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07/21/2020

The Complete Keto Foods List [with Free Printable]

Printable keto foods list

 

If you're into fitness, nutrition trends, or celebrities then you're probably familiar with the keto diet. The ketogenic diet or "keto" for short, is a high-fat, low-carb, and moderate-protein nutrition plan that helps individuals lose weight. 


It's risen in popularity thanks to athletes like Lebron James, Tim Tebow, and other pop culture icons. But like any low-carbohydrate diet, there's a right way and a wrong way to go about weight loss. It's good to understand all the facts before diving in headfirst. 


Keto dieters consume whole foods like leafy greens, vegetables, meats, and seafood to transition into ketosis. This occurs when the body shifts from burning carbs (glucose) as its primary fuel source to burning fats (fatty acids) stored in the liver. 


Besides weight loss, some other benefits of a keto diet are things like appetite control, lowered blood pressure and sugars, and increased "good cholesterol" high-density lipoproteins (HDLs). Collectively, these benefits can lower your risk of heart disease and obesity. 


The keto diet has often been compared to other low-carb diets like Atkins and paleo, but these plans are used for different purposes and have their own benefits. 


Some people are afraid to pursue keto or other low-carb diets because they don't think that there are a lot of foods to choose from. Or that they won't be able to go out to eat and drink with friends. But when you better understand what the keto diet is, you may find that there are more food options available than originally thought. 


Keep reading to learn more about what the keto diet is, how it works and the best foods to consume or jump down to our food list.

 

What Can I Eat on the Keto Diet? 

 

You can eat real food on the keto diet — specifically low-carb foods like seafood, meats, veggies, healthy fats and fresh fruits. These low-carb foods can keep you full and energized throughout the day. 


You can always indulge in occasional comfort foods as well. By using keto-friendly flours and powders, you can make some delicious and healthy snacks! 

 

what can I eat on keto

 

What Can I Not Eat on the Keto Diet? 

 

Eating keto means staying away from high-carb snacks and foods. Your diet will consist of five to 10 percent carbohydrates, which is 15 to 30 grams per day. It’s not a lot to work with, considering one serving of almonds is six grams of carbohydrates. It’s a good idea to spread out your consumption throughout the day. This can help you meet your nutrient requirements with each meal. 

 

foods to avoid on keto

 

Sweets and high-carb snacks are never a good idea on a nutrition plan of any kind because they contain high amounts of trans fats that can potentially lead to weight gain, raised blood sugar and bad cholesterol levels

 

To see progress in weight loss, it takes time and dedication. While there are some food restrictions, the benefit of eating on the keto diet is that there are substitutes for most of your favorite indulgences.

 

Is the Keto Diet Healthy? 

 

Eating a ketogenic diet is safe if done correctly, but be sure to always consult your doctor, registered nutritionist or dietician. They can watch for potential nutrient deficiencies and health reactions. However, studies have shown that low-carbohydrate diets can help with appetite control and benefit individuals with specialized medical conditions. For example, the keto diet is often recommended in treating epileptic seizures.

 

Nutrition studies debate the long-term effects of low-carb diets, especially for individuals dealing with the liver, pancreas and gallbladder issues. A nutritionist or a dietitian can inform you of what to expect, like the potential for muscle loss and another side effect known as the “keto flu.”

 

What Is Keto Flu? 

 

The keto flu is a group of symptoms that occurs when the body runs out of glucose and begins using fats as the main source of energy. This is known as ketosis.

 

Individuals may feel nausea, brain fog, headaches, dizziness and restlessness for the first few weeks. This is a natural process that occurs during fasting and caloric deficits. And while the effects of the keto flu are short-term, they can be startling if not expected.

 

Reducing carbohydrate consumption and regulating food could be overwhelming both physically and mentally at first. But if you follow the diet to the letter, exercise and get adequate sleep, you could start seeing results within a few weeks. 

 

To get you started, here is a breakdown of foods that you can eat while on the keto diet. The list includes carbohydrate amounts in keto-friendly cooking oils (fat), lean meats (protein), veggies (carbohydrates) and flours for baking. This will help you make good food choices that will keep your body fueled throughout the day. 

 

We also have a printable keto foods list for your next grocery trip! 

 

printable keto foods list

 

Fats

 

fats keto foods list

 

According to the American Heart Association, fats are an essential part of your diet. The body can't run without them because they produce many of the fatty acids your body needs and source fat-soluble vitamins like A, D and E. Fats also keep your internal organs warm and pass energy to the cells. 

 

On a ketogenic diet, fats are your main energy source and studies show that they should make up 55 to 60 percent of your diet. It's best to select healthy fats that will help fuel you throughout the day. 

 

Eating foods like avocados and nuts are a great way to get a dose of healthy fats. If you're on the run, grab a jar of peanut butter or almond butter. To meet your post-work nutrition needs, try adding MCT oil to your protein shake. 

 

There is also an assortment of healthy oils like extra virgin, hazelnut and avocado that are perfect for cooking foods at high temperatures. Coconut oil, for example, will give your food extra flavor, while still giving you the fats needed for each meal.

 

Food Serving Size Carbs (G)
Almond Oil 1 tbsp 0
Avocado Oil 1 tbsp 0
Butter 1 tbsp 0
Coconut Oil 1 tbsp 0
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 tbsp 0
Flaxseed Oil 1 tbsp 0
Ghee butter 1 tbsp 0
MCT Oil 1 tbsp 0
Soybean Oil 1 tbsp 0

 

Leafy Greens

 

leafy greens keto foods list

 

When eating on a low-carb diet, dark leafy greens like kale and spinach are your best friends. They're low in carbohydrates and sodium, and they’re packed with essential vitamins and minerals.

 

While no one food can prevent cancer, leafy greens contain antioxidants that have been shown to boost the immune system and help reduce metabolic risk factors. 

 

One of the benefits of eating leafy greens is that there are a variety of ways to prepare them for your meals.  

 

  • Add slices of turkey bacon to your kale for a savory breakfast. 
  • For a quick lunch, make a salad and add some salmon on top. 
  • Post-workout, toss some greens into the blender with your favorite fruits and protein to make the ultimate green protein shake
  • For dinner, roll diced chicken in lettuce leaf to create tantalizing lettuce wraps.

 

There's no limit to how you can add leafy greens into your diet. Plus most types are available year-round, so you can stock up and not break the bank. 

 

Food Serving Size Carbs (G)
Arugula 1 cup 0.7
Beet Greens (Beet Root) 1 cup 7.9
Bok Choy 1 cup 3
Brussel Sprouts 1 cup 7.8
Butter Lettuce(Bib) 1 cup 1.2
Cabbage 1 cup chopped 8.3
Capers 1 cup 6.7
Chicory Greens 1 cup sliced 1.4
Collard Greens 1 cup chopped 11
Endive 1 cup chopped 1.8
Fennel 1 cup sliced 6.4
Iceberg Lettuce 1 cup 1.7
Kale 1 cup 7.3
Mustard Greens 1 cup 2.6
Rapini (Broccoli Raab) 1 cup chopped 1
Romaine lettuce 1 cup chopped 1.5
Spinach 1 cup 8
Swiss chard 1 cup chopped 13
Turnip Greens 1 cup chopped 3.9
Watercress 1 cup chopped 0.4

 

Vegetables

 

vegetables to eat on the keto diet

 

 

Vegetables have many benefits that help heal the body, reducing risks of metabolic diseases like heart disease. 

 

Like leafy greens, vegetables are low-carb, so you can load up on them. One of their benefits is that they aid in weight management. High fiber vegetables like cauliflower digest slowly to help you feel full faster, compared to eating processed carbohydrates. 

 

Studies have shown that vegetables are responsible for cultivating good gut health and intestinal bacteria. This bacteria aids in digestion and helps protect you from infections. 

 

So while not all vegetables are appealing, you can still find a handful to include with every meal. You can eat some vegetables like green peppers raw, or you can saute a medley of vegetables in your stir fry. 

 

If you're on the run and only have time for a protein shake, you can get a boost of vegetable antioxidants from a super green powder as well. The super greens supplement shouldn't replace eating real vegetables, but they do make great vegetable substitutes in a pinch. 

 

Food Serving Size Carbs (G)
Asparagus 1 cup 5.3
Bell peppers 1 pepper 4
Broccoli 1 cup 6
Brussel Sprouts 1 cup 8
Cauliflowers 1 cup 5
Celery 1 cup 3
Chili peppers 1 pepper 4
Cucumber 1 medium 7.3
Egg plant 1 medium 49
Garlic 1 clove 1
Green Beans 1 cup 10
Habanero Peppers 1 pepper 4
Jalapeno Peppers 1 pepper 1
Leeks 1 cup 8
Mushrooms 1 cup 8.3
Olives 1 cup 8.5
Onions 1 tbsp 9
Pickles 1 cups 3.5
Poblano Peppers 1 pepper 9
Pumpkins 1 cup 8
Radishes 1 cup 3.9
Red Peppers 1 pepper 4
Rhubarb 1 cup 6
Scallions 1 cup 7
Shallots 1 tbsp 1.7
Spaghetti Squash 1 cup 10
Turnips 1 medium 6
Yellow Squash 1 medium 15
Zucchini 1 medium 5.8

 

Fruits

 

fruits allowed on keto

 

When eating keto, you will need to limit your intake of sugars and sweeteners, so eating fruits is a great alternative. They can curb your craving for sweets while helping regulate your blood sugar levels. 

 

Take your pick from the bunch! Fruits like bananas and mangoes are great sources of vitamins and minerals that can be included in breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

 

For example, bananas contain potassium, an important electrolyte for the body — helping regulate blood pressure — and vitamin B6, which the body needs because it can't produce on its own. Research studies have linked vitamin B6 to improving cognitive brain function in older adults and decreasing nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. 

 

Mangoes are another healthy fruit that contain antioxidants and fiber. They slow the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream, helping regulate insulin levels. One cup of mango contains 1000 percent of the daily vitamin C requirement. 

 

Whichever fruit you prefer, know that you can get a taste of something sweet while still maintaining ketosis.

 

Food Serving Size Carbs (G)
Apple 1 medium 25
Avocados 1 17
Bananas 1 medium 27
Blackberries 1 cup 14
Blueberries 1 cup 21.4
Cantaloupe 1 cup cubed 45
Coconut (Flesh) 1 cup 12.9
Cranberries 1 cup 13.2
Grapes 1 cup 16
Kiwi 1 fruit 10
Lemons 1 cup sliced 19.8
Limes 1 cup sliced 7.6
Mango 1 cup sliced 24.7
Orange 1 large 22
Peach 1 large 17
Pears 1 large 35
Pineapple 1 cup sliced 19.5
Plums 1 fruit 7.54
Raspberries 1 cup 14.7
Strawberries 1 cup sliced 12.7
Tomatoes 1 medium 4.8
Watermelon 1 cup 11

 

Meats and Poultry 

 

meat and poultry on keto

 

Protein is an essential building block for the body. It helps maintain bone density and strength, and it helps repair internal tissues and organs. Lean meats and poultry are excellent sources of protein that provide a myriad of health benefits. 

 

On the keto diet, you should aim for your diet to be 30 to 35 percent protein. Eating a moderate amount of chicken or steak for example, can create satiety, curbing hunger and keeping you full longer. 

 

Red meats like steak contain creatine, which your body also produces naturally. This amino acid helps the body create energy and increase the production of lean muscle. Consider eating a lean cut steak to give your muscles a boost. 

 

Food Serving Size Carbs (G)
Bacon (Cooked) 1 slice 0.2
Bison 4 oz 0
Bratwurst 1 link 2
Breakfast Sausage 1 link 0
Chicken Breast: Skinless, boneless 1 breast 0
Deli meats: chicken. turkey, ham, pastrami, etc. 1 oz 0.7
Duck Liver 1 liver (44g) 1.6
Ground Beef 4 oz 0
Ground Turkey, Chicken 4 oz 0
Hot Dog 1 link 2
Italian Sausage 1 link 3
Lamb 4 oz 0
Lamb Chops 6 oz 0
Pork 6 oz 0
Top Sirloin 4 oz 0
Veal 4 oz 0

 

 

Plant-based Proteins

 

plant based protein keto diet

 

If you're not a meat-eater, there are other plant-based protein alternatives to choose from. Vegan protein powders are ideal for shakes, but there are plant-based proteins like edamame, tofu and tempeh that you can use in your main meals. 

 

Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. One cup contains eight grams of carbohydrates and 33 grams of protein. One cup of tofu, made from curdled soy milk, contains four grams of carbohydrates and 20 grams of protein. 

 

Eating vegan doesn't have to be a challenge on the keto diet. You can even find vegan burgers made from soy or black beans at your local grocery store.

 

Food Serving Size Carbs (G)
Chickpeas 1 cup 45
Lentils 1 cup 40
Quinoa 1 cup 28
Seitan (Wheat Gluten) 1 cup 13.6
Spirulina 1 cup 27
Tempeh 1 cup 13
Tofu 1 cup 4

 

Seafood

 

seafood keto diet list

 

Seafood is another common source of protein. Pescetarians and people who don’t eat red meat or poultry will be happy to know that seafood like salmon contains essential vitamins and minerals, including omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and vitamins B and D.

 

Studies show that fish is low in fat and calories, so it makes it a great protein choice to aid with weight loss. It helps with brain function, heart health and decreasing the risk of stroke.  

 

Seafood like salmon can be prepared quickly, often in under 20 minutes. Pair it with leafy greens in a salad, freshly steamed veggies or some protein-packed guacamole

 

Food Serving Size Carbs (G)
Clams 3 oz 4.4
Flounder 3 oz 0
Herring 3 oz 0
Mackerel 3 oz 0
Mussels 3 oz 6
Octopus 3 oz 3.7
Oysters (Pacific) 1 medium 2.5
Salmon 3 oz 0
Sardines 1 small 0
Scallops 3 oz 4.6
Shrimp 3 oz 1
Squid 3 oz 2.6
Trout 3 oz 0
Tuna (Bluefin) 3 oz 0

 

Dairy and Eggs

 

dairy keto food list

 

Dairy and eggs offer a variety of delicious foods and beverages that are in line with the keto diet. Milk, yogurt and cheese are all sources of dairy that you can eat and are easily found in any grocery store. Dairy products are rich in protein and fats. If you’re tracking your calories, the serving numbers can be added to more than one macronutrient category. 

 

For example, one ounce of goat cheese contains zero carbohydrates and six grams of fat. While, one ounce of blue cheese is seven grams of carbohydrates and five grams of fat.  

 

Individuals that are lactose intolerant or vegan can use plant-based substitutes made from oats, almonds, hemp or soy. While some do contain high levels of sugar and less protein than cow’s milk, studies have shown that they are an excellent substitute.

 

Eggs are low in carbohydrates (six percent) and an easy go-to for protein (six grams) and fats (two grams). During your meal prep, you can make them in bulk and chill them in your refrigerator. 

 

If you're vegan and don't eat eggs, there are keto-friendly egg substitutes that are plant-based and easy to cook. Silken tofu can be used to replace eggs in baking recipes and regular tofu can be used in any meal.

 

Food Serving Size Carbs (G)
Almond Milk 1 cup 3.4
Blue Cheese 1 oz 0.7
Cream Cheese 1 tbsp 0.8
Eggs (Grade A, Large, White) 1 large egg 6
Flax Milk 1 cup 7
Goat Cheese 1 oz 0
Half-and-Half 1 tbsp 0.7
Heavy Cream (Whipped) 1 cup 6.5
Oat Milk 1 cup 16
Parmesan Cheese (Hard) 1 oz 1
Rice Milk 1 cup 22
Sour Cream 1 tbsp 1
Soy Milk 1 cup 8

 

Nuts and Seeds

 

nuts seeds keto diet

 

Nuts and seeds are some of the best snacks that you can have while eating on the keto diet. Like avocados and fish, nuts are rich with healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Nuts and seeds are also low in carbohydrates. Walnuts contain 16.5 grams of fats per serving and pumpkin seeds had five grams per serving. Nuts and seeds can be consumed throughout the day for a quick energy boost. However, be careful about how much you consume. While nuts and seeds are high in omega-3 fats, many are also high in carbohydrates. 

 

For best results, portion out your nuts and seeds for each meal, so that you can have a quick snack while on the go. 

 

Food Serving Size Carbs (G)
Almond Butter 1 tbsp 9
Almonds 1 cup 30
Brazil Nuts 1 cup 15
Cashews 1 cup 39
Chia Seeds 1 cup 48
Flax Seeds 1 cup 49
Hazelnuts 1 cup 23
Hemp Seeds 1 cup 48
Macadamia Nuts 1 cup 19
Peanut Butter 1 tbsp 8
Peanuts 1 cup 24
Pecans 1 cup 15
Pine Nuts 1 cup 18
Pistachios 1 cup 34
Poppy Seeds 1 cup 39
Pumpkin Seeds 1 cup 34
Sunflower Seeds 1 cup 28
Walnuts (Chopped) 1 cup 16

 

Beverages

 

beverages keto diet

 

What you drink on the keto diet is just as important as what you eat. Remember that during the introductory phase, to curb symptoms of the keto flu, it's important to stay hydrated. 

 

While there is no set rule of water consumption for the keto diet, the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicines reported that men should consume 131 liters and women 95 liters per day. This will ensure that you are hydrated and replenishing your body. 

 

There's no shortage of beverages to drink on the keto diet, but there are some restrictions. If your goal is to lose weight, soda shouldn't be on the list. 

 

When on the keto diet, consuming alcohol should be kept to a minimum. But, your social life doesn't have to end because you're getting health-conscious. 

 

Beer is generally off-limits because of high amounts of sugars and carbohydrates — it can take you out of ketosis and slow weight loss. However, some keto diet variations have been flexible in allowing the consumption of light beers. 

 

If you are going to a social event, opt for clear hard liquors like gin or vodka. They contain fewer sugars than other spirits like rum. Drink them neatly, on the rocks, or add soda water and create a spritzer. 

 

Food Serving Size Carbs (G)
Black Tea (Brewed/Unsweetened) 8 fl. oz 0
Bone Broth 8 fl. oz 0.6
Coffee 8 fl. oz 0
Cranberry Juice (Tropicana) 8 fl. oz 35
Crystal Light 8 fl. oz 0
Diet Soda (Coke Zero) 12 fl. oz 5
Gatorade 32 fl. oz 35
Gin 1.5 fl. oz 0
Green Tea (Brewed/Unsweetened) 8 fl. oz 0
Light Beer (Michelob Ultra) 12 fl. oz 2.6
Orange Juice (Minute Maid) 32 fl. oz 27
Pineapple Juice (Dole) 8 fl. oz 32
Powerade 32 fl. oz 22
Red Wine 5 fl. oz 4
Soda Water, Seltzer, Mineral Water 8 fl. oz 0
Tequila (80 proof) 1.5 fl. oz 0
Unsweetened Iced Tea (Lipton) 8 fl. oz 0
Vodka 1.5 fl. oz 0
Water 8 fl. oz 0
White Tea (Brewed/Unsweetened) 8 fl. oz 0
White Wine 5 fl. oz 4

 

Sweeteners

 

sweeteners keto diet

 

Sorry to all the coffee and tea drinkers that like to add a few cubes of sugar to freshen up their morning beverages, but while on the keto diet, most sweeteners are off-limits. While sugar will be a thing of the past, there are still alternatives that allow you to sweeten up your favorite dishes and beverages.

 

Some sweetener alternatives, like stevia or xylitol, are low-carb and can curb your sweet tooth if used sparingly. Stevia is commonly used in homes and restaurants as a sugar substitute. Xylitol is an additive that is commonly used in sugar-free gums. Both stevia and xylitol don't raise blood sugar levels. 


Monk fruit (Lou Han Guo) is a superfood and all-natural sweetener that comes from southeast Asia. It’s recognized by the Food and Drug Administration as a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) sweetener alternative.

 

Food Serving Size Carbs (G)
Equal per packet 0
Erythritol 1 tsp 4
Monk Fruit Sweetener (In the Raw) per packet 1
Splenda per packet 0
Stevia per packet 0
Sucralose 1 tsp 0
Sweet'n Low per pack 1
Truvia per packet 0
Xylitol 1 tsp 4

 

Flours for Baking

 

flours baking keto

 

Just because you're eating healthy doesn't mean that you can’t enjoy baked goods; You'll just need to replace the all-purpose, corn and wheat flours with keto-friendly substitutes. 

 

You can still get your taste of comfort food by using flours made from coconuts, almonds, sunflower seeds or flax meal. 

 

For example, protein balls are a great low-carb and high-protein recipe that can be used to fuel your workouts or act as a healthy snack option for the kids. 

 

The fun doesn't have to end when you change your eating habits. You’re just making better decisions.

 

Food Serving Size Carbs (G)
Almond Flour 1 cup 24
Almond Meal 1 cup 24
Chia Seed Flour 1 cup 24
Cocoa Powder 1 cup 50
Coconut Flour 1 cup 65
Ground Flaxseed 1 cup 49
Hazelnut Flour 1 cup 23
Macadamia Flour 1 cup 36
Oat Flour 1 cup 68
Soy Flour 1 cup 43

 

Herbs and Spices

 

herbs spices keto

 

Eating clean doesn't mean that it has to be boring. Spice up your meals with some keto-friendly herbs and spices. Most have little to no carbohydrates and can help add flavor to bland ground turkey or add a punch to some barbecue. Be sure to read the food labels to confirm their carbohydrate counts. 

 

Chinese 5 spice will give your savory chicken dishes a blend of sweet and spicy. Adobo is a regular staple in many dishes from Portugal, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Philippines. Adobo’s blend of spices enhances any meat dish (steak, chicken, pork and fish) and makes it pop with flavor. 

 

If you search your kitchen hard enough, you may already have some other keto-friendly herbs and spices like cinnamon, mint, cayenne, or ginger.

 

Food Serving Size Carbs (G)
Adobo (Goya) 1 tbsp 0
Basil 2 tbsp 1
Cayenne 1 tbsp 3
Chili Powder 1 tbsp 4
Chinese 5 Spice 1 tbsp 4.2
Cilantro 1 tbsp 0
Cinnamon 1 tbsp 5
Garam Masala 1 tbsp 7
Garlic Powder (Lawry's) 1 tbsp 1
Mint 2 tbsp 5
Paprika 1 tbsp 3.7
Parsley 1 tbsp 0.2
Rosemary 1 tbsp 2
Tarrago 1 tbsp 2.4
Thyme 1 tbsp 9.6

 

 Condiments

 

condiments keto diet

 

 

Using condiments on the keto diet isn't impossible, but you have to read food labels to catch hidden sugars and additives. For example, Hunt’s Ketchup contains high-fructose corn syrup. Look for a low sugar version, or make a low-carb sugar free version in your kitchen.

 

Many people use condiments like salad dressing or ketchup to spruce up their meals. 

When you consider the frequency and amount of ranch that you use on salads and chicken dishes alone, the numbers add up quickly. Try using a vinaigrette to bring our salad to life. 

 

Keto-friendly condiments like mayonnaise, Sriracha and mustard can add flavor to your meals, while not absorbing your carb macros for the day. 

 

Food Serving Size Carbs (G)
Hot Sauce (Frank's RedHot Original) 1 tbsp 0
Vinaigrette 1 tbsp 0.4
Kimchi 1 cup 3.6
Liquid Aminos (Soy Sauce Alternative) 1 tbsp 0.1
Marinara Sauce .5 cup 10
Mayonnaise 1 tbsp 0
Mustard 1 tbsp 1
Sriracha (Huy Fong Foods) 1 tbsp 3
Sugar-free BBQ Sauce (G Hughes) 1 tbsp 1
Sugar-free Steak Sauce (G Hughes) 1 tbsp 1
Unsweetened Ketchup (Primal Kitchen) 1 tbsp 2

 

The keto diet has a lot of benefits from weight loss to increasing good cholesterol. Like any nutrition plan, it's a good idea to communicate with your doctor or seek guidance from a registered nutritionist or dietician to help you through the process. 

 

Even though you're changing your eating habits, there are plenty of low-carb food choices that can keep you entertained. It will take some discipline to achieve your weight loss goals, but you can't put a price tag on being healthy

 

 

printable keto foods list