There are many reasons to start a keto diet. For some people, one of the perks of a keto journey is weight loss. Medically speaking, the keto diet began as a way to treat refractory epilepsy. Now, people use keto diets for other health issues, to meet their fitness needs, or as a weight loss program.
According to The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal, " although there is some evidence for the keto diet improving weight loss, experts are cautious because of the potential risks of such an extreme diet and its use in the long term, and because many people who attempt the diet struggle with good compliance." (1)
To make it to and remain in ketosis, you may need to completely rethink your typical grocery list to fit a low-carb meal plan. For example, you'll have to say goodbye to frozen french fries and Minute Rice and consume more Dairy and meat.
You also want to choose healthy sources of fat. Keto shopping can be intimidating at first when you don't know what food you can buy, so it can help to plan your meals in advance and make sure you have the ingredients you need to make them. It also helps to look at your carb intake and pay attention to the nutrition labels in the grocery store to avoid hidden sugars and carbs in your food.
This keto grocery list is sorted by category so that you can find keto-friendly foods to keep in your pantry and fridge at all times.
If you don't like going to the store, you can always sign up to get keto meal services delivered right to your door.
Condiments and Pantry Items
Keto-friendly condiments can be challenging, as many of them are highly processed and have tons of added sugar. When you look for condiments, look for things like oil-based salad dressing, sugar-free ketchup, mustard, and olive oil mayonnaise. There are keto brands such as Jalali's Primal Kitchen that have sugar-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO condiments made with cage-free eggs when applicable.
You also want some typical pantry items on your keto diet shopping list such as:
Oil can be a good source of healthy fat and they have unique flavors that can level up any dish. Consider adding MCT oil, coconut butter, ghee, nut oils, avocado oil, coconut oil, bacon fat, and extra virgin olive oil to your shopping cart. Avoid non-fruit or nut oils such as vegetable oils and canola oil.
Dairy is a fine source of calcium, protein, and healthy fats. You can enjoy many cheeses that are preferably organic and grass-fed. Read a nutrition label before you purchase pre-shredded cheeses to make sure they don't have a stabilizer that contains cards.
When it comes to Greek yogurt and sour cream, these items have similar amounts of carbs as long as you get them clean and the full fat. Watch out for added sugar in your milk and yogurt. You can also enjoy butter, cream cheese, heavy cream, and cottage cheese.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are easy and portable snacks that satisfy your hunger and provide you with plenty of protein as well as some healthy fat. There are also flavored nuts, but beware of extra sugars and carbs. It is best to buy organic almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pecans, walnuts, hemp seeds, Brazil nuts, flax seeds, and macadamia nuts. Many nutritionists recommend macadamia nuts as one that is high in fat and low in carbs.
Meat, Poultry, and Eggs
The keto diet food is based on animal protein, but the quality is an important factor in the meats that you choose. It's important to buy organic beef and poultry that is grass-fed and free of additives. You can eat a variety of meats such as chicken, pork, ground beef, red meat, lamb, and turkey. Additionally, eggs are a great source of protein and are a keto-friendly food. You can eat boiled eggs by boiling eggs ahead of time or buying pre-packaged boiled eggs.
Because you're cutting back on carbs and sugar, there are some fruits that you want to cut out of your diet such as fruit juice, grapes, papaya, pineapples, bananas, pears, and apple. However, you can still enjoy plenty of lower carb fruits such as:
These fruits will help your cravings or sweet snacks without setting you back.
While you want to avoid starchy veggies such as potatoes, turnips, beets, yams, and carrots, low-carb vegetables are a great addition to your diet. they provide antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. These vegetables also make gray vehicles to add fat from your selection of healthy fatty foods. Some low carb vegetables and include:
Similarly to your meat, you want to choose high quality seafood that is wild-caught or sustainably farmed. Some seafood options that are a great source of healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients include:
You can also pick up canned or packaged tuna and sardines as a nice keto friendly snack. If you don't have a place to get quality seafood in your area, consider using an online grocery store or seafood delivery service to get sustainable seafood to your door.
While the best keto meals should be feeling enough to reduce your need to snack, there's nothing wrong with snacking occasionally on a ketogenic diet. Your keto shopping list can include snacks such as flax crackers, almonds, dark chocolate bars, pork rinds, deli meat, hummus, seaweed snacks, avocados, nut butters, Parmesan crisps, beef jerky, coconut chips, keto cookies, and low carb ice cream.
While you won't be able to buy regular cereal, you can buy grain-free low-sugar granola as a better option for a keto breakfast. You can still add milk to them or eat them with yogurt.
If you like baking, consider adding almond flour or coconut flour to your list as well. However, keep in mind that you'll need to adjust your recipes and not simply replace the amount of regular flour with an alternative flour.
Being keto doesn't mean that you have to give up caffeine. Plenty of people enjoy coffee and tea on the keto diet. just be sure not to add tons of sugar and flavoring to your coffee.
In fact, the keto diet is popular for what is known as Bulletproof Coffee, which is coffee made with butter or ghee and either MCT oil or coconut oil. You can also find keto creamer and make your own version of keto coffees.
What Not to Buy
According to Natalya F. Giroux, "A typical ketogenic diet involves reducing carbohydrate levels to 10 percent or less of the total daily caloric intake, and limits protein to 20 percent, while fat makes up the rest. This depletion of carbohydrates places the body in a state called ketosis, a metabolic state characterized by a lack of glucose in the body." (2)
On a low-carb keto diet, you'll no longer need to buy the following foods when you go keto grocery shopping:
You can find replacements for many of these items on your keto meal plan. For example, try finding gluten-free pastas, kelp noodles, or zucchini noodles. Remember that while beans are usually good protein sources, they are high in carbohydrates and too low in fat to be appropriate for keto dieters.
Finally, it is best to buy and cook with whole foods whenever possible. If you do purchase processed ingredients, check the label for unnecessary carbs.
Sample Keto Recipes
A big part of keto grocery shopping is meal planning. It's easier to get started and remain on the keto diet when you have a plan instead of going up and down the aisles searching for inspiration. Keto meals should have few grams of carbs and good amounts of fat.
Some high-quality food options for the keto diet include:
Avoiding Keto Flu
When you first begin the keto diet, you may experience side effects such as constipation, trouble sleeping, nausea, fatigue, and headache. In the book Healthy Keto Recipies, author Julie Gabriel says "Sometimes you can experience changes to your gut bacteria 0r even an immune system reaction. The main cause of Keto flu is usually dehydration caused by a temporarily increased urine production as your body adapts to new energy sources." (3)
To help minimize these symptoms, make sure you get enough salt and drink lots of fluids during the first week. You can use Himalayan sea salt in your keto food or sip bone broth or bouillon a couple of times per day. Gabriel also suggests eating a teaspoon of salted butter or taking a magnesium supplement.
A keto grocery list includes foods with a high fat content, protein, and low net carbs. When you go keto grocery shopping, choose leafy green veggies, low-sugar fruits, and meat such as pork belly, chicken, and beef. You can also buy fatty fish, dairy, and pantry staples such as nut butter, ghee, and coconut oil.
You can find a keto food list on this website and on other online resources. The idea is to get your macros and have a balance of nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. Sample keto beginner shopping lists include breakfast sausage, cucumber, produce, hotdogs, radishes, steak, lettuce, shellfish, berries, nuts, and much more.
The first week of keto is essential to set good habits. Some recipe ideas may include egg and cheese for breakfast, beef salad for lunch, and a keto meat pie for dinner. Some snack options could be raw veggies with almond butter, jerky, macadamia nuts, or boiled eggs.
Having a keto-friendly pantry will help your diet be successful. Stock up on spices, nuts, seeds, heart-healthy oils, full-fat dairy, canned fish, and keto snacks.
Final Thoughts - Foods for Keto Diet
It's time to rid your shopping list of the grains, breads, and flours you're used to. Fortunately, there's still something for nearly every type of eater on the keto diet.
When you make your keto grocery list, it's easiest to base it on foods you know you'll eat. There's no need to stock your pantry with tuna if you know you'll never use it.
When you diet, search for meal plans online and follow the options that look good to you. This way, you already know the nutrition information such as calories and grams of carbs in your meal. Once you get used to the lifestyle, you can begin cooking your own varieties of keto meals.
Tuck, C. J., & Staudacher, H. M. (2019). The keto diet and the gut: cause for concern?. The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 4(12), 908-909.
Giroux, N. F. (2020). The Keto Diet and Long-Term Weight Loss: Is it a Safe Option?. Inquiries Journal, 12(10).
Gabriel, J. (2020). Healthy Keto Recipes: 88 Easy Ketogenic Recipes for Better Health and Slimmer Body: Enjoy your keto journey with these easy and affordable recipes. No expensive or specialty ingredients needed-that's the promise!. Julie Gabriel.