For some people starting a ketogenic diet may be one of hardest things to do, eating a healthy diet is not always easy in this world where highly processed and unhealthy food is so easily accessible. Changing your unhealthy eating habits can be hard. We’ve put together this ketogenic diet food list to help you make decisions on what to shop for and figure out what foods to eat.
The list is by no means exhausted but will contribute to gain a better understanding of a LCHF low carb high fat diet. Anyone can eat a low carb diet, but the goal is to eat natural, healthful and real food, not just any low carb foods and ultimately adopt a healthier lifestyle.
What to eat on a ketogenic diet?
A keto diet is pretty simple really; it’s mainly consuming very little amounts of carbohydrates, eating lots of fats and moderate amounts of protein. If you want to more keto information, then be sure to check out our many articles.
To get yourself in ketosis and burn ketones for fuel will vary for everyone. For your total net carbohydrates for the day, it should be under 100g per day if you are highly active such as participating in high-intensity exercises, weight lifting, sports or the using a gym, etc. otherwise under 50g carbs for the day for most people is sufficient.
To stay in ketosis protein amounts should be moderate and averaging about 0.5g to a maximum 1g of protein per pound of body weight. This should be split into smaller amounts for the day. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs. its 150×0.5 = 75 and 150×1 =150 so between 75g and 150g of protein spread throughout the day. Remember the main focus of a ketogenic diet is eating fats, and so you could be eating a lot more than you are used to after trimming down the carbs and the proteins.
Ketogenic Diet Food List
Fats and Oils
On a keto diet, this will be the bulk of your daily caloric intake. Fats are crucial for our bodies, but consuming the wrong types of fat can also be detrimental to health. The use of fats and oils in a balanced amount is essential for health.
Organic and grass-fed sources are always favored whenever possible due to higher essential nutrients.
It is better to balance the intake of Omega 3 & Omega 6 for healthy living. Oily fish like trout, salmon, tuna and sardines are good examples of increasing your omega 3’s.
You may also take fish oil supplements if you don’t like the taste of fish. Krill oil which contains a powerful antioxidant astaxanthin is a great omega 3 fat.
You also want to reduce your intake of some nut and seed oils such as sunflower, pine, walnut oil as they can be higher in omega 6’s than 3’s.
Saturated & monosaturated fats are essential for your ketogenic diet food list as they are less inflammatory to your body and chemically stable rather than polyunsaturated fats. You can use goods fats and oils such as egg yolks, butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, almond nuts, etc. in many different ways for meals. Using them as salad dressings, sauces or consuming in beverages.
It goes without saying to avoid all hydrogenated oils, such as margarine and other spreads, to minimize your trans fat intake. Trans fat raises LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowers HDL (good) cholesterol and has many other harmful consequences. If you must use vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower oil, olive oil, peanut oil then make sure they are cold pressed if possible.
|Avocado Oil||Goose Fat|
|Clarified butter||MCT Oil|
|Cocoa Butter||Non-hydrogenated Lard|
|Coconut Butter||Olive Oil|
|Coconut Oil||Peanut Oil|
|Duck Fat||Red Palm Oil|
|Extra Virgin Olive Oil||Sesame Oil|
Nuts and Seeds
With the exception of peanuts, which are legumes not nuts, pretty much all nuts are good to eat on a ketogenic diet. Some of our favorites are almond, brazil nuts, and cashew nuts. Nuts are higher in omega 6’s than omega 3’s so again limit consumption when possible. Some nuts are also higher in carbs than others so be sure to eye on your portions.
|Chia Seeds||Pumpkin Seeds|
|Hemp Seeds||Sunflower Seeds|
Nut Butter and Flours
When baking or preparing your keto recipes, since regular all purpose flour is a big no-no on keto, you’re going to want to substitute for flours such as almond flour and coconut flour.
There are many alternative flours to choose from which are lower in carbs. You’ll just need to adjust your keto recipes slightly to accommodate them.
|Almond Butter||Macadamia Butter|
|Almond Flour||Milled Flaxseed|
|Cashew Butter||Peanut Butter|
|Cocoa Butter||Soy Flour|
|Coconut Butter||Soy Nut Butter|
|Coconut Flour||Sunflower Seed Butter|
|Hazelnut Flour||Walnut Butter|
Meat, Seafood, and Shellfish
People on keto who have active lifestyles, participate in HIIT or bodybuilding will need extra protein. There are endless foods high in protein you can eat on a keto diet.
I find it hard hard to resist beef jerky a good keto or protein bar. Things you need to consider is not to eat too much as it can keep you out of ketosis. Opt for fattier cuts of meat such as chicken thighs over breasts, rib eye steak over sirloin steak and so on. Processed meats should be avoided as they will have a higher carb content, additives and are less nutrient dense.
Organ meats are not as popular, but they are a good option for you. Choose organic grass-fed animal sources when possible for omega 3 fatty acids. Avoid factory-farmed animal meats as it will contain much higher amounts of omega 6 fats not to mention they are pumped full of antibiotics, arsenic, and hormones to make them grow faster. Be mindful of foods with added sugar, starches, and preservatives.
|Chicken (all types)||Kielbasa||Sardines|
|Ground Pork||Pork Chops||Venison|
If possible choose organic veggies to reduce pesticide exposure, if not there is no problem as they are just as nutritious as each other and the goal here is to get into the keto lifestyle.
While vegetables have carbohydrates, they contain a ton of fiber to aid digestion. Regardless of whether you’re low carb or keto they should be your primary source of vitamins and nutrients, so eat as many leafy greens as you wish.
|Artichokes||Endives||Peppers (All Kinds)|
|Beet Greens||Green Beans||Rhubarb|
|Bok Choy||Iceberg Lettuce||Rutabaga|
|Chard||Lettuce (All Varieties)||Swiss Chard|
|Chives||Mustard Greens||Turnip Greens|
Choose full-fat dairy foods over everything here. Never eat low-fat or fat-free products as the fat has just been removed and replaced with sugars and starches. Removing the fat totally changes the consistency and natural taste of the food. Be cautious with dairy since it can be incredibly easy to overeat on in a short space of time and avoid altogether if lactose intolerant.
|Blue Cheese||Heavy Cream|
|Brie||Heavy Whipping Cream|
|Cheddar Cheese||Mozzarella Cheese|
|Cottage Cheese||Parmesan Cheese|
|Cream Cheese||Provolone Cheese|
|Goat Cheese||Swiss Cheese|
|Gouda||Unsweetened Greek Yogurt|
|Hard and Soft Cheeses||Unsweetened Plain Yogurt|
Drinks and Beverages
Water, water, and more water! While there are many beverages to choose from water wins hands down every time. Staying hydrated on a keto diet is essential to keep your electrolytes in check. Bone broth will be a great help for this!
Limit drinks containing caffeine, all soda pops and of course alcohol. These are diuretics which will just dehydrate you challenging you to maintain hydration. Limit all kinds of milk for coffees, teas, etc. as the carbs will soon add up.
Diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners and aspartame which can have many adverse effects on the body; it’s best to avoid as it can throw you out of ketosis with large amounts. If possible drink your soda with a bunch of ice to increase your water intake.
|Almond Milk||Green Tea|
|Black Tea||Herbal Teas|
|Broth Broth||Lemon Juice|
|Cashew Milk||Lime Juice|
|Coconut Milk||Seltzer Water|
In general, fruits are off boundaries on a keto diet. Small amounts are fine but as the carb content are high make sure you measure amounts eaten. As with vegetables, starchy fruits should be avoided and no fruit juice at all costs!
Small amounts of:
Sweeteners and Spices
When starting a ketogenic diet, you will have many sweet cravings; it’s best to avoid all sugary foods as this will be easier for you to adapt to a keto lifestyle. Natural, artificial sweeteners are best if you have a sweet tooth.
Spices can have lots of carbs that you’re not aware of in them so make you’re reading the labels and know what you’re eating. All purpose seasonings will have added salts and sugars.
Peppers can be high in carbs so watch your portions when adding to chilis and as a dressing for your meals.
Avoid table salt and choose mineral rich salts to replace lost electrolytes such as Himalayan salt or sea salt.
|Black Pepper||Italian Seasoning|
|Garam Masala||White Pepper|
Keto Diet Plan
Try and stick to whole, natural foods whenever possible and don’t overcomplicate things.
If you are just starting LCHF low carb high fat dieting, then there will be times when you cave in and consume high carb or processed foods.
Foods these days are much different to that of 1,000 years ago, even 100 or 50 years ago. Your body has been trained to crave the wrong foods for many years, and it may take some getting used to a new diet.
Cooking and preparing all your meals in advance and storing in food containers at home will be of great help. Not only will it be more healthful and delicious but you’ll be less tempted to snack on high carb sweets, cakes, chocolate, processed foods, etc. It can only take one bite to mess your macros up for the day. Refer back to this ketogenic diet food list whenever needed.
If you’re going out to restaurants, visiting friends, family and so on, do your best and stick to the basics and eat foods higher in fats whilst reducing your carbs and proteins.
Start checking nutrition labels and information often, so you get the hang of reducing your carbohydrates, as your carb addiction slowly fades you will lose the excess pounds, feel healthier, stronger and more confident.
Following a low-carb high-fat dieting lifestyle requires staple meals you can enjoy on a daily basis. What are your favorite LCHF ketogenic foods? Is there anything we have missed out on your food list? Let us know your thoughts, comments, and feedback below.