Ultimate Keto Food List! 300+ Foods Rated For Keto Diet

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What can you eat on the keto diet? Which ingredients should always be on your keto shopping list and which should only be eaten in moderation? This keto food list has the answers.

We’ve taken over 300 foods and drinks and split them into different categories. Then for each, Kathryn, our resident dietician, has rated how keto friendly it is using a 5 star scale: 

⭐ = not good for the ketogenic diet, high net carbs, best avoid.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ = very keto friendly, low net carbs, go crazy!!!

So the next time you find yourself wondering “What can I eat on the keto diet?”, check this list of keto foods to quickly find out just how keto friendly your favorite ingredients are.

For more information about navigating food choices on a ketogenic lifestyle, read our beginner’s guide to the keto diet.

Let’s get started! 

What Drinks Are Keto Friendly?

OK, so you know that the keto diet is all about eating low-carb, high-fat foods. But how do drinks fit onto the list of keto foods? A common challenge many people face when adopting this lifestyle is figuring out what beverages are compatible with their new eating habits.

To stay hydrated throughout the day, drink plenty of water flavored naturally with slices of lemon, cucumber, berries, etc. Herbal teas, bone broth, and unsweetened sparkling waters are all good choices to ensure optimal health and success following this dietary approach.

Alcohol

While it’s true that some types of alcohol contain carbs, not all alcoholic drinks will throw you off your keto game. Spirits such as vodka and whiskey have zero net carbs and can be enjoyed in moderation. However, it’s essential to avoid mixers with added sugar or juices as they can increase your total carb intake significantly. 

Note: While some alcoholic drinks may fit into a keto eating plan if consumed in small amounts, always remember that alcohol provides empty calories without any nutritional value.

Coffee & Teas

If you’re a coffee lover, rejoice! Black coffee contains almost no carbs, making it perfectly suitable for the keto diet. Similarly, most teas (black, green or herbal) also have a minimal carb count, making them an excellent choice too. Just remember to skip the sugar and use full-fat dairy products like cream instead of milk to keep things keto-friendly.

Sodas & Juices

This might come as a surprise but yes, there are sodas available that fit into the ketogenic diet! Look out at your local grocery store for brands offering ‘diet’ versions free from added sugars and starches – just watch serving sizes closely as these often contain artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols which should only be consumed in small amounts on a low-carb diet. 

As for juices, stick with vegetable-based ones where possible (think leafy greens rather than high-sugar fruit), but always check labels carefully before purchasing!

Remember that while we strive towards healthier options within our diets, balance remains key. So don’t forget that hydration through water is an integral part of any healthy regimen, including those following strict guidelines such as those set by the keto diet.

Beverage Keto friendly rating Favorite Recipe
coke zero / pepsi max ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
crystal light ⭐⭐⭐⭐
diet coke / diet pepsi ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
diet soda ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
gatorade
gatorade zero ⭐⭐⭐⭐
herbalife ⭐⭐⭐
kombucha ⭐⭐⭐
mio ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Dairy and Eggs on the Keto Diet

No list of keto foods could ignore dairy products and eggs. In general, these are staples of the keto diet – but as ever, there are certain things to consider. Not all dairy products are created equal when it comes to their carb count.

Dairy Products in Your Keto Food List

When shopping at the grocery store for keto-friendly foods, full-fat dairy items should be high on your list. These include favorite cheeses like parmesan, cheddar, cottage cheese, cream cheese, and many more. Mozzarella is also a thumbs up, so making low carb pizza is definitely encouraged.

Heavy cream, butter (spread liberally over keto bread), ghee (clarified butter) and Greek yogurt are also very keto friendly. 

Always check labels carefully though – avoid products with added sugar or extra carbs that might increase your total carb intake beyond recommended levels.

When it comes to milk, moderation is important. You’ll want to limit consumption of milk due to its higher lactose content which translates into more net carbs per serving than other full-fat dairy options.

Eggs: A Perfect Addition to Any Keto Foods List

Eggs are an excellent choice for people following a ketogenic lifestyle because they’re high in protein and fat but very low in carbohydrates. They’re versatile too – hard-boiled eggs make great snacks while scrambled or poached eggs can be part of a satisfying meal. For these reasons they are top of many people’s keto diet food list.

Milks, Creams, and Butters

Fish and Seafood: Their Place on a Keto Foods List

Fish and seafood, both excellent sources of protein that are also rich in healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, are definitely keto-friendly.

The Importance of Fatty Fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are not only delicious, but they also offer significant health benefits. They’re high in omega-3 fats, which can lower inflammation levels and improve heart health. Additionally, fatty fish have a minimal impact on your total carb intake, making them perfect for keto diets.

Seafood: A Keto-friendly Choice

Seafood like shellfish are also great choices for those maintaining a ketogenic diet. Clams, oysters, lobster, and shrimp provide essential nutrients with negligible net carb content. However, it’s important to check serving sizes since some shellfish may have slightly higher carb content than others.

Protein Powders from Fish & Seafood Sources

If fresh fish isn’t readily available at your grocery store or if you prefer an alternative way to get its nutritional benefits without cooking, consider protein powders made from cold-water fishes such as cod or haddock. These can be easily added to smoothies, providing quality proteins while sticking to the principles of a low-carb diet.

Making Healthy Choices: Wild-Caught vs Factory-Farmed Fish

When choosing any fish, it’s recommended to opt for wild-caught over factory-farmed whenever possible. Wild-caught fish has a healthier balance between omega-6 fatty acids (pro-inflammatory) and omega-3 fats (anti-inflammatory). Additionally, there is less risk associated with potential contaminants often found in farm-raised varieties.

Eating Fruit on a Low Carb Diet

Everyone on the keto diet knows the danger of sneaky extra carbs that might slip into your meals from unexpected sources. Fruit is a classic example of this.

While fruits are generally considered healthy, they can be surprisingly high in net carbs due to their natural sugar content. This doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate them from your ketogenic diet; rather, enjoy them in moderation and opt for low-carb varieties like berries.

Grains and Flours on Keto Food List

When starting a keto diet, it’s important to know which grains and flours are keto-friendly. Unfortunately, the most common flours used in baking, such as wheat, all-purpose, or self-rising, are high in carbs and can disrupt ketosis. 

But the good news is there are alternatives available at your local grocery store that can be included in your keto diet without significantly affecting your net carb count. These options not only help you stay within your daily limits but also add extra flavor to your dishes.

Coconut flour and almond flour have become popular among keto dieters due to their lower carb content compared to traditional flours. They are often interchangeable – a good example being this keto-friendly chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe, which can be made with either one. 

Rice Alternatives for Keto Diets

Rice is typically off-limits on a keto diet due to its high carb content. However, there are substitutes available, such as cauliflower rice or shirataki rice (made from konjac root), that mimic the texture of traditional rice while keeping the carb count low.

Oats, Quinoa & Pasta Substitutes

Oats and quinoa are generally higher in carbs and not recommended for regular consumption on a strict ketogenic diet. However, there are innovative products like spiralized vegetables (zoodles), spaghetti squash, or even protein-based pastas made with lentils or chickpeas that offer a pasta-like experience without hindering your progress towards maintaining ketosis. 

Our hugely popular keto cauliflower mac and cheese dish is another great example of how you can easily replace pasta by being a bit creative. 

Herbs and Spices on the Keto Diet

Most herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme or parsley are very low in net carbs making them perfect for flavoring your meals. For instance, dried basil has only 0.6g net carbs per teaspoon which makes it an excellent choice when you’re watching your carb count.

In terms of spices, turmeric, cayenne pepper or cinnamon can also be incorporated into a ketogenic lifestyle with minimal impact on carbohydrate consumption. Cinnamon, for example, contains just about 0.7g net carbs per teaspoon.

Which Legumes Are Keto Friendly?

Legumes, while nutritious and packed with protein, are often high in carbs which can be a concern for those following a keto diet. However, some legumes can still fit into your daily total carb intake when consumed in small amounts.

Peanuts (actually legumes, despite their name), soybeans and lentils have fewer net carbs compared to other beans and peas, but should still be eaten sparingly on the ketogenic diet. Certain legume varieties like chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans and black-eyed peas tend to have higher carb counts, making them less suitable for people on keto diets.

Meat on a Keto Diet Food List

When it comes to a keto diet, meat is often the star of the show. That’s why for many people they sit at the very top of their keto food list.

But not all meats are equally beneficial, with some choices better than others for maintaining your total carb intake.

The Role of Meat Fat in Keto Diets

Fat is an essential part of any ketogenic diet, as it helps your body transition into ketosis – a state where you burn fat instead of carbs for energy. Meats like fatty fish or poultry meat with skin provide healthy fats that can help maintain this balance. For instance, salmon provides both protein and omega-3 fats which support heart health while chicken thighs offer more saturated fats than leaner cuts.

Choosing High-Quality Meats

In general, grass-fed animals produce more nutritionally-balanced meats than grain-fed ones because their diet contains fewer added starches and higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids. Avoid factory-farmed meat whenever possible since these often contain extra carbs from feed additives.

Cooking Methods Matter

The way you cook your meat can also impact its nutritional profile. Opt for grilling or baking over frying to avoid adding unnecessary oils that could increase your net carb count. That’s mainly why it’s safer to cook yourself than to rely on restaurants, as it can be pretty challenging to find keto friendly fast food options.

Nuts and Seeds on a Keto Diet

Nuts and seeds can be confusing to people constructing their keto diet food list. Some varieties can fit perfectly into your daily carb count, while others might push you over your total carb intake limit.

Nuts like macadamias, pecans and brazil nuts have lower net carbs, making them keto-friendly foods. They’re also high in healthy fats which are beneficial in a ketogenic diet.

In addition to being low-carb vegetable substitutes, certain seeds such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are excellent choices for those on a keto diet. These seeds are packed with omega-6 fatty acids that can support heart health without adding extra carbs.

Of course, avoiding high carb foods is crucial when sticking to a ketogenic lifestyle. This means steering clear of cashews or pistachios as they have higher carbohydrate content compared to other nuts.

Oils on the Keto Diet Food List

As we know, a key aspect of the keto diet involves replacing high carb foods with healthy fats and proteins. One crucial source of these healthy fats comes from oils.

When following a keto-friendly food list at your local grocery store, certain oils should be on top of your keto food list list due to their beneficial fatty acid profiles:

  • Olive Oil: Extra-virgin olive oil is an excellent choice because it’s rich in monounsaturated fats which are heart-healthy and can help reduce inflammation.
  • Avocado Oil: Similar to olive oil but with a higher smoke point, making it ideal for cooking at high temperatures. It’s also packed with omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E.
  • MCT Oil: MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) found in coconut oil get quickly absorbed by the body providing instant energy while aiding in the process of ketosis.

Oils You Should Limit or Avoid on Keto

Avoiding certain oils is just as important as including keto-friendly oils in your ketogenic diet plan. Some oils may contain extra carbs or excessive saturated fats that could hinder your progress towards reaching ketosis.

  • Sunflower/Sesame/Canola Oils: All three are rich in polyunsaturated fats, which when consumed excessively can lead to inflammation and other health issues.

Tips When Choosing Your Cooking Oils

While shopping for a keto diet, it’s crucial to keep in mind the following tips:

  • Check Labels: Avoid oils with added sugar or starches. These can add unnecessary carbs to your total carb intake.
  • Cooking Temperature: Oils have different smoke points which determine at what temperature they start breaking down and producing harmful substances. Choose oils that match your cooking style.

The right choice of oil can make a significant difference in your keto diet journey by not only helping you reach ketosis but also promoting overall health. So choose wisely!

Oils Keto friendly rating Favorite Recipe
avocado oil ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
canola oil ⭐⭐⭐
coconut oil ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
olive oil ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Olive Oil Cake
palm oil ⭐⭐⭐⭐
peanut oil ⭐⭐⭐⭐
sesame oil ⭐⭐⭐⭐
sunflower oil ⭐⭐⭐⭐
vegetable oil ⭐⭐⭐

Sauces, Pastes, Condiments on Keto

The keto diet can be tricky when it comes to sauces, pastes and condiments. These seemingly innocent additions can hide high-carb foods and added sugar that might kick you out of ketosis, and therefore should only make your keto diet foods list after careful examination of all the ingredients.

The Dangers of Ready-Made Products

Ready-made products often contain hidden sugars and starches, which increase your total carb intake. They may also include unhealthy fats like certain seed oils or saturated fats from factory-farmed meat. Even “low-carb” options at the grocery store could have extra carbs in small amounts from added starches or sugar alcohols.

Keto-Friendly Homemade Alternatives

Making homemade versions of your favorite sauces, pastes, and condiments is an excellent way to control what goes into them while ensuring they fit within your keto diet’s restrictions. Take a look at some of our recipes in the table below.

Sweeteners on the Keto Foods List

Finding sugar substitutes that won’t spike your blood glucose levels can be tricky when you’re following a keto diet. Here are some options:

  • Erythritol: A type of sugar alcohol with almost no calories and minimal impact on blood sugar.
  • Stevia: A natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant; it contains zero calories and has no effect on blood sugar.
  • Mannitol: Another type of sugar alcohol, mannitol has fewer carbs than regular sugars but should still be consumed in moderation due to its potential laxative effects.

Sweeteners to Avoid on the Keto Diet

If you’re adhering strictly to a keto lifestyle, there are certain sweetening agents you’ll want to avoid as they may increase your total carb intake or contain added starches and sugars which could kick you out of ketosis:

  • Sucrose (Table Sugar): This common household sweetener is pure carbohydrates and can cause spikes in blood glucose levels.
  • Honey/Agave Nectar/Maple Syrup: While they may seem more “natural” than table sugar, these sweeteners are high in carbs and can hinder your progress on the keto diet.
  • Maltodextrin: Often found in processed foods, maltodextrin is a high-carb additive that should be avoided.

Vegetables: A Key Part of Any Keto Diet Food List

The best vegetables to eat on a keto diet are leafy greens like spinach, kale, and lettuce which are very low in carbs. Other great options are broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, peppers, onions, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, and cabbage. Vegetables that should be limited or avoided on keto are starchy ones like potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, peas, and carrots, which are higher in carbs.

If you can afford it, choose organic veggies over mass produced ones. Organic vegetables typically have more nutrients and antioxidants as they are grown in nutrient-rich soil without chemicals. Additionally, organic veggies don’t contain genetically modified ingredients, which some keto experts suggest avoiding. Though more costly, organic produce provides health benefits that support the goals of a keto diet.

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