mushroom cap
  • Cauliflower Pizza Crust
  • Coconut flour pizza crust

Save a minimum of 16 grams per 2 slices of crust.

Sushi

Sushi without rice can be delicious. Why not try these options without rice or replace the rice with cauliflower?

  • Sashimi
  • Sushi cut and hand rolls without rice
  • Cut rolls wrapped in cucumber without rice
  • Cut rolls wrapped in salmon without rice
  • Sushi made with cauliflower rice

Save 26 or more grams of carbs in each roll.

Rice less sushi

Cereals And Breakfast Grains

On the standard America diet, breakfast is probably our least healthy meal. Many of the standard choices are laden with sugar and consist mostly of heavy carbs. Breakfasts like these are guaranteed to have you starving by mid morning.

To change this, you will have to make eggs your friend.​ Here are some healthier breakfast ideas for you.

Breakfast carb swaps

Eggs on a ketogenic diet
  • Eggs any style
  • Bacon and eggs or sausage and eggs
  • Eggs with salsa and flax cracker with cream cheese
  • Bacon, onion and tomato wraps (wrapped in lettuce or kale)
  • Omelets with vegetables, meats, and/or cheese
  • Egg bakes and skillets with meats and veggies
  • Smoked salmon with cream cheese, tomatoes and onions
  • Smoked salmon scrambled eggs with chives and sour cream on top
  • Deviled eggs
  • Deviled eggs with a shrimp on top
  • Hard-boiled eggs cut in half with fresh guacamole and bacon on top
  • Egg frittatas
  • Breakfast sandwiches wrapped in a firm omelet instead of English muffin, bagels or breads and stuffed with bacon, sausage, cheese etc.
  • Cauliflower hash browns
  • Pancakes and waffles made with coconut or almond flour
  • Flax crackers and cheese
  • Green smoothies
  • Flax crackers with peanut or almond butter and a few mashed berries or sugar free jam on top
  • Flourless egg and cottage cheese savory breakfast muffins
  • Cream cheese pancakes

Save 25 plus grams of carbs over cereals and other breakfast grains.

French Fries

Who doesn't like french fries? Try these healthy and delicious alternatives...

  • Baked carrot sticks
  • Crispy green bean fries
  • Crispy turnip fries
  • Crispy daikon fries
  • Crispy zucchini fries

Save a minimum of 56 grams of carbs in a 1  cup serving.

  • Make ketchup with crushed fresh tomatoes and save more than 4 gram of sugar per table spoon.
Keto fries

Potato Chips and Crispy Salty Snacks

Worried that you will be missing the crunch of potato chips? Then try some of these snacks...

Keto food swaps
  • Kale or spinach chips
  • Wash and thoroughly dry veg, cut into pieces, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt, garlic, or Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake at 350 F until edges are brown but not burnt normally 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Crispy green bean fries
  • Toss green beans in olive oil in a large bowl, add salt, and optional garlic, Parmesan cheese or paprika and toss to coat.
  • Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 F for 10 to 15 minutes or until crispy.
  • Parmesan cheese crisps
  • Place small piles of shaved Parmesan on a non-stick pan, and fry until melted and chew, or longer for extra crisp.
  • American cheese crisps
  • Cut into 1 by 1 squares, place on parchment paper and microwave for 60 seconds or until crispy.
  • Pepperoni chips
  • Microwave on paper towels until crispy.
  • Almonds and walnuts
  • Crispy veggie sticks - Carrots, cucumber and celery
  • Pickles
  • Almond flour or coconut flour crackers
  • Flax crackers
  • Roasted seasoned seaweed

Croutons

These alternative croutons give the same crunch, but without the carbs.

  • Sliced nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts)
  • Real bacon bits
  • Baked crispy cheese broken up into small pieces
  • Crumbled flax crackers
  • Sunflower seeds

Save 15 grams of carbs per ounce.

Ketogenic croutons

Crackers

Cracker swap
  • Flax Crackers
  • Parmesan cheese crisps
  • Almond or coconut flour crackers
  • Cucumbers, raw zucchini, celery and carrots

High Carb Fruit

Most fruit are high in carbs and fructose. So if you are new on a ketogenic diet it is best to completely remove them from your diet for a while. Fortunately berries are the exception...

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cantaloupe

Save 25 plus grams per fruit.

Berries

Desserts

It is best not to have dessert, but there is no reason not to indulge in these delicious desserts especially if your main meal has a little less fat than what is ideal.

Ketogenic friendly desserts
  • Fat bombs
  • Sour cream with stevia and berries
  • Strawberry with almond or peanut butter
  • Strawberries dipped in 85% dark chocolate
  • Strawberries dipped in sugar free caramel
  • Coconut-cashew chocolate truffles
  • Almond flour cookies and muffins
  • Blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries with heavy whipping cream
  • Milk shake with almond milk, cocoa powder and nut butter
  • Low carb snack bars (Check ingredients)
  • Low carb mini cakes
  • Sugar free ice pops

Milk

Milk is packed with natural sugar, which result in milk having a high carb count.

  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Almond milk

Save 13 grams of carbs per cup.

Soda

Sodas are laden with high fructose corn syrup and should really be avoided at all cost.

  • Water
  • ​Lemon water
  • Other fruit or vegetable infused water like cucumber
  • Zero calorie flavored seltzers

Save 39 grams of pure sugar carbs in a 12-ounce serving.

Healthy drinks

Sugary Cocktails and Beer

Drinks are generally high in carbs. For the best chance to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, lay of the booze for a while. If you do want to have a drink, go for the lower carb and sugar options...

  • Straight spirits (vodka, gin, whiskey) mixed with club soda or water
  • Wine

Save a minimum of 39 grams of carbs per drink.

What is next?

Download our 100 low carb swaps for a ketogenic diet checklist and join our community...

Ketogenic Diet Foods Shopping List

Starting out on a ketogenic diet, but are not sure what you can eat or where to start shopping? Don't worry, we have you covered. Check out our infographic here or scroll down and read all about it below the infographic. If you prefer to download the list and check it out in your own time, then download the PDF at the bottom of this page..

Before you start shopping, you may want to clear out your pantry of all the sugar laden and processed foods. Check all the labels on all your food items to see how much added sugar an​d how much carb they contain. If you don't normally study food labels, you may be shocked at what you find.

If you would like a reminder of the foods you should be eating on a low carb diet and the amounts you should be eating, then have a browse at our Ketogenic Diet Foods Checklist.

Ketogenic Diet Foods Shopping List

Here is the in depth ketogenic diet foods shopping list based on the infographic above.

Ketogenic Diet Foods Shopping List

Meat, fish and poultry

These protein sources, except for eggs, all have zero carbs. But remember protein is both ketogenic and anti-ketogenic, so when you eat too much protein it behaves like a carb.

  • All Red Meat
  • Chicken
  • TurkeyPork
  • Veal
  • Lamb
  • Fowl (duck, goose, hen, quail)
  • Organ Meats (tongue brains, liver, heart, and kidneys)
  • Game Meats (ostrich, venison, caribou, bison, and elk)
  • Exotic Meats (such as ostrich and emu)
  • Cold Cuts And Ham (read label some have added sugar)
  • Bacon
  • All Fish
  • Eggs - 0.6 gram of carbs

Zero Carb Foods Shopping List

Seafood

Even though some seafood has a low carb content, beware that some are actually quite high.

  • Shrimp – 0 Carbs
  • Crawfish - 0 Carbs
  • Crab - 0 Carbs
  • Lobster – 2 grams per 6 ounces
  • Scallops – 3.9 per 6 ounces
  • Squid – 7 grams per 6 ounces
  • Mussels – 8.4 per 6 ounces
  • Clams – 8.7 grams per 6 ounces
  • Oysters – 12.4 per 6 ounces
Low Carb Seafood

Soy Vegan Protein

Vegan Keto Diet Foods Shopping list
  • Soy Milk – 1.2 grams per cup
  • Firm Tofu – 2.2 grams per 4 ounces
  • Silken Tofu – 3.2 grams per 4 ounces
  • Soybeans - 6.2 grams per 1/2 cup
  • Tempeh – 16 grams per cup
  • Soy Nuts – 2 grams per ½ ounce

Fats and dressings

Fats are what we lacking and trying to eat much more of on a ketogenic diet. All fats are however not created equally and behave differently when heated. Stick to the basic fats and when you buy any  commercial dressings carefully check the labels for carb count and sugar content.

Fats for a low carb diet
  • Grass fed butter - 0 Carbs
  • Ghee (great for frying) - 0 Carbs
  • Mayonnaise - 0 Carbs
  • All Oils (plant oils are best: olive, avocado, coconut) - 0 Carbs
  • Pure unrefined cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil (Contains MediumChain Triglycerides fatty acids, metabolized by the body to be used asimmediate energy and not stored as fat) - 0 Carbs
  • Avocados – 4.8 grams each
  • Black Olives (10 small, 5 large, or 3 jumbo olives) - 1 carb
  • Low carb dressing - depends

Dairy and Non dairy alternatives

Milk is high carb, so should really be limited on an LCHF diet. Heavy cream however is a great fat and low in net carbs. Be sure to check labels.

  • Heavy Whipping Cream - 0.5 to 0.7 grams per tablespoon
  • Half-and-Half - 0.5 to 1 grams per tablespoon
  • Full Fat Sour Cream - 2 grams per 4 tablespoons
  • Plain Full Fat Greek Yogurt - 9 grams per cup
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk – Less than 1 gram per cup

Cheeses

  • Gruyère Cheese - 0.1 grams per 1 ounce
  • Monterey - 0.1 grams per 1 ounce
  • Neufchatel - 0.1 to 0.8 grams per 1 ounce
  • Muenster - 0.3 grams per 1 ounce
  • Edam - 0.4 grams per 1 ounce
  • Fontina - 0.4 grams per 1 ounce
  • Cheddar - 0.5 gram per ounce
  • Gouda - 0.6 grams per 1 ounce
  • Mozzarella - 0.6 grams per 1 ounce
  • Provolone - 0.6 grams per 1 ounce
  • Havarti - 0.7 grams per 1 ounce
  • Ricotta - .8 grams per 1 ounce
  • Parmesan - 0.9 grams per 1 ounce
  • Blue Cheese - 1 gram per 1 ounce
Cheese sources for a keto diet

Nuts and seeds

The carb content of nuts varies a lot. So choose wisely...

Nuts
  • Pecans (2 tbsp. chopped) - 0.6 grams
  • Macadamia Nuts (2 tbsp. chopped) -0.9 grams
  • Hazelnuts (2 tbsp. chopped) - 1 gram
  • Walnuts (2 tbsp. chopped) - 1.1 grams
  • Almonds (2 tbsp. whole) – 1.4 grams
  • Pine Nuts (2 tbsp.) - 1.7 grams
  • Peanuts (2 tbsp.) – 1.8 grams
  • Pistachio Nuts (2 tbsp.) - 3.1 grams
  • Pumpkin Seeds - 5 grams per ounce
  • Sunflower Seeds (2 tbsp.) – 1.5 grams
  • Peanut Butter – 2.4 grams per tablespoon
  • Almond Butter - 3 grams per tablespoon

Vegetables

Even though we count carbs on a ketogenic diet, vegetables are an important source of nutrition and most vegetables that grow above ground has a relatively  low net carb value.

  • Alfalfa Sprouts - 0.4 grams per cup
  • Arugula - 0.2 grams per ½ cup
  • Artichoke (1/4 Steamed) – 4 grams
  • Artichoke Hearts In Water - 2 grams per 1 heart
  • Asparagus - 2.4 grams per 6 spears
  • Bamboo Shoots - 1.1 grams per 1 cup
  • Bell Peppers - 2.3 grams per ½ cup
  • Bok Choy - 0.8 grams per 1 cup/raw
  • Broccoli - 1 gram per 1/2 cup
  • Brussels sprouts - 2.4 grams per ¼ cup
  • Cabbage - 2 grams per ½ cup
  • Cauliflower - 2 grams per 1 cup
  • Celery - 0.8 grams per 1 stalk
  • Chard - 1.8 grams per ½ cup
  • Cherry Tomatoes - 4 grams per cup
  • Chicory Greens - 0.6 grams per ½ cup
  • Collard Greens - 4.2 grams per 1/2 cup
  • Cucumber - 1 gram per ½ cup sliced
  • Daikon – 1 gram per ½ cup
  • Eggplant - 1.8 grams per ½ cup
  • Endive - >1 gram per ounce
  • Escarole - >1 gram per ounce
  • ​Fennel - 3.6 grams per 1 cup
  • Green Onions - 0.1 per 1 tablespoon
  • Hearts of Palm - 0.7 grams per 1 heart
  • Iceberg Lettuce - 0.1 grams per 1/2 cup
  • Jicama - 2.5 grams per ½ cup
  • Kale - 2.4 grams per ½ cup
  • Kohlrabi - 4.6 grams per ½ cup
  • Leeks - 1.7 grams per ¼ cup
  • Mushrooms – 1 gram per ½ cup
  • Okra - 2.4 grams per ½ cup
  • Onions - 2.8 grams per ¼ cup
  • Parsley - >1 gram per ounce
  • Pumpkin - 2.4 grams per ¼ cup
  • Radicchio - 0.7 grams per ½ cup
  • Radishes - 0.9 grams per 10 pieces
  • Romaine Lettuce - 0.2 grams per ½ cup
  • Sauerkraut - 1.2 grams per ½ cup
  • Spinach - 0.2 grams per ½ cup
  • Summer Squash - 2 grams per ½ cup
  • Tomato (1 medium) - 4 grams
  • Turnips - 2.2 grams per ½ cup

Fruit

The net carb content of most fruits are very high. The best fruits to eat are berries and even they should be eaten in moderation.

  • Limes – 2 grams per 1 ounce
  • Lemons – 2 grams per 1 ounce
  • Red Grapefruit - 9 grams per 1/2 fruit
  • Rhubarb - 1.7 grams per ½ cup
  • Apricots – 5 grams per fruit
  • Raspberries – 5 grams per cup
  • Blackberries - 7 grams per cup
  • Strawberries – 11 grams per cup
Berries for a ketogenic lifestyle

Herbs and spices

All herbs and spices have few carbs. Always check labels though to be sure that no artificial flavorings were added.

Drinks

The best drink is water, but we all get tired of just drinking water, so try these...

Zero carb drinks

  • Water
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Unsweetened coffee
  • Club soda
  • Sugar free sparkling water
  • No-Calorie flavored seltzers
  • Herbal Tea (without added barley or fruit sugars)

Zero carb alcoholic beverages

  • Gin
  • Rum
  • Vodka
  • Whiskey
  • Martini
  • Tequila

Miscellaneous 

Here are a few other items you will need. I love these shirataki noodles. If you don't know them, just click through on the picture to discover how you too can have carb free noodles.

  • Shirataki Noodles – 0 Carbs
  • White Vinegar – 0 Carbs
  • Balsamic Vinegar – 0 Carbs
  • Red Wine Vinegar – 0 Carbs
  • Rice Vinegar (seasoned) 3 grams per tbsp
  • Soy Sauce - 1 gram per tablespoon
  • Mustard – 0 Carbs
  • Unflavored powdered gelatin – 0 Carbs
  • Most Hot Sauces – 0 Carbs
  • Turkey or Beef Jerky - 3 grams per ounce
  • Kale Chips - 8-12 grams per ounce
  • Coconut Flakes - 4 grams per ounce
  • Pickles - 1 gram per pickle
Miracle noodles

What is next?

Clear out your pantry and stock up on healthy keto approved foods.

Ketogenic Diet Foods Checklist

Looking to start out on a ketogenic diet? Here in a nutshell is everything you need to know. Check out our ketogenic diet foods checklist infographic here or scroll down to read it on this page or to get your own pdf checklist...

Ketogenic Diet Foods Checklist Infographic

Want to share this image on your site? Just copy and paste the embed code below:

Here is an in depth checklist of carbohydrate intake, fat and protein guidelines as captured in the ketogenic diet foods infographic above.

Carbohydrate Intake

How Much?

  • Less than 50 grams of net carbs per day, but ideally below 20 grams
  • Mostly from non-starchy vegetables
  • Best choice - green, fibrous vegetables
  • Also add other low carb vegetables
  • Always combine a carb with either a fat or a protein

Net Carbs

  • The Ketogenic diet only counts Net Carbs.
  • The reason for this is that the fiber content in carbs reduces the impact on blood sugar
How to calculate net carbs

Lots of Healthy Fats

Why and What?

  • In ketosis, fat is the main energy source for the body
  • Fats provide satiety, boost metabolism and support the enjoyment of food
  • Provide key macronutrient requirements
  • Natural fats are fine when reducing carbs
  • The best fats are monounsaturated and saturated, including olive oil, grass fed butter, and coconut oil
  • Margarine is never advised, as it is fake and interferes with ketosis
  • Limit intake of polyunsaturated fats, including soybean oil, corn oil, and cottonseed oil
  • Fat intake is variable and depends on weight loss goals
  • It is not advisable to eat so much fat that you send your caloric intake through the roof
  • WHEN IN DOUBT, EAT LESS CARBS AND MORE FAT

Ketogenic Diet Foods Fats

Daily Fat Intake Guidelines

These will vary by body size

  • 2 to 3 eggs
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil when cooking or for salad dressings
  • 2 ounces of cheese
  • 4 to 6 ounces of meat, chicken, seafood, or fish at each meal
  • ½ an avocado or 10 olives
  • 1 to 2 ounces of nuts or seeds
  • Full fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil contains ketosis boosting MCTs (medium chain triglycerides)
  • Avoid low fat foods, including reduced fat dairy as they have carbohydrates, and chemical compounds
Butter

Keto Diet Food Coconut

Adequate Protein

Protein is both ketogenic and anti-ketogenic. Some protein will convert to glucose in the bloodstream and inhibit ketosis. Therefore intake should be enough to prevent muscle loss, but not so much that it will disrupt ketosis.

How Much

How much protein you need daily depends on how active you are and your body weight.

  • Sedentary lifestyle: 0.69 - 0.8 grams per pound of lean body mass
  • Mildly active: 0.8 to 1 gram per pound of lean body mass
  • Heavy strength training/bodybuilding and exercise: 1 to 1.2 grams per pound of lean body mass
  • Lean body mass is typically defined as - body weight minus body fat. You can use any of a number of online lean body mass calculators, such as this one to calculate yours.

Daily Protein Intake Guidelines - Protein choices

  • Chicken and turkey with skin
  • Fatty red meat
  • Deli meats
  • Pork
  • Veal
  • Lamb
  • Fowl (duck, goose, hen, quail)
  • Organ meats (tongue brains, liver, heart, and kidneys)
  • Game meats (ostrich, venison, caribou, bison, and elk)
  • Fish and seafood
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Full fat dairy in moderation as they do contain some carbs

Ketogenic Diet Foods Protein

Important

Eat to Satisfaction

  • Eat when hungry until you feel satisfied, but not stuffed

Increase Salt Intake

A little extra salt can help avoid possible side effects as your body adjusts to ketosis. These side effects can include - headaches, muscle cramps or weakness and are the result of an electrolyte imbalance. As a low carb diet is naturally diuretic, you don’t have to avoid salt to minimize water retention.

  • Get that salt from 1 to 2 cups of broth daily
  • Add extra sea or Himalayan salt to your food

Caution: Be sure to ask your doctor about increasing salt, and if you are being treated for a condition that requires limited sodium intake, like hypertension continue with the medical advice of your doctor.

Drink Lots of Water

  • Water is a natural appetite suppressant
  • Supports the body’s ability to metabolize fat
  • Several studies found that reducing intake of water might cause fat deposits to increase, while drinking more reduces them
  • Hydration greatly promotes weight loss, so drink lots of fresh water throughout the day
  • The more active you are the more hydration you will need

What is Next?

Decide whether a ketogenic lifestyle is for you.

If you want to give it a go and have some questions, why not check out our Frequently Asked Questions?​