Changing up what you eat, or how you prepare it will also keep you from being bored on the keto diet. Keep this keto grocery list close at hand next time you to go to the store.
When you are beginning the keto diet, you may wonder what keto foods you should eat. Some are left wondering if a certain food is good for their diet or not.
The basic idea of keto is to keep your food macros within guidelines. What are macros? They are the 3 basic nutrients foods is made of. Protein, Fats, and Carbohydrates. When a food is high in carbohydrates (carbs) it is commonly lower in fats, proteins or both.
For example, a 6 ounce skinless chicken breast has:
- 51 grams of protein
- 6 grams of fat
- 0 carbs. (source)
Pasta, on the other hand, has:
- 7 grams of protein
- 1 gram of fat
- 40 grams of total carbs (carbs-fiber) per serving. (source)
Keeping your diet balanced with plenty of fats, moderate proteins, and little carbs will help keep your energy levels up. You will also experience a defined weight loss as one of the happy “side effects”. The keto diet is also thought to have other health benefits, like keeping blood sugar stable.
Doesn’t your body need carbohydrates for energy?
Well, not really. Your body gets quick energy from added sugars in food you consume. However, too many added sugars will lead to insulin resistance and weight gain. The extra carbohydrates you consume are stored in the body as fat, to be used for a later time, if necessary.
This was useful back in the time when food wasn’t always abundant. When we had to garden, preserve and hunt for our daily survival, it could be feast or famine. Having stored fat wasn’t a problem when you went through a famine time and needed it to survive.
Now, food is all around us and very easily accessible. You can go through a drive thru at almost any hour of the day. Most grocery stores are open 24/7/365. We can easily consume the needed calories each day. Sometimes, we consume way more than we need to. And we get fat.
So, while it’s true your body does use carbs for energy, it can also adapt and burn stored fat for energy when it doesn’t get the energy from carbs. Once your body gets used to taking in less carbs, it will be burning fat for energy. This is referred to as “ketosis”.
Ketosis isn’t dangerous for most of us. Unless you have health issues, such as type 1 diabetes, in which case you want to check with your doctor before beginning this or ANY other diet.
Different foods are appropriate for the ketogenic diet.
Foods you may be thinking would be off limits for ANY fat loss to happen. This may change your entire way of thinking, so be prepared. It’s important to know what to buy at the store for keto dieters. Keeping your macros in line isn’t difficult, once you get the hang of it.
Of course, the first step in any change of way of eating is to meal plan. You will want to know what you can have, and HOW you can have it. Changing up what you eat, or how you prepare it will also keep you from being bored on the keto diet.
Here is a basic keto diet shopping list, what to buy at the store for keto, if you will.
Meats To Buy
-choose grassfed if you can.
- Red meat (beef, lamb, venison, elk etc.)
- Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck, quail etc)
Meats to Avoid
- Processed Deli meats (may contain added sugars)
- Meat replacements, such as tofu (soy)
Choose fresh or quick frozen. Be sure to not have anything breaded. Watch out for added sugars in canned fish, too.
- All fish
- All shellfish
All eggs are keto friendly, but remember to keep track of the carbs, as they contain less than .5 grams, but multiple eggs can add up.
Some fall out of ketosis when consuming dairy. If you notice that you are not losing weight, or your clothes are not fitting looser, then remove dairy for a week or two to see if that helps at all. Most dairy is labeled as 0 carbs, but they DO have fractions of carbs within due to the natural milk sugars.
- Heavy Cream
- Butter, salted or unsalted
- Cottage Cheese (choose the whole fat over low fat)
- Unsweetened Nut Milks (almond, coconut, cashew-keep an eye on carb counts)
- Sour cream
- Greek Yogurt
- Cream cheese
Dairy to Avoid
- Skim milk
- Low fat cottage cheese
- Sugar sweetened yogurt
Choose above ground vegetables over root vegetables.
- All leafy greens (lettuce, spinach, kale)
- Cruciferous (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts)
- Green Beans
- Green Bell Peppers
Vegetables to limit
- Red Bell Peppers
Vegetables to avoid
- White or sweet potatoes
limit fruits due to the sugar count, and be sure to add them into your daily carb intake.
- Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
Fruits to avoid
this will be all large fruits due to the sugar content. Here are the most popular to avoid:
Nuts And Seeds
consume in moderation as a snack.
- Brazil nuts
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower seeds
Flour And Baking
- Acorn flour
- Almond flour and meal
- Coconut Flour
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Flax Seed Meal
- Protein Powder (keep it under 3-4 carbs per serving)
- Psyllium Husk
- Sesame Seed Flour
- All saturated fats from animal sources (beef, lard, schmaltz)
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- MCT oil
- Olive oil
- Almond butter
- Almond oil
- Cocoa butter
- Fish oil
- Grape Seed oil
- Macadamia oil
- Mayo (get the recipe for homemade here)
- Peanut oil
- Sesame oil
- Walnut oil
Fats to avoid
- Soybean oil
- Canola oil
- Safflower oil
Use in moderation. They may knock you out of ketosis otherwise. Stevia and Erythritol are not known to cause gastric distress, but the other sugar alcohols may do that if over indulged in.
For the keto diet, if the total number of sugar alcohols is more than 5 grams, subtract only ½ of the number and count the rest. This is for carb adjustment purposes. The exception for this is if erythritol is the ONLY sugar alcohol on the list, then subtract them all. This is due to erithrytol being passed through the system before it’s more than 10% absorbed.
- Monk Fruit
- Xylitol (use in extreme moderation-may raise blood sugar levels in some and is toxic to animals)
Sweeteners to avoid.
Generally, you want to avoid any sweetener that may have added bulking to them, like maltodextrin or dextrose.
- Nutra Sweet
- Processed Sugar
- Malitol (high glycemic)
Be sure you are drinking plenty of water, and zero carb beverages like unsweetend tea, bone broth, and coffee. Although bullet proof coffee does have some fat burning benefits, too much caffeine can cause weight loss plateus.
If you choose to consume alcohol, choose hard alcohol over wine and beer. Keep alcohol consumption in moderation either way as it can also knock you out of ketosis. This holds true for many diet sodas as well, so keep that in mind.
Adding a pinch of salt to your water may help replace some electrolytes. Keeping your electrolytes in balance will help avoid weight loss stalls.
Are you ready to go grocery shopping for your new way of eating? Are you confident you know what to buy at the store for keto dieting? Be sure to pin this for later!
Need some tips for the keto diet on a budget? Check out this post!
Some of Zach's favorite keto resources include:
Ketogenic: Ketogenic is a unique site that offers a short 1-minute quiz that will tell whether you can achieve the results you're looking for with the keto diet based on your goals and challenges.
Perfect Keto: For those who are looking for easy supplements that support a Keto diet, Perfect Keto offers a variety of products that make it easy to stay in ketosis including keto bars, whey protein, and keto nootropics.
KetoLogic: For those who have a sweet tooth, KetoLogic sells keto-friendly chocolate candies with only 1g of net carbs & zero added sugars.