Being on a low carb diet can be a major pain when you have a busy lifestyle. When you’re on a keto diet, the carb restrictions mean that preparation can be a time-consuming process. Trust me, we know.
So that’s why we’ve compiled this complete keto diet food list, along with a free PDF that you can download at the end.
Keto Diet Food List At a Glance
On the ketogenic diet, you have to watch portion sizes if you want to prevent weight loss plateaus.
The table below will show where most of your macronutrients will come from on a keto diet.
|Protein Sources |
|Carbohydrate Sources (5-10%)|
|Fish/ Shellfish||Shellfish||Nuts & Seeds|
|Nuts & Seeds||Dairy||Fruit|
Here are some quick examples of food that you can get from each source:
Keto Diet Food: Protein
On the keto diet, protein should be consumed in moderation. Choosing protein sources with a lot of fat is a great way to make the diet easier.
My personal tip is to diversify your protein sources so that you’re not consuming red meat 7 days of the week. Aim for a good mix of red meat, poultry, and fish.
- Beef– steak, ground beef, bacon, liver, beef stew, beef roast
- Pork– pork chops, pork loin, tenderloin, ham, bacon, liver, lard
- Poultry– chicken breast, chicken thighs, turkey, duck
- Whole eggs
- Nuts– Almond butter, macadamia nut butter
Note- Seeing that dairy is also high in fat and contains some amount of protein, be careful when mixing protein and dairy in a meal. Too much protein isn’t recommended as it can be converted into glucose. Read more about it in our keto diet guide.
Use this keto calculator to find out how many macros you need on a ketogenic diet.
Keto Diet Food: Fish
Fish is a great source of protein if you want to mix it up. Choose fish with more fat.
Here are some options:
- Wild– caught or regular fish- salmon, catfish, snapper, trout, mackerel, tuna
- Shellfish– crab, lobster, scallop, mussels, squid
Download the PDF from our resource library for the full list of keto diet foods plus their nutritional breakdown.
Keto Diet Food: Vegetables
Leafy greens like kale and spinach are the safest bet when on a ketogenic diet.
Starchy vegetables and root vegetables such as sweet potato and carrots tend to be much higher in carbs so those should be limited. Other foods to limit or avoid are mushrooms, onions, nightshades such as tomatoes, and squash.
- Leafy Greens– kale, spinach, lettuce, etc
- Cruciferous Vegetables– cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, etc
Keto Diet Food: Fruits
Fruits tend to be higher in sugar and as such, they are much higher in carbs. There are some that you’ll want to completely avoid (like bananas), but fortunately, there are a few that you can have to add some diversity to your diet.
Keto diet fruits- Avocado, blackberries, olives, carambola (starfruit), boysenberries, etc. Other berries can be eaten but their intake should really be minimal. Always look at the amount of carbs in the fruits that you want to eat.
Keto Diet Food: Fats and Oils
It’s best to get your fat from natural sources. Some of the fat in your diet will be coming from protein sources on this keto diet list. Bacon and whole eggs are two examples.
Oils like olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil are allowed but should be used in smaller amounts compared to the other fats on this keto diet food list.
- Animal sources– ghee, lard
- Dairy sources– butter
- Plant sources– coconut butter, coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, avocado oil
Keto Diet Food: Dairy
You’ll also get a good portion of your fat from dairy. When choosing dairy, go for full-fat items like butter, hard cheese, and heavy cream. Hard cheese is recommended because it has fewer carbs than soft cheese, which should be used sparingly.
It’s easy to go all-in on the dairy, especially cheese. But as always, eat in moderation because too much of it can stall your weight loss goals and cause inflammation. Avoid over-processed dairy products as they are higher in carbs.
- Hard cheese– swiss cheese, aged cheddar, parmesan, feta
- Soft cheese– brie, Monterey jack, mozzarella, Colby
- Dairy spreads– cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream
- Heavy whipping cream
- Greek yogurt
Keto Diet Food: Nuts & Seeds
Nuts tend to have a higher amount of carb than what’s allowed on keto. So while they can be used for flavor and texture in meals, they should be eaten sparingly.
Go for nuts that have lower carbs like brazil nuts and pecans. On the other hand, you want to eliminate cashews and pistachios entirely.
- Low carb nuts– macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, pecans
- Higher carb nuts (consume in low quantities)- walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pine
- Nuts to avoid– cashews and pistachios
Bonus: Keto Baking Substitutes
For those persons who love to bake, there’ll be a couple of adjustments to your recipes. First, let’s just forget about all the traditional flours that we normally use.
One cup of all-purpose flour has 95 grams of carbs, whereas one cup of blanched almond flour has only 24 carbs. You can guess which one we’ll be using.
Of course, nut flours are higher in protein so you’ll have to mix different flours together in order to avoid using too many carbs. If you bake, keep in mind that you won’t be eating all of it at once.
This means that the individual serving sizes should be lower than what you’ll see on the chart. Get more baking substitutes and their nutritional values in the PDF. Here’s a keto calculator if you’re not sure what your macros are.
- Alternative flours– coconut flour, almond flour
- Other options– Chia seed meal, flaxseed meal, unsweetened coconut flakes, cacao nibs, etc
If you’re in the mood for snacks but don’t feel like baking, we recommend reading:
- 21 Unbelievable No Carb Keto Snacks (seriously, less than one gram of carb for each)
- 19 Low Carb Keto snacks below 10 grams (if you feel like living on the wild side)
- 25 Keto Snacks That You Can Buy Online (
if you’re just lazy like meif you love convenience)
On a side note, it’s always best to get your carbs during meals by eating until you’re full. Too much snacking can slow down your weight loss goals.
Keto Sugars and sweeteners
It’s important to replenish electrolytes and keep hydrated to prevent yourself from getting keto flu. If you are going to have beverages such as sports drinks, ensure that they are sweetened with these two sweeteners.
If you’re new to a keto diet and are considering sugar substitutes, this article will give you more details about low carb sweeteners and how to use them.
Coffee- Bulletproof coffee is a go-to choice for many people on the keto diet. Try to have no more than 2 cups of coffee per day. It’s also best to avoid using coffee creamers and opt for black coffee or half and half (2 tablespoons half and half contains 1 gram of carbohydrate) when sweetening your coffee
Tea– dried herbal tea contains zero carbs. If you’re not a coffee drinker, find out how you can make Bulletproof tea.
Water– water is always the best option. It has no carbs and keeps you hydrated
Alcohol- there are some types of alcohol that you can consume on a low carb diet including dry vodka, rum, tequila and some types of wine. Please check the nutritional labels for the carb counts, but most straight, sugar-free liqueurs are 0 carbs. Read more in our post on low carb cocktails.
You should aim for 8 glasses of water per day. This will help to prevent keto flu and dehydration.
These two things have an increased chance of happening on keto because the diet has a diuretic effect. Keep your electrolytes up with the ways we mentioned earlier (a lot of water, adequate nutrients, sports drinks with keto-friendly sweeteners).
Keto Diet Snacks
There’s a wide variety of snacks that you can enjoy on a keto diet. We’ve compiled these lists for you so you can choose the ones that are the most appealing.
Get The Free PDF
If you want the complete keto diet food list sent to you, simply sign up below and get it immediately.
What’s inside? A list of 101 of the most common keto foods including:
- Nuts & seeds
- Baking Substitutes
- and more
PLUS the nutritional values are included, as well as a free shopping list template.
It’s also 100% free