Complete Keto Diet Food List: What to Eat and Avoid

I know it may be challenging to follow a healthy low-carb diet, especially if you are new to it. I hope this comprehensive list of keto-friendly foods will help you make the right choices. The Keto Diet approach is simple: It’s about following a low-carb diet where the focus is on eating real , not just food low in carbs.

ketodiet

In short, you should eat REAL food (meat, eggs, nuts, yogurt, vegetables and occasionally some ). Apart from the obvious limitation of net carbs content in food, it is also recommended to avoid processed food and any food that may contain preservatives and colourings.
KetoDiet is not just about losing weight at any cost; it’s about adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Below is a list of the most common low-carb foods recommended for the ketogenic diet.

EAT Freely

Grass-fed and wild animal sources

  • grass-fed meat (beef, lamb, goat, venison), wild-caught fish & seafood (avoid farmed fish), pastured pork and poultry, pastured eggs, gelatin, ghee, butter – these are high in healthy omega 3 fatty acids (avoid sausages and meat covered in breadcrumbs, hot dogs, meat that comes with sugary or starchy sauces)
  • offal, grass-fed (liver, heart, kidneys and other organ meats)

Healthy fats

  • saturated (lard, tallow, chicken fat, duck fat, goose fat, clarified butter / ghee, butter, coconut oil)
  • monounsaturated (avocado, macadamia and olive oil)
  • polyunsaturated omega 3s, especially from animal sources (fatty fish and seafood)

Non-starchy vegetables

  • leafy greens (Swiss chard, bok choy, spinach, lettuce, chard, chives, endive, radicchio, etc.)
  • some cruciferous vegetables like kale (dark leaf), kohlrabi, radishes
  • celery stalk, asparagus, cucumber, summer squash (zucchini, spaghetti squash), bamboo shoots

Fruits

  • avocado

Beverages and Condiments

  • (still), coffee (black or with cream or coconut milk), tea (black, herbal)
  • pork rinds (cracklings) for “breading”
  • mayonnaise, mustard, pesto, bone broth , pickles, fermented foods (kimchi, kombucha and sauerkraut – best home-made with no additives
  • all spices and herbs, lemon or lime juice and zest
  • whey protein (beware of additives, artificial sweeteners, hormones and soy lecithin), egg white protein and gelatin (grass-fed, hormone free)

Eat Occasionally

Vegetables, Mushrooms and Fruits

  • some cruciferous vegetables (white and green cabbage, red cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, fennel, turnips, rutabaga / swede)
  • nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, peppers)
  • some root vegetables (parsley root), spring onion, leek, onion, , mushrooms, winter squash (pumpkin)
  • sea vegetables (nori, kombu), okra, bean sprouts, sugar snap , wax beans, globe or French artichokes, water chestnuts
  • berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, mulberries, etc.)
  • coconut, rhubarb, olives

Grain-fed animal sources and full-fat Dairy

Topic: Complete Keto Diet Food List: What to Eat and Avoid
  • beef, poultry, eggs and ghee (avoid farmed pork, it’s too high in omega 6s!)
  • dairy products (plain full-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, cream, sour cream, cheese) – avoid products labeled “low-fat”, most of them are packed with sugar and starch and have little sating effect
  • bacon – beware of preservatives and added starches (nitrates are acceptable if you eat enough antioxidants)

Nuts and seeds

  • macadamia nuts (very low in carbs, high in omega 3s)
  • pecans, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds
  • brazil nuts (beware of very high level of selenium – don’t eat too many of them!)

Fermented soy products

  • if eaten, only non GMO and fermented soy products (Natto, Tempeh, soy sauce or paleo-friendly coconut aminos)
  • Edamame (green soy beans), black soybeans – unprocessed

Condiments

  • healthy “zero-carb” sweeteners (Stevia, Swerve, Erythritol, etc.)
  • thickeners: arrowroot powder, xanthan gum (keep in mind xanthan gum is not paleo-friendly – some people following the paleo diet use it, as you only need a very little amount)
  • sugar-free tomato products (puree, passata, ketchup)
  • cocoa and carob powder, extra dark chocolate (more than 70%, better 90% and beware of soy lecithin), cocoa powder
  • beware of sugar-free chewing gums and mints – some of them have carbs

Some Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts and Seeds with Average Carbohydrates – depends on your daily carb limit

  • root vegetables (celery root, carrot, beetroot, parsnip and sweet )
  • watermelon, Cantaloupe / Galia / Honeydew melons
  • pistachio and cashew nuts, chestnuts
  • Only very small amounts, better avoided completely: apricot, dragon fruit (Pitaya), peach, nectarine, apple, grapefruit, kiwifruit, kiwi berries, orange, plums, cherries, pears, figs (fresh)

Alcohol

  • dry red wine, dry white wine, spirits (unsweetened) – avoid for weight loss, only for weight maintenance

AVOID Completely: Food rich in carbohydrates, factory-farmed meat and processed foods

1) All grains, even whole meal (wheat, rye, oats, corn, barley, millet, bulgur, sorghum, rice, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains), quinoa and white potatoes. this includes all products made from grains (pasta, bread, pizza, cookies, crackers, etc.) sugar and sweets (table sugar, HFCS, agave syrup, ice creams, cakes, sweet puddings and sugary soft-drinks)2) Factory-farmed pork and fish are high ininflammatory omega 6 fatty acids and farmed fish may contain PCBs, avoid fish high in mercury.3) Processed foods containing carrageenan (e.g. almond milk products), MSG (e.g. in some whey protein products), sulphites (e.g. in dried fruits, gelatin), BPAs (they don’t have to be labeled!), wheat gluten4) Artificial sweeteners (Splenda, Equal, sweeteners containing Aspartame, Acesulfame, Sucralose, Saccharin, etc.) – these may cause cravings and other issues5) Refined fats / oils (e.g. sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, canola, soybean, grapeseed, corn oil), trans fats such as margarine.6) “Low-fat”, “low-carb” and “zero-carb” products (Atkins products, diet soda and drinks, chewing gums and mints may be high in carbs or contain artificial additives, gluten, etc.)7) Milk (only small amounts of raw, full-fat milk is allowed). Milk is not recommended for several reasons. Firstly, from all the diary products, milk is difficult to digest, as it lacks the “good” bacteria (eliminated through pasteurization) and may even contain hormones. Secondly, it is quite high in carbs (4-5 grams of carbs per 100 ml). For coffee and tea, replace milk with cream in reasonable amounts. You may have a small amount of raw milk but be aware of the extra carbs.8) Alcoholic, sweet drinks (beer, sweet wine, cocktails, etc.) 9) Tropical fruit (pineapple, mango, banana, papaya, etc.) and some high-carb fruit (tangerine, grapes, etc.) Also avoid fruit juices (yes, even 100% fresh juices!) – better to drink smoothies if any, but either way very limited. Juices are just like sugary water, but smoothies have fiber, which is at least more sating. This also includes dried fruit (dates, raisins, etc.) if eaten in large quantities.10) Mainly for health reasons, avoid soy products apart from a few non-GMO fermented products which are known for their health benefits. Also avoid wheat gluten which may be used in low-carb foods. When you give up bread, you shouldn’t eat any part of it. Beware of BPA-lined cans. If possible, use naturally BPA-free packaging like glass jars or make my own ingredients such as ghee, ketchup, coconut milk or mayonnaise. BPA has been linked to many negative health effects such as impaired thyroid function and cancer. Other additives to avoid: carrageenan (e.g. almond milk products), MSG (e.g. in some whey protein products) and sulfites (e.g. in dried fruits, gelatin) And here is everything in a nutshell…    

Net Carbs in commonly used recommended foods list for keto diet

Animal products
SourceNet Carbs (grams)Serving size
meat and fish0150 g / 5.3 oz
organ meats, liver (average)3150 g / 5.3 oz
prawns (cooked)1.4150 g / 5.3 oz
eggs0.7piece, large
cream (full-fat)1.6¼ cup, 60 ml / 2 fl oz
butter01 tbsp
cheese (hard)0.430 g / 1 oz
cream cheese (full-fat)1.6¼ cup, 50 g / 1.75 oz
Vegetables
SourceNet Carbs (grams)Serving size
lettuce (sliced, average)0.51 cup, 50 g / 1.75 oz
swiss chard, sliced0.81 cup, 35 g / 1.25 oz
collard greens, sliced0.81 cup, 35 g / 1.25 oz
bok choy, sliced0.81 cup, 70 g / 2.4 oz
asparagus2.7150 g / 5.3 oz
green beans6.4150 g / 5.3 oz
summer squash (zucchini / courgette)3.2150 g / 5.3 oz
winter squash (pumpkin)9150 g / 5.3 oz
cucumber2.2150 g / 5.3 oz
spinach, cooked1.2½ cup, 90 g / 3.2 oz
kale (Italian dark-leaf)2.1150 g / 5.3 oz
kale (curly)5.4150 g / 5.3 oz
savoy cabbage4.5150 g / 5.3 oz
cabbage (white)5150 g / 5.3 oz
cabbage (red)7.9150 g / 5.3 oz
celery stalk1.63 medium, 120 g / 4.2 oz
peppers (green)3.5piece, 120 g / 4.2 oz
peppers (red)4.7piece, 120 g / 4.2 oz
tomatoes, chopped4.81 cup, 180 g / 6.3 oz
eggplant (aubergine)3.5150 g / 5.3 oz
broccoli, chopped6.1150 g / 5.3 oz
cauliflower4.5150 g / 5.3 oz
mushrooms, white3.4150 g / 5.3 oz
mushrooms, brown5.6150 g / 5.3 oz
onion, white (sliced)2.2¼ cup, 40 g / 1.4 oz
garlic0.91 clove
Fruit
SourceNet Carbs (grams)Serving size
strawberries, sliced4.7½ cup, 85 g / 2.9 oz
raspberries3.3½ cup, 62 g / 2.2 oz
blackberries3.1½ cup, 72 g / 2.5 oz
blueberries8.9½ cup, 74 g / 2.6 oz
avocado3.7piece, average (200 g / 7 oz)
Nuts & Seeds
SourceNet Carbs (grams)Serving size
macadamia nuts1.530 g / 1 oz
almonds2.730 g / 1 oz
pecans1.230 g / 1 oz
hazelnuts230 g / 1 oz
walnuts230 g / 1 oz
cashew nuts7.630 g / 1 oz
pumpkin seeds1.330 g / 1 oz
sunflower seeds3.230 g / 1 oz
tahini (unsweetened sesame paste)1.81 tbsp
chia seeds0.41 tbsp
pistachio nuts4.930 g / 1 oz
Condiments & Other
SourceNet Carbs (grams)Serving size
almond milk (unsweetened)0.3¼ cup, 60 ml / 2 fl oz
coconut milk1.6¼ cup, 60 ml / 2 fl oz
coconut milk (creamed)2.7¼ cup, 60 ml / 2 fl oz
olives0.230 g / 1 oz
sauerkraut (solids only)0.5¼ cup, 35 g / 1.25 oz
mustard0.71 tbsp
tomato puree5.71 tbsp
apple cider vinegar0.11 tbsp
coconut aminos11 tbsp
dark chocolate (85%)5.730 g / 1 oz
coconut flour3.2¼ cup, 30 g / 1 oz
almond flour2.2¼ cup, 25 g / 0.9 oz
flax meal0.6¼ cup, 38 g / 1.3 oz
psillium hush powder1.4¼ cup, 16 g / 0.6 oz
Erythritol0.51 tbsp
stevia (drops)¼ tsp
wine (red, dry)61 glass / 5 fl oz
wine (white, dry)61 glass / 5 fl oz
spirits (sugar-free, ~ 40% vol)01 jigger / 1.5 fl oz

Low-carb / paleo / primal sources of your daily protein

Protein is not found just in meats. There are many meat-free and plant-based sources of protein! The more fat the meat contains, the less protein is usually has.

Meat, Fish and Seafood
SourceGrams of proteinServing size
turkey / chicken breast37150 g / 5.3 oz
chicken thighs29150 g / 5.3 oz
beef, lean steak31150 g / 5.3 oz
beef steak, ribeye28150 g / 5.3 oz
pork loin (chops)31150 g / 5.3 oz
venison steak32150 g / 5.3 oz
lamb chops28150 g / 5.3 oz
duck (meat only)30150 g / 5.3 oz
duck (meat and skin)17150 g / 5.3 oz
bacon123 slices / 90 g / 3.2 oz
chorizo salami2290 g / 3.2 oz
salmon32150 g / 5.3 oz
tuna37150 g / 5.3 oz
cod27150 g / 5.3 oz
sardines30150 g / 5.3 oz
mackerel28150 g / 5.3 oz
sea bass28150 g / 5.3 oz
sea bream36150 g / 5.3 oz
prawns, shrimps, mussels, clams22150 g / 5.3 oz
octopus19150 g / 5.3 oz
squid / calamari23150 g / 5.3 oz
lobster25150 g / 5.3 oz
gelatine61 tbsp

  For vegetarian options, these are the main sources of protein: Eggs and Dairy

SourceGrams of proteinServing size
eggs, chicken6.3piece, large
eggs, duck9piece, large
cream (heavy whipping)1.1¼ cup
cream (soured)1.2¼ cup
cream cheese3.5¼ cup
hard full-fat cheese (e.g. cheddar)14.260 g / 2 oz
mozzarella13.860 g / 2 oz
feta8.160 g / 2 oz
mascarpone3.6¼ cup
ricotta6.9¼ cup

  Apart from legumes (peanuts, chickpeas, lentils, etc.) and quinoa, which are not a part of the paleo diet, these are the main sources of protein for vegan-friendly diets:

Nuts and seeds
SourceGrams of proteinServing size
almonds630 g / 1 oz
walnuts4.330 g / 1 oz
pecans2.630 g / 1 oz
hazelnuts4.230 g / 1 oz
macadamia nuts2.230 g / 1 oz
cashew nuts5.230 g / 1 oz
pistachio nuts5.730 g / 1 oz
brazil nuts4.130 g / 1 oz
pine nuts3.930 g / 1 oz
pumpkin seeds8.630 g / 1 oz
sunflower seeds5.930 g / 1 oz
sesame seeds / tahini paste530 g / 1 oz
Vegetables, fruits and other
SourceGrams of proteinServing size
broccoli2.61 cup, chopped
broccoli raab1.31 cup
sugar-snap peas1.71 cup
green beans1.81 cup
bean sprouts1.51 cup
spinach5.31 cup, cooked
kale2.21 cup
artichoke4.2medium piece
asparagus2.91 cup
cauliflower2.11 cup, chopped
mushrooms, average1-2.51 cup, sliced
coconut1¼ cup, shredded
coconut milk1.1¼ cup
avocado4piece, average
tempeh (fermented soy – paleo if non-GMO)7.7¼ cup
sun-dried tomatoes1.4¼ cup
seaweed (e.g. wakame)101 cup

Topic:Complete Keto Diet Food List: What to Eat and Avoid

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