This guide will walk you through the keto diet food list – including the best and worst foods to eat while on the keto diet.
The keto diet is all about enjoying high fat, moderate protein, and low carb foods which promotes weight loss and other benefits to health.
However, it’s no secret that changing your dietary lifestyle takes time and planning. Knowing the best foods to eat on the keto diet will ensure you are prepared, allowing for a smoother transition and faster results.
Therefore if you are wondering how to get started, let’s look at the best foods to eat on the keto diet.
Table of Contents
The Complete Keto Diet Food List
In summary on the keto diet you should be tailoring your meal plans around the following foods:
- Healthy fats
- Non-starchy veggies
- Some fruits
- Most full-fat dairy
There is a stigma attached to fats which makes most people avoid them, but you don’t need to be afraid on the keto diet. Healthy fats are your top priority and form the highest percentage of your daily intake.
One simple reason, the keto diet works better with a greater fat content which means you are more likely to stay in or hit ketosis. And don’t forget, fat is also satiating which means you will feel fuller for longer. Let’s take a look at the best foods to help you obtain your daily fat quotas:
Natural Fats and Oils
By adding these natural fats and oils into your cooking, you will boost your fats and ensure ketosis kicks in and stays constant.
- Nut and seed oils (sesame, flaxseed, almond, peanut etc)
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Animal fats (goose, duck, lard, etc)
- Cocoa butter
- Coconut oil
- MCT oil
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are great for a healthy keto friendly snack; however, the carb values do vary so keep portion control in mind. Here are the best nuts and seeds for the keto diet:
- Sunflower seeds
Fatty fish are a good source of healthy omega fatty acids without the added worry of carbs. Add these to your keto grocery list:
You might be surprised to see fruit fall into the fat category, yet avocados are full of healthy fats and low in carbs. This makes it one of the best foods to eat on the keto diet.
Foods from animal sources are great for the keto diet because protein is mostly zero carbs. Here’s a run through of the best foods to eat on the keto diet:
- Meat – Beef, lamb, veal, venison, lamb, pork
- Poultry – chicken, turkey, duck, goose
- Offal – liver, kidney, heart, kidney, tripe, tongue
- Fish – salmon, trout, anchovies, tuna, mackerel
- Seafood – lobster, crab, clams, squid, shrimp
- Eggs – free range are best
Instead of opting for your lean cuts of meat, go for more fatty options to enhance your fat intake. And another good tip – it’s best to choose grass-fed varieties whenever possible because they have a higher level of healthy fats than grain-fed animals. 1
Also, don’t get carried away with protein on the keto diet, it should be eaten in moderation.
Vegetables can vary in carb count. However, the easiest way to define between the best and the worst is to stick with vegetables that grow above ground.
Another good indicator is most of the best keto veggies aren’t as colourful; in fact, the majority are green in nature. Therefore think green and above ground.
Here are some of the best veggies to look out for:
- Watercress (0.8 grams carbs) 2
- Celery (1.8 grams) 3
- Spinach (1.4 grams) 4
- Asparagus (1.9 grams) 5
- Lettuce (1.5 grams) 6
Others which are still considered low carb are:
- Green pepper
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
Note: all the data is based upon net carbs per 100 gram servings.
With dairy, it’s full fat all the way. Here are some of the best dairy foods that complement the keto diet:
- Full fat yogurt (natural/greek)
- Cottage cheese
- Sour cream
- Hard cheeses
Herbs and Spices
When preparing keto meals, herbs and spices will form the backbone of your flavors. Be cautious of blended mixes; instead, opt for their natural state.
To reduce risk from side effects on the keto diet, it’s essential to keep hydrated. Stick to beverages like:
- Unsweetened Black tea and coffee
- Herbal tea
- Broth (vegetable or bone)
Foods to Limit on the Keto Diet
The principle “everything is alright in moderation” applies to some foods on the keto diet. You can eat them, but not every day.
Full fat milk is allowed but in very small quantities. The carb count is quite high because it contains lactose – which is a naturally occurring sugar.
Some fruits can be eaten on the keto diet, although only on an occasional basis. If you do fancy some fruit these are the ones you can treat yourself to every once in a while:
The Worst Foods to Eat on the Keto Diet
Just so that you have a complete picture of the keto diet, here’s a bit of information about the worst foods so you know what to avoid.
Any kind of sugar is a “no-no” on the keto diet which means both added and hidden sugars like:
- Refined sugar
- Brown sugar
- Agave nectar
- Maple syrup
Grains are laden with carbohydrates. As you know now, when you’re on keto, this isn’t what you want. This means any food that derives from any grain (i.e. wheat, barley, corn etc) is not on the keto role call of best foods. To give you an idea, here are some of the foods not allowed:
- Bread (wholemeal, brown, white etc)
- Rice (wild, brown, pilaf etc)
- Baking flour
Legumes, Beans, Lentils
Legumes, beans, and any kind of lentil are all starch-filled nutrients. Granted they are very nutritious, but the high carb count won’t help you reach ketosis. Don’t eat these legumes on the keto diet:
- Chickpeas/garbanzo beans
- Lentils (red, yellow etc)
- Kidney beans
- Fava beans
- Pinto beans
- Split peas
We’ve already explored the keto friendly veggies, now we look at the enemies of keto. Any vegetable that is grown under the soil has too many carbs to warrant a place on the best foods. Here is a list of the worst starchy vegetables:
- Sweet potato
It’s no secret fruit contains many vitamins and minerals essential to health. However, for the keto diet, all the natural sugars prove too high. Kiss goodbye to any kind of fresh, tinned, or dried fruit other than the ones already mentioned.
Processed foods are not only high in carbs, but also full of bad fats, high in added sugars and to put it bluntly they just aren’t healthy. It’s best to think twice about buying any of the following pre-made foods.
- Fast food
- Ice cream
- Processed meats
Unhealthy Fats and Oils
The keto diet only has room for quality healthy fats, therefore any of the following should be dodged:
- Vegetable oils
- Corn oil
- Trans fats
Top Five Best Foods to Eat on the Keto Diet
Do you want to know which foods need to be top of your shopping list? Here’s a roundup of the top five best foods to eat on the keto diet and my reasons why:
What’s particularly significant about coconut oil is that it has its own arsenal to help combat weight loss.
One of the only fruits which gets the green light on the keto diet is avocado. This fruit has the ideal keto diet profile, with extra nutritional benefits.
It provides an impressive 14.7 grams of good fats with net carbs of only 1.8 grams and 2 grams of protein per 100 gram serving. This nutrient dense fruit is also packed full of essential vitamins, minerals and the omega’s your body needs. 10
The nutritional stats of salmon are of superfood standard. A 100 gram serving has 6.3 grams of friendly fats, 19.8 grams of protein and it’s totally carb free too. 11
Salmon is loaded with the vitamin-B complex and a great source of selenium. Not only that, research suggests salmon can help lower insulin levels and also improve resistance. 12
Eggs are packed full of keto friendly macronutrients. Each 100 gram serving contains 10 grams of fat, 12.6 grams protein and only 1.1 gram of carbs. They are also a great source of calcium and many other essential vitamins and minerals. 13
Eggs can double as either a handy low carb snack or the basis of a nutritious meal. This is why they make a great all-rounder for the keto diet.
Spinach has a “super-green” status and it’s also a best choice for the keto diet.
It’s very low carb containing only 1.4 grams of carbs per 100 grams and 2.9 grams of protein. Spinach is also primed with many vital minerals like iron, calcium and potassium, making it a smart choice for your plate. 14
So there you have it, the best foods to eat on the keto diet. I hope you find this a useful tool for your weight loss journey.
- http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/finfish-and-shellfish- products/4102/2
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