The keto diet has grown major popularity in recent times due to its proven health benefits of reducing harmful belly fat, enhancing weight loss, and preventing certain diseases (1). With more studies on the rise to further analyze its importance, understanding what foods to eat on a keto diet continues to be a challenge for some.
Our mission at Health VIP Club is to answer all of your keto diet questions. So, to start things off, we’re sharing what to eat on a keto diet with specific keto diet foods that will energize you and keep you on the right keto track.
Keto Diet Foods List
While on the ketogenic diet, most of your diet will consist of foods that are high in fat coupled with a protein source and low carbohydrate foods. Keep in mind that portion control is key (2).
Grass-fed Meat: These include beef, venison, goat, and lamb. Choose the chunks of meat with more fat since they contain less protein and more fat.
Meat from wild animals is also acceptable; however, avoid sausages and meats that come with sugary sauces and those covered in breadcrumbs. The sugar and breading will kick you out of ketosis faster than it was to eat it.
Pork: Boston butt, pork chops, ham pork, and loin are acceptable to eat on a keto diet. When choosing ham, be on the lookout for added sugar. It may not say “added sugar” on the front of the food package, so always be sure to read the ingredients list.
Bacon And Sausages: Preferably, you should buy these at specialty health food stores. If this is not possible, always read the labels to avoid those which contain fillers, such as soy or sugars.
Poultry: Free-range Cornish hen, quail, goose, pheasant, chicken, duck, and turkey.
Fish And Seafood: Cod, tuna, scrod, anchovies, mackerel, flounder, catfish, trout, mahi-mahi, halibut, sole, sardines, salmon, halibut, snapper, and calamari. Always opt for wild-caught fish to avoid toxins present in commercially reared fish.
Canned Tuna And Salmon: Canned tuna and salmon are fine to consume while you are on the keto diet. However, avoid seafood rich in fillers, breaded seafood, and fried seafood.
Vegetable Protein Powders: Protein supplements such as whey protein, hemp protein, pea, and rice are acceptable.
Whole Eggs: This includes chicken eggs and quail eggs, which you can prepare through any means desired; fried, soft or hard-boiled, deviled, scrambled, or omelet style.
Shellfish: Oyster, mussels, lobster, shrimp, crab (not imitation crab that contains additives), clams, scallops, and squid.
Keto-Friendly Oils and Fats
Because oils and fats are your main sources of energy while you are on a ketogenic diet, go for the ones that you enjoy. These may include:
- Omega 3 fatty acids from fish such as tuna, shellfish, and salmon
- Fish supplements or krill
- Monounsaturated fats such as egg yolks, avocado, and butter * Vegetable oils such as olive oil and coconut oil
- Non-hydrogenated beef tallow, ghee, and lard.
- Duck and chicken fat
In order to make it easier to stick to this diet, be aware of which types of fat your body can tolerate. Many people seem to have zero or very low tolerance of vegetable oils and mayo. This may be a good thing because most of these oils are rich in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids––the kind that is a risk factor for heart disease (3).
In this case, work with the listed monounsaturated fats to reduce the inflammatory effect brought about by polyunsaturated fats (4). Nevertheless, work to balance both fats because you cannot survive on monounsaturated fats alone (5). Even then, avoid hydrogenated fats such as margarine to reduce the number of trans fats you eat.
For this keto food list, opt for organic or better yet, grow your own to avoid all pesticide toxins. Avoid starchy vegetables: corn, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, and winter squash that are high in carbs. Instead, opt for moderate intake of sweet vegetables: squashes, peppers, tomatoes, and carrots.
The best vegetables for keto diets include:
- Collard greens
- Onions (high in sugar; moderate intake)
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Beet greens
- Dandelion greens
- Bamboo shoots
- Brussels sprouts
- Bok choy
- Celery root
- Swiss chard
- Snow peas
- Bean sprouts
- Salad greens and lettuces: romaine, arugula, fennel, bok choy, boston lettuce, endive, mache, escarole, sorrel
- Radicchio, chicory water chestnuts
- Dill pickles
Keto-Friendly Dairy Products
- Mascarpone cheese
Unsweetened whole milk yogurt (limit intake of this type of yogurt because it is a little high in carbs)
- All soft and hard cheeses
- Cream cheese
- Full fat sour cream (don’t forget to check for additives on the ingredients list)
- Full fat cottage cheese
- Heavy whipping cream
In any case, always go for raw milk products, and if you don’t have easy access to them, go for the organic ones.
- Bulletproof coffee
- Decaf tea
- Flavored seltzer water
- Decaf coffee
- Herbal tea
- Lemon and lime juice (limit intake)
- Clear broth or bouillon
Keto-Friendly Nuts and Seeds
Nuts: Almonds, macadamias, pecans, and walnuts are nuts with the lowest level of carbs. Meaning you can consume them in small amounts. Other nuts such as chestnuts, pistachios, and cashews contain a higher amount of carbs. So, you should carefully monitor your intake of those.
Nut flours: These are necessary because while you are on this diet, it doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to bake anymore. Nut flours, such as almond flour, will suffice.
- Inulin and chicory root
- Lo han guo
- Liquid stevia
- Sea salt
- Chili pepper
- Cilantro or coriander seeds
- Black pepper
- Cumin seeds
- Cayenne pepper
- Mustard seeds
As you can see, being on a ketogenic diet is not as highly restrictive as most may think. In fact, the keto foods you can eat are foods that other diets tell you to avoid. Though other diets prove to support other evidence, the keto diet is changing the game by the benefit of supporting your body with fat, the most energy-efficient form of food, as being the main energy source instead of carbohydrates and showing positive outcomes (6, 7).
If you don’t have the time or patience to organize your grocery list of keto-friendly foods, it may be a good idea to invest in a custom keto diet plan. A good keto diet plan is designed to set you up for keto success without forcing you to do any heavy lifting.
Simply take this short survey and you’ll get detailed keto recipes with step-by-step instructions, including a shopping list each week so you’re set up with everything you need.
Additionally, there are foods you should avoid to achieve optimal ketosis as your body makes the switch from using glucose to synthesizing fats for ketones. So, stay tuned as we share keto diet foods to avoid next!