Are you thinking of beginning the ketogenic diet? This keto food list guide will show you exactly what you can and cannot eat while following this extremely popular dietary plan, in order to get your body into ketosis and keep it there. Want to learn more about the ins and outs of keto before reading on? Check out this Beginner’s Guide to Keto for an in-depth analysis of how the high-fat/low-carb diet works and how to jump on board! You can even use our keto calculator to get personalized daily macros based on your goals.
If you’re hesitant to start keto, we get it. Despite the fact that at first, ditching carbs may seem like no fun, there are actually a ton of mouthwatering meals you can make when you decide to make high-fat a lifestyle. This keto food list will show you the best keto foods to sink your teeth into right now and make planning your keto food shopping list much easier and more enjoyable.
Fat First: Keto Food List
The best way to get acquainted with your new keto diet is to start changing your idea of what amazingly-delicious food means for you. If you typically crave high-sugar foods or those that are loaded with carbs, you need to start looking forward to rich, full-fat, indulgent foods instead – which also will satisfy you much longer than sugar or carbs.
If you view fat as “bad”, it’s time to change your viewpoint on that. Fat is actually an essential macronutrient which you can’t get from anywhere else except your diet. In fact, did you know that 60 percent of your brain is composed of fat?! This makes it easy to see how your brain requires fat to function correctly, and at its peak.
Some of the best keto foods to start indulging in right now are full of great flavor and abundant nutrients that support optimal health, while also being very high in fat…
5 Best Keto Foods
This fruit is incredibly high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are proven to be essential for maintaining good cholesterol levels and a healthy brain and heart. It’s also packed with fiber and inflammation-fighting antioxidants such as vitamins A, E and K. The best part about avocado is its versatility and the fact that you can enjoy it so many different ways.
Try avocado with a baked egg inside, then topped with cheese or other toppings for breakfast; mixed into a sumptuous meal replacement shake smoothie; or in this keto avocado toast recipe.
2) Coconut/MCT Oil
Next, coconut oil was once villainized as an unhealthy fat, which you were told to only enjoy in moderation. But recent research shows that this saturated fat is actually extremely good for you when consumed as part of a healthy diet, and can even support good heart health.
The best part about coconut when you’re on the keto diet is actually an oil that comes from it, called MCT Oil. This fast-absorbing oil contains a concentrated amount of shorter chain fats, which equates to a major energy boost and greater fat-burning potential in your body. Since it boosts ketone production, it can also help kick you into ketosis faster.
Add MCT Oil into your keto coffee, or keto-friendly protein shake smoothies. Or, add it into salad dressings or other cold sauces. The great thing about this oil is that it has a very light taste, so blends well into a number of recipes.
Another food on your keto food list that often gets a bad rap due to the saturated fat content is cheese. But this high fat, low-carb food is actually good for you, especially on the keto diet. Along with supplying essential calcium, cheese also contains a nutrient called conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, which can help you sculpt lean muscles, and assist with fat loss.
You may currently associate your cheese cravings with some type of carb, such as pasta, bread or crackers, but you need to give it a new type of appeal. For instance, instead of regular mac and cheese, try this cheesy cauliflower casserole; Or, use cheese to make dips, sauces, or toppings for your low-carb veggies to make them higher in fat.
4) Low-Carb Veggies
Next, many people think that when they start keto, they’re swearing off all carbs. But this is very far from the truth! Instead, you want to embrace healthy carbs that still keep you in ketosis such as low-carb veggies.
Eating plenty of colorful fresh veggies will help fill you up for a low amount of calories – providing good fiber that assists with proper digestion. They’re also high in antioxidants and other nutrients that boost your immune system and help prevent nutrient deficiencies.
Some of the best low-carb veggies that also make great carb substitutes include cauliflower, broccoli, spinach and other leafy greens, Brussel sprouts, cucumbers, celery and cabbage.
Low carb cauliflower fried rice
5) Grass-Fed Butter
Fifth on our list of the best keto foods to start using right now is grass-fed butter. You may initially think that purposefully eating more butter on a healthy diet sounds crazy, but believe it or not, it actually has a ton of beneficial nutrients! Plus, in contrast to regular butter, grass-fed butter is much better for you since the cows are able to roam freely and consume high-nutrient grass – allowing you to reap the benefits.
Grass-fed butter is high in CLA, along with beta carotene, vitamins A and K2 and essential fatty acids. Enjoy this high-fat food in ultra-popular keto coffee, or cook your meats and eggs in it to boost the fat content even more.
Foods To Avoid on Keto
Now that you know what some of the best keto foods are, let’s talk about the ones you should leave off of your keto food shopping list…
1) Refined Carbs
You already know that white bread and pasta are bad for you, but now you have another reason to avoid them: they will kill your ketosis. Instead of the typical breads, pasta, pizza and crackers you’re used to, look for keto recipes that use almond, coconut or cauliflower flours instead for lower-carb options that still taste awesome.
2) Sugary Desserts and Beverages
Although you don’t have to say goodbye to all desserts on keto, you do have to switch from sugary to creamy and more indulgent options. Switch out foods that contain sugar or artificial sweeteners to ones that use real-food, high-fat ingredients, while being sugar-free.
As for drinks, try herbal teas, sparkling waters, keto coffee or protein shakes to satisfy your cravings.
3) “Healthy” High-Carb Foods
Next up, this category is a tricky one, because it goes against what you typically think of as a “healthy diet”. Even though certain high-carb foods like grains, legumes, beans, starchy veggies, and high-carb fruits are technically good for you, they’re too high in carbs to keep you in ketosis.
Learning to find substitutes for these foods is one of the hardest parts when planning your keto food shopping list; But the good news is that once you have more fat in your diet, you won’t crave carbs anymore, or need as much of them. Plus, you can still eat small amounts of these foods in moderation if you plan out your daily carb count accordingly.
4) Packaged Keto Goods
Finally, just because a food label says “keto” on it, doesn’t automatically mean it’s good for you. Unfortunately, many companies have jumped onboard the keto wave, making their products keto-friendly.
However, the healthiest way to follow a keto diet is to focus on as many fresh, whole foods as possible. This means skimming the outer edge of the grocery store with your keto food shopping list, focusing on low-carb veggies, meats, seafood, healthy oils and butter, full-fat dairy, nuts and seeds.
The exception is plant-based, keto-friendly meal replacement shakes like 310 Shake – which is full of real, whole food ingredients. Unlike other meal replacement shake brands, 310 Shakes don’t contain sugar, artificial sweeteners or chemical-based ingredients. And with only 2g of net carbs and 90 calories per serving, they can help you get the nutrients you need on a busy keto schedule.
Ready to start adding some of the best keto foods to your daily keto meals?! For more articles and information on a keto lifestyle, check out the 310 Nutrition Blog.