Keto diet food list – what to buy

Ketogenic diet food list – what to buy

This keto food list, sorted by supermarket area, is all you need to find keto diet food at your local market. Print it here and keep it in you bag. Keto grocery shopping has never been easier!

Best: Foods that contain less than 3 grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) per 100 grams of food.1

Good: Foods that contain 3-6 grams of net carbs per 100 grams of food.

Produce area

Low-carb veggies top 10
Best:

  • Lettuce (Boston, butter, endive, field greens, iceberg, matcha, romaine, and watercress)
  • Greens (collard, kale, mustard, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnip)
  • Asparagus, avocados, bok choy, celery, eggplant, herbs, kohlrabi, mushrooms, radishes, rapini (broccoli raab), tomatoes, and zucchini (find recipes for these veggies in our collection of keto side dishes)

Good:

  • Artichokes, broccoli, broccolini, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, fennel, green beans, jicama, okra, snap peas, snow peas, and turnips (see our visual guide to keto vegetables)
  • Blackberries and raspberries (see our visual guide to keto fruits)

Meat-fish-seafood counters

Raw meat and seafood – good keto options
Best:

  • Beef, chicken, game, lamb, pork, and veal2 (see our recipes for keto meals)
  • Bacon, hotdogs*, organ meats, and sausage*
  • Fatty fish and white fish (see our recipes for keto fish meals)
  • Crab, lobster, mussels, octopus, oysters, scallops, shrimp, and squid

Deli counter

Best:

  • Sliced chicken, corned beef, ham, pancetta, pastrami, prosciutto, roast beef, speck, and turkey
  • Sliced chorizo, pepperoni, salami, and soppressata (perfect on our simple keto plates)
  • Prepared chicken salad*, egg salad*, and tuna salad*

Good:

  • Sliced cheese
  • Bologna and mortadella

Dairy case

High fat dairy – good keto options
Best:

  • Butter and ghee3
  • Heavy cream
  • Softer cheeses (blue, buffalo mozzarella, brie, camembert, colby, goat, gouda) and harder cheeses (cheddar, havarti, mozzarella, parmesan, pepper jack, muenster, provolone, and Swiss)
  • Eggs (try our delicious collection of keto egg dishes)4

Good:

  • Full fat crème fraîche, feta, cream cheese, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt (plain), mascarpone, ricotta, and sour cream
  • Whole milk, used sparingly (no more than a couple of tablespoons) in coffee or tea

Check out the cheese lovers section of our keto meals page for recipe ideas.

The rest of the store

Best:

  • Avocado oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, nut oils, and olive oil5
  • Duck fat, lard, schmaltz (chicken fat), and tallow6
  • Canned fish or seafood (anchovies, crab, salmon, sardines, and tuna)
  • Canned or jarred olives* and sauerkraut
  • Hot sauce*, mayonnaise*, mustard*, and vinegar*
  • Bouillon cubes and broth
  • Dried herbs, psyllium husk powder, and spices
  • Pork rinds* and parmesan crisps (for more ideas, visit our keto snacks guide)
  • Club soda, coffee, tea, and unsweetened cold brewed coffee or iced tea

Good:

  • Almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, and pili nuts
  • Seeds (chia, flax, hemp, and pumpkin)
  • Beef jerky* and meat bars*
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, pickles*, pizza sauce*, tomato sauce*, and soy sauce*
  • Cold brewed Bulletproof coffee

* Be sure to check label and avoid brands with unwanted sugars and starches.

Print the keto diet food list here and take to the market.

 

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More

There are two companion guides with more information about navigating the grocery store and deciphering food labels. They are:

Keto diet foods — top three mistakes at the grocery store
How to use the nutrition facts label

 

In addition, check out our main keto foods guide below to understand the basics about keto foods:

Ketogenic diet foods – what to eat

 
For all the keto basics, check out our simple but thorough beginner’s guide to the keto diet:

Ketogenic Diets for Beginners

 

About the author

Jenni Calihan created the non-profit, Eat the Butter, to start a mother-to-mother conversation about diet and health. She advocates for real-food-more-fat eating, and has been feeding her family (four kids) for twenty years.

Practical low-carb guides

  1. Although not universally agreed upon by every expert in the field of ketogenic nutrition, it’s generally accepted that our digestive tracts lack the enzymes necessary to break down the fiber in whole foods and absorb it into the bloodstream. Because this fiber portion of carbs does not raise blood sugar and insulin levels, it is subtracted when calculating carb intake.

    Nutrients 2010: Effects of dietary fiber and its components on metabolic health [overview article]

  2. Meat is an excellent source of high-quality protein and other important nutrients. It has been unfairly demonized for increasing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, based on weak scientific evidence.

    Guide to red meat – is it healthy?

  3. There is no need to fear foods like butter, ghee, cream, cheese, fatty meat, and other foods high in saturated fat. Although not entirely accepted by all experts, several large systematic reviews of clinical trials have found no evidence that saturated fat increases risk of cardiovascular disease, other health problems, or early death:

    Nutrition Journal 2017: The effect of replacing saturated fat with mostly n-6 polyunsaturated fat on coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials [strong evidence]

    Learn more:

    A user guide to saturated fat

    List of studies about saturated fat and heart disease

  4. Eggs are an exceptionally healthy, versatile, keto-friendly food. Although they are high in dietary cholesterol, eating them doesn’t seem to raise cholesterol levels much in most people, and may reduce cardiovascular risk by improving the ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol:

    Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care 2006: Dietary cholesterol provided by eggs and plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations [overview article]

    Lipids 2017: Intake of up to 3 eggs/day increases HDL holesterol and plasma choline while plasma trimethylamine-n-oxide is unchanged in a healthy population [moderate evidence]

    Journal of Nutrition 2008: Dietary cholesterol from eggs increases plasma HDL cholesterol in overweight men consuming a carbohydrate-restricted diet [moderate evidence]

  5. These natural plant fat sources are much less processed and appear to be far healthier overall than seed and vegetable oils.

    Learn more: Vegetable oils: what we know and what we don’t

  6. These animal fat sources remain stable during high-heat cooking due to their high saturated fat content. Furthermore, the majority of experimental and observational research has shown that saturated fat doesn’t increase risk of heart disease risk, other diseases, or early death.

    Open Heart 2016: Evidence from randomised controlled trials does not support current dietary fat guidelines: a systematic review and meta-analysis [strong evidence]

    Learn more:

    A user guide to saturated fat

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137 comments

  1. 1 comment removed
  2. Sabeela
    Great tips! I really love the keto diet and I've made a lot of progress in changing my eating habits in the past year.

    One thing that really helped me get started was having access to a quality ketogenic diet cookbook.

    Recently I found one that offers 148 ketogenic recipes complete with meal planning tips.

    It also provides you with handy list of high-carb foods to avoid and advice on how to neutralize your cravings for those foods.

    The recipes are amazing and there's enough recipes there to keep you from getting bored with your diet.

    I highly recommend it.

  3. Jan Boyd
    where do I get the book from
    Reply: #4
  4. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    There is no book purchase required. We have all of the information here on our website!

    --Kristin

  5. Richard
    In all of the lists above can you please tell me the meaning of the "*" attached to some of the items?
    Reply: #6
  6. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    In all of the lists above can you please tell me the meaning of the "*" attached to some of the items?

    * Be sure to check label and avoid brands with unwanted sugars and starches.

  7. Keith
    I love to eat buffalo wings, can anyone recommend a good keto hot sauce?
    Reply: #8
  8. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I love to eat buffalo wings, can anyone recommend a good keto hot sauce?

    Frank's does not have any added sugar.

  9. Debora Warner
    I just started this plan 12/13. I think I'm going to love it. There so many yummy foods that are what I already eat. I don't think this should be called a diet. Maybe it should be "Keto, My Way of Living."
  10. Anne Bailey
    I don't see butter on your list. I really love my real dairy butter. Can I have?
    Reply: #11
  11. Jessic
    Butter is on list under dairy
  12. Alexander Wicken
    What kinds of substitutes can I use instead of bread for sandwiches
    Replies: #13, #60
  13. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    You can use leaf lettuce to wrap the sandwich or make your own bread. Here's one recipe - https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/golden-keto-sesame-bread
  14. Ed Swanson
    I just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for this site....ABSOLUTELY A LIFE SAVER...THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!
  15. Mary
    At 63 yo and having struggled for years with my weight I have decided to change my eating habits to improve my health and lose weight. Will be starting LC eating January 2nd with the goal to lose 50 pounds and get healthier. I have found so many conflicting ideas about the best way to do this on different web sites. This site makes the most sense to me and I trust it since it is overseen by experts and Physicians! One question I have is substitutions for coffee creamer. I have always used powdered non dairy creamer and going forward will not continue because of the added sugars. I have tried heavy whipping cream and just can't seem to enjoy it. Can you recommend a substitute? Would half and half be as good as the heavy whipping cream? Appreciate any and all advice you can offer.
    Reply: #17
  16. Cynthia
    What about cabbage, onion and smoked sausage?
    Reply: #18
  17. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Mary, half and half would not be a good option due to the higher lactose/milk sugar content. You may want to try an unsweetened almond milk to see if you prefer that to the heavy cream.
  18. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Cabbage and onion are good keto friendly foods. With smoked sausage, you would need to read the ingredients and make sure it doesn't have added starches and sugars.
  19. 1 comment removed
  20. Cynthia
    Kind of soup beans or peas can I have? I love butter beans, lentils and black eyed peas.
    Reply: #21
  21. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Kind of soup beans or peas can I have? I love butter beans, lentils and black eyed peas.

    Unfortunately those are all much too high carb for keto. Beans and peas other than green beans are not going to be a good option.

  22. Dee
    I am just starting this diet after I gained 10 lbs last year, and cannot seem to lose the weight , even though I exercise every day. I met an old friend a few days ago and she had lost 50 lbs on this diet. So, I'll give it a go. I started today and made vegetables with melted cheese for dinner. It was very tasty.
  23. Bonnie
    My journey begins today. I started working out and take Keto pills and am eating Keto foods I actually see my tummy shrinking and I feel lighter Thanks for this site!!
  24. Sally
    What are the best drinks on Keto
    Plan besides water?
    Reply: #29
  25. Steven
    I started today thank you very much for your help happy New Year everyone my best to everyone
  26. Bonnie Newland
    What are "Keto Pills?" Are they available at the drugstore and are they safe? This sounds like an eating plan to live with but we will miss the bread and pasta. We get it, but no bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, etc. We do love veggies but we will miss our carbs. We are good without sugar.
    Reply: #27
  27. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Bonnie, Keto pills are completely unnecessary. Just cut the carbs and eat real whole foods and you're on the right track.
  28. Rachel
    I am starting the Keto Diet in the morning (Jan 2). I weight 275lbs. My goal is to get closely back to my army weight 180lbs. ....here goes nothing!!
  29. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    What are the best drinks on Keto
    Plan besides water?

    Sally, you can find our advice about beverages on this page - https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/drinks

  30. Abigail
    I don't see anything on the site about following your macros? I don't want to overeat. How important is it to follow your Macros?
    Reply: #34
  31. Connie
    This is my year to lose weight also! I am going to do this. I’m excited about beginning this plan. I see an Asterix by some of the products such as hotdogs, I must have missed it… What does this mean?
  32. Ava
    I don't eat dairy. Can I use sunflower spread and almond milk?
    Reply: #33
  33. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Just make sure to check ingredients and carb count.
  34. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Our two week challenge and meal plans are specifically set up to get you started without getting bogged down in counting macros. Keeping carbs very low is the most important point.
  35. 1 comment removed
  36. Pam
    New to this site...just wondering if this keto diet would be a good option for me. I'm a type 2 diabetic and already have lost weight but still need to eat right on a daily basis.I'm already cutting out sugar but my dietician said to have 30 carbs at each meal. I understand that I would have to check with my doctor first but can anyone help me?
    Reply: #37
  37. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Welcome Pam!
    When doctors make that recommendation, they are frequently operating on the assumption that people won't be willing to eat fewer carbs than that or stay strict with their low carb eating, and therefore will continue to need medication. However, using keto/lchf, you can stabilize your blood sugar and insulin. When you do that, many diabetics will find that they can go off their medication. We have great infomation about reversing diabetes on this link - https://www.dietdoctor.com/diabetes

    Make sure and keep an eye on your blood sugar levels, especially if you are on medication so your doctor can adjust your dosage as needed.

  38. Milena
    What is the most amount of carbohydrates I can pick when looking at a label? How many grams should I watch out for?
    Thank you
    Milena
    Reply: #39
  39. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    What is the most amount of carbohydrates I can pick when looking at a label? How many grams should I watch out for?
    Thank you
    Milena

    That is going to vary based on other ingredients that you'd be incorporating in a meal. For keto, most people stick to 20g per day, spread across their meals. You should definitely watch out and leave any products with added sugars or artificial sweeteners.

    Here's our page with visual guides that may help you as well.
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/visual-guides

  40. linda
    1) what type of olives are used in your chicken pesto recipe
    2) i see some of your recipes call for psyllium husk , is that a fiber powder?
    I have chrones and not sure that is something i should have
    thanks
    Reply: #41
  41. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    You can use whatever olives you prefer. Some like kalamata olives, others find the taste is too strong. Yes, psyllium is a 100% fiber powder.
  42. Dave
    Hi, I am 3 days into my Keto diet.
    From what I have read, Full Cream Milk is ok but not Skim Milk , is this correct?
    Is Full Cream Icecream ok too?
    Also, Im really missing tomato sauce, are there any brands that are ok?
    Thanks,
    Dave
    Reply: #43
  43. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Any MILK is not ideal because it's going to still be too high in lactose/milk sugar. Many use heavy cream in cooking or in coffee. Full fat ice cream is usually still made with sugar and not a good option. We do have ice cream recipes on our website; when you make your own you can control the ingredients! https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/recipes/desserts/ice-cream

    For tomato sauce, just look for brands with no added sugar. Brand availability can vary by region/country.

  44. Dave
    Thanks for your reply. Im really missing my coffee , so is full cream milk better than skim in coffee? Or is a dash of Skim milk ok?

    Thanks,

    Dave

    Reply: #45
  45. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    That's up to you. In general, anytime you have a choice, you should choose the lowest carb and the highest fat option. With skim milk and the higher lactose, you are more likely to spike blood sugar and insulin.
  46. 1 comment removed
  47. Keri reed
    How many days are you on this before you start seeing results?
    Reply: #48
  48. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    That is going to vary from person to person as we all start from different places in terms of age, gender, metabolic health, and other underlying health issues.
  49. Mel
    How about oatmeal or cereal. What types of breakfast foods are good.
    Reply: #50
  50. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    How about oatmeal or cereal. What types of breakfast foods are good.

    Those are going to be much too high carb. On keto we recommend avoiding grains.

    Here is a link to our breakfast recipes.
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/recipes/top-keto-breakfasts

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