Are you not sure what to eat on a keto diet? Here you’ll find a quick food list and visual guide, showing you what to eat and avoid on keto. Let’s start with a basic overview:
In summary, eat real low-carb foods like meat, fish, eggs, vegetables and natural fats like butter or olive oil. As a basic beginner’s rule, stick to foods with fewer than 5% carbs (numbers above 1).
Here’s what you should not eat on a keto diet – foods full of sugar and starch. As you can see, these foods are much higher in carbs.
Drink water, coffee, tea or the occasional glass of wine.
Full keto diet food list
Meat – Unprocessed meats are low carb and keto-friendly, and organic and grass-fed meat is the most healthy of all. But remember that keto is a high-fat diet, not high protein, so you don’t need huge amounts of meat. Excess protein (more than your body needs) is converted to glucose, making it harder to get into ketosis. A normal amount of meat is enough.
Note that processed meats, like sausages, cold cuts and meat balls often contain added carbs. When in doubt look at the ingredients, aim for under 5% carbs.
- Fish and seafood – These are all good, excellent even, especially fatty fish like salmon. However, avoid breading, as it contains carbs. If you can find wild-caught fish that’s the very best.
- Eggs – Eat them any way, e.g. boiled, fried in butter, scrambled or as omelets, whatever you want.
Natural fat, high-fat sauces – Most of the calories on a keto diet should come from fat. You’ll likely get much of it from natural sources like meat, fish, eggs etc. But also use fat in cooking, like butter or coconut fat, and add plenty of olive oil to salads etc. You can also eat delicious high-fat sauces including Bearnaise sauce etc., or garlic butter.
Remember, don’t fear fat. On keto, fat is your friend. Why saturated fats are fine to eat
Vegetables growing above ground. Fresh or frozen – either is fine. Choose vegetables growing above ground, especially leafy and green items. Favorites include cauliflower, cabbage, avocado, broccoli and zucchini.
Vegetables are a great and tasty way to eat good fat on keto. Fry them in butter and pour plenty of olive oil on your salad. Some even think of vegetables as a fat-delivery system. They also add more variety, flavor and color to your keto meals.
Most people end up eating more vegetables than before when starting keto, as veggies replace the pasta, rice, potatoes etc.
High-fat dairy – The higher fat the better. Butter is good, high-fat cheese is fine and high-fat yogurts can be had in moderation. Heavy cream is good for cooking.
Avoid drinking milk as the milk sugar quickly adds up (one glass = 15 grams of carbs), but you can use it sparingly in your coffee. Definitely avoid caffè latte (18 grams of carbs). Also avoid low-fat yogurts, especially as they often contain lots of added sugars.
Finally, be aware that regularly snacking on cheese when you’re not hungry is a common mistake that can slow weight loss.
- Nuts – Can be had in moderation, but be careful when using nuts as snacks, as it’s very easy to eat far more than you need to feel satisfied. Also be aware that cashews are relatively high carb, choose macadamia or pecan nuts instead.
- Berries – A moderate amount is OK on keto, perhaps with real whipping cream, a popular keto dessert.
- Water – The #1 option. Have it flat, with ice, or sparkling. Sip it hot like a tea, or add natural flavouring like sliced cucumbers, lemons, or limes. If you experience headaches or symptoms of “keto flu“, add a few shakes of salt to your water.
- Coffee – No sugar. A small amount of milk or cream is fine. For an extra hit of energy from fat, stir in butter and coconut oil for “Bulletproof coffee.” Note, if weight loss stalls, cut back on the cream or fat in your coffee.
- Tea – Whether black, green, Orange Pekoe, mint, or herbal tea— feel free to drink most teas. Don’t add sugar.
- Bone broth – Hydrating, satisfying, chock full of nutrients and electrolytes — and simple to make! — bone broth is a great beverage to sip on the keto diet. Stir in a pat of butter for some extra energy.