- Keto Shopping List – Beginner Keto Grocery List Guide
- Beginner Keto Shopping List
- Keto Proteins & Meats Shopping List
- Keto Fats Shopping List
- Keto Sweeteners
- Keto Vegetables Grocery List
- Keto Fruits Grocery List
- Keto Dairy Grocery List
- KETO SNACKS GROCERY LIST
- MISC KETO SHOPPING LIST
- Beginner Keto Shopping List Printable
- This Keto Grocery List Will Save You So Much Time at the Store
- Keto Beginner Grocery List
- What is the Keto Diet and How Does it Work?
- Keto Macros Calculator
- How to Test If Your Body is in Ketosis
- What Food Should Be on My Keto Grocery List
- Where to Shop For Keto Diet Food and Meals
- Keto Diet Grocery Shopping List Healthy Fats
- Keto Diet Grocery Shopping List Coffee and Drinks
- Keto Diet Grocery Shopping List Sweeteners
- Keto Diet Grocery Shopping List Dairy
- Keto Diet Grocery Shopping List Desserts
- Keto Diet Grocery Shopping List Snacks
- Keto Diet Grocery Shopping List Condiments and Spices
- Keto Products and Cooking Utensils:
- The Very Best Keto Grocery List
- How Do I Get Started on a Keto Diet?
- What Can I Not Eat on a Keto Diet?
- Keto Meal Planning & a Keto Grocery List
- Do I Buy Every Item on a Keto Shopping List?
- Keto Beginner Grocery List for Specialty Ingredients
- Keto Grocery Shopping Guides
- Stay in Touch:
- Save Money on Keto Diet Food
- Keto Mania!
- What is the Ketogenic Diet?
- What Are the Benefits of a Keto Diet?
- Keto FAQ
- This diet seems similar to the Atkins diet. Is it?
- Is it easy?
- Are there vegetarian and vegan versions of the diet?
- Is it expensive?
- Is it environmentally friendly?
- Are there any side effects?
- Yikes! So, is it healthy?
- Get Keto Grocery Help With This App!
- Can I do exercise?
- Is keto weight loss sustainable?
- Keto Surprises
- Ketogenic diet food list: What to Eat and What to Avoid
- Keto Shopping List
- Coconut Oil
- Lard or Tallow
- Heavy Cream
- Fatty Fish
- Almond Butter
- Brussels Sprouts
- Dark Chocolate
- A Full Keto Day of Eating
- Keto Diet Shopping with KetoConnect
- In Summary
- 10 Must-Have Items On Your Keto Grocery List
- Spinach and Arugula
- Canned Sardines
- Olive oil
- Flax Crackers
- Well-marbled Steak
- How to Use This Keto Shopping List
- Meat Shopping List
- Seafood Shopping List
- Poultry Shopping List
- Dairy Shopping List
- Oils and Fats Shopping List
- Vegetable Shopping List
- Fruit Shopping List
- Baking Supplies Shopping List
- Sweeteners Shopping List
- Condiments, Spices, and Herbs Shopping List
- Drinks and Liquids Shopping List
- The 3-Day Keto Meal Plan and Shopping List
- The 7-Day Keto Meal Plan and Shopping List
- Keto Shopping: Download the Free Grocery List
- Low-carb veggies
- Salad greens
- Grass-fed beef and organic chicken
- Bone broth
- Tuna, salmon, or sardines (fresh or canned)
- Greek yogurt and sour cream
- Nut milks
- Avocado, olive, hazelnut, and coconut oil
- Grass-fed ghee
- Nutritional yeast
- Chia seeds and flax seeds
- Healthy frozen foods
- Low-carb pasta alternatives
- Nut butter
- Grass-fed beef tallow
- Keto-approved condiments
- Keto Diet Food List
- Why Follow a Keto Diet?
- How Much Fat Do You Need on the Keto Diet?
- What Kind of Fats Are OK?
- Keto Diet Food List
- Download The Keto Diet Food List & A Cheat Sheet
- Lazy Keto Meals: Meal Plan Week 46
- Don’t Miss – Lakanto Monkfruit – 40% off Sale Sitewide
- ‘Lazy Keto’ Only Has One Rule You Need to Follow
Keto Shopping List – Beginner Keto Grocery List Guide
This post may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure
We’ve made this straight forward Beginner Keto Grocery List to help you navigate what foods you can eat on a keto diet.
What foods can you eat on a keto diet? I know it can be confusing, you go to a million different sites and see a bunch of different things. Well, we’ve tried to simplify things for you today with this keto shopping list.
Beginner Keto Shopping List
One thing that you will notice in our beginner keto shopping list is that we stress the importance of getting in whole foods. The majority of your calories should come from nutrient dense whole foods which in vitamins and minerals.
Keto Proteins & Meats Shopping List
The quality of these foods matter too. Whenever possible, you should strive to eat grass-fed and grass-finished beef, pasture raised chicken and pork, wild caught seafood.
We get a lot of our grass-fed beef, pasture raised pork and wild seafood from US Wellness Meats.
US Wellness Meats are super high quality meats and taste delicious! I’ve had some 100% grass-fed ground beef and ribeyes before from other brands and the texture and flavor just weren’t there.
With US Wellness meats you get everything! Great taste, great product and competitive price with super markets and other online grass-fed delivery services.
Since hormones and antibiotics are fat soluble and a ketogenic diet is high in fat, it is important to consume higher quality fatty meat. Another alternative if you cannot afford to get grass-fed and grass finished meat is to opt for a leaner cut of beef and add a high quality oil to your meal.
Another reason to eat grass-fed and finished meat and pasture raised pork and poultry goes along the lines of, “you are what you eat.” If you feed your livestock grains, they will have a higher omega 6 (pro-inflammatory) profile and lower omega 3 profile (anti-inflammatory) than if they were traditionally grass and pasture raised.
We add collagen peptides to our coffee every morning because it’s beneficial for healthy joints, skin, hair, etc. If you use collagen peptides or want to add it to your diet after talking with your health care professional, we recommend Naked Nutrition Collagen Peptides Protein Powder.
This product is grass-fed and pasture-raised, and is GMO free, dairy free, soy free, gluten free, and free of growth hormones.
- Grass-fed beef and bison
- Pasture raised chicken, turkey and pork
- Wild caught fish
- Crabs, scallops, oysters, clams (note some of these contain minimal carbohydrates)
- Whey protein
- Collegen peptides
Keto Fats Shopping List
With most of us transitioning from the standard American diet which is high in omega 6 fatty acids, it is important to put a focus on increasing the omega 3 fatty acids in our diet which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Foods and oils which contain Omega 3 fatty acids
- Cod liver oil
- Egg yolk
- Grass-fed and finished beef
- Grass-fed butter
- Grass-fed ghee
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Fish eggs
Let’s throw a little caution to the wind and note that not all Omega 3 fatty acids are created equal. The Omega 3’s that are found in salmon and sardines are high in EPA and DHA where as the above nuts and seeds are high in ALA.
Our body’s usable Omega 3 fatty acids are DHA and EPA. ALA is an Omega 3 fatty acid as well but it does not efficiently turn into EPA and DHA (only about ~5%).
You can still eat your nuts and seeds to get in some Omega 3 fatty acids, but it’s best to consume some of the above fish or take a high quality Omega 3 supplement to ensure you are getting in enough anti-inflammatory fatty acids.
SINCE FATS ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE KETO DIET WE DECIDED TO DEDICATE AN ENTIRE POST TO THIS TOPIC, “HIGH FAT FOODS FOR KETO – THE FATTY DETAILS YOU NEED TO KNOW.”
This is a huge topic out in the keto world. So much so that I wrote a whole post on it which you can read here —–> KETO SWEETENERS.
Here’s the shortened version. Keto sweeteners we use:
- Truvia (Erythritol + Stevia) – also has brown sugar alternatives
- Swerve (Erythritol + oligosaccharides) – also has brown sugar alternatives
Keto Vegetables Grocery List
Most non-starchy vegetables are fair game on a keto diet. There just wasn’t enough room on this little infographic that I made here to list them all.
The only non-starchy vegetables you may want to avoid are ones that 1) you are allergic too, 2) you have a sensitivity to (ask me to find out how), 3) don’t agree with you digestively.
***UPDATE! WE’VE ACTUALLY WRITTEN AN ENTIRE POST ABOUT WHICH VEGETABLES YOU CAN EAT ON A KETO DIET. CHECK OUT THE LOW CARB VEGETABLE LISTS HERE ***
Keto Fruits Grocery List
- Berries likes raspberries
***UPDATE! WE’VE ACTUALLY WRITTEN AN ENTIRE POST ABOUT WHICH FRUITS YOU CAN EAT ON A KETO DIET. CHECK OUT THE LOW CARB FRUITS LISTS HERE ***
Keto Dairy Grocery List
What dairy products can you consume on a keto diet? We opt for grass-fed grass-finished dairy when possible.
So many people (including myself) have food sensitivities to corn. By consuming grass-fed grass-finished dairy this eliminates the risk of having a reaction to corn like you would if you eat conventional dairy products.
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Cream Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Plain Greek Yogurt
- Nut milks (dairy aisle 🙂 )
- Cottage Cheese
***UPDATE*** WE JUST WROTE A SUPER LONG POST ON KETO DAIRY PRODUCTS. GIVE IT A READ IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MORE INFO ABOUT DAIRY ON KETO.
KETO SNACKS GROCERY LIST
Are you a snacker? If so this low carb snack list is for you! We talk about our favorite low carb snacks you can buy (a few knew ones we just tried at KetoCon) and our favorite keto snacks you can make yourself.
Some are super easy to make like fat bombs and others require a little more skill BUT are totally worth it. TRUST US! We like to EAT. Or as I (Lara) always like to say, “I’m a good eater.”
I always end up eating leftover food off people’s plates because I HATE to waste food. Especially leftover brisket. TBT to Terry Blacks in Austin with Faith when I *had* to help her finish her brisket.
It’s a hard life but someone has to do it!
MISC KETO SHOPPING LIST
We also wrote a whole post about Nuts on a Keto Diet and Flours to use on a keto diet that you may find useful.
Beginner Keto Shopping List Printable
We’ve made a printable keto grocery list to made grocery shopping easier. Click the image below to download. Pre-Filled and blank grocery list available.
Below is a simplified beginner’s guide to eating on a keto diet. This beginner keto grocery list will help you navigate the grocery store.
Pin the grocery shopping list image below to save for later 🙂
If you’re short on time and need to stop at a fast food restaurant, check out our Keto Fast Food List. This low carb fast food guide will give you our top fast food restaurants to eat at, along with what keto fast food options we would get.
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If you found this post and you’re ready to start a keto diet, check out our 5 Day Budget Keto Meal Plan. You’ll get 5 days worth of recipes and eat for under $5 per day!
If you loved this post or any of our recipes, please leave a comment below. We love hearing from you! You can also tag #theketoqueens on social media. To stay up-to-date, FOLLOW US on Instagram @theketoqueens, Twitter, and Facebook.
Xoxo, Lara & Faith
This Keto Grocery List Will Save You So Much Time at the Store
Cavan Images/Getty Images
Real talk: Diving into the keto diet without a plan is a recipe for disaster. You have to be pretty precise about your macro consumption to reach and maintain ketosis, the state in which your body uses fat, not carbs, as fuel. (Even the “lazy keto” approach calls for keeping a close eye on carbs.) Plus, if you skip reading up on the keto diet, you’ll be more likely to make a common diet mistake, like consuming too much protein. Drafting up a keto grocery list before you head out means you won’t risk coming home with foods that will sabotage your ketosis goals or add up to nutritional imbalances.
Everyone knows bacon and cheese are allowed on the diet, but not only are those not the healthiest keto foods, but it’s actually the less-obvious foods that you should be prioritizing, according to Josh Axe, D.N.M, D.C., C.N.S, founder of Ancient Nutrition and author of upcoming book The Collagen Diet. “The somewhat cliché advice to ‘shop the perimeter of the grocery store’ applies as much to the keto diet as it does to most other healthy diets,” says Axe. Focus most of your attention on the produce section and the meat and seafood sections, and supplement with some eggs and cheese, he advises. Axe recommends completely avoiding the center of the grocery store–you can also include nuts, oils, and flour alternatives from the specialty/organic section. (Hitting up Whole Foods? These keto foods make meal prepping easier.)
Did you catch that? The produce section can be the main focus, even if you’re on the keto diet. Following a “clean keto” diet means incorporating whole foods as opposed to sticking to a “dirty keto” diet of meat, butter, and packaged food. Both approaches can lead to ketosis, but one is superior when it comes to fitting in nutrients and not causing negative health rebound effects. If you want to stay on the clean side, your first step should be to note which types of vegetables and low-sugar fruits belong on a keto diet grocery list.
Your body will thank you. “Many people overlook how important vegetables are on the keto diet because they’re too focused on eating meat, oil, and butter,” says Axe. “Veggies provide much-needed fiber, vitamins, and minerals that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. They are needed to add volume to meals, making them more filling, and for supporting digestion, gut health, and more.”
All that said, you can’t just eat every low-carb food while overlooking portion sizes and the overall macro ratio of your meals. Keto dieters typically eat around 75 percent of calories from fat, 20 percent from protein, and 5 percent from carbohydrates. Note, many keto dieters focus on net carbs–the number of grams of carbs minus the number of grams of fiber–rather than overall carbs. That’s because carbs from fiber aren’t digestible and thus don’t throw off your blood sugar, which would send you out of ketosis. (Related: How Many Carbs Should You Eat In a Day?)
Since it’s important to map out your macro consumption, your best option is to come up with a keto diet shopping list before setting foot in a grocery store. “It’s helpful to look for recipe ideas ahead of time in keto cookbooks, magazines, and online, which can help you to form a flexible meal plan and shopping list,” says Axe. “Otherwise, you may head to the grocery store unsure of what to get, only to waste lots of time and money and then come home to feel frustrated.” (Consider basing your keto shopping list around this keto meal plan for beginners.)
No need to Google every food individually. Below you’ll find your go-to keto grocery list filled with keto-friendly foods along with their net carb counts. For a version you can print and bring to the grocery store, download this keto grocery list PDF.
Keto Beginner Grocery List
Net carb content is listed next to each food.
Keto Pantry Items
This Keto Beginner’s Grocery Shopping Food List with FREE printable pdf includes all of the basics of how to start the keto diet and what to eat to stay in ketosis. This list is perfect for people who don’t cook and need help with creating a menu and meal plan with low carbs, moderate protein, and high fat. This post also outlines where to buy keto staples.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here.
FOR THE PRINTABLE KETO GROCERY LIST SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST.
The Keto Essential Cookbook is available NOW for FREE! For a hard copy, you only pay the shipping and handling. Get over 100+ scrumptious recipes with net carb, fat, protein, and calorie count for every recipe. Click here to purchase yours today!
Let this 21 Day Keto Meal Plan do all of the heavy lifting for you! It includes: Recipes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks, Grocery List (itemized and weekly), Low Carb Keto Lifestyle Background, how ketosis works, and how to stay in ketosis, Low Carb Dining Out Guide (what to order), and a Low Carb Travel Guide (how to travel and stay low carb).
What is the Keto Diet and How Does it Work?
Keto is short for the ketogenic diet. It’s a low-carb diet that focuses on high-fat and moderate protein consumption. The purpose of Keto is to switch the body’s primary fuel source from glucose and carbs to fat and ketones, which places the body in ketosis. Your body’s primary fuel source is glucose/carbs. When your pancreas senses the rise in blood glucose, it secretes insulin and insulin drives glucose into every cell in your body, leading to fat cell storage.
When you avoid carbohydrates, your body has to adjust and find an alternative fuel source to replace glucose. Low carbohydrate consumption is followed by low insulin levels, which means you’ll burn more fat.
Your body produces ketones in your liver from stored or dietary fat and shuttles them into your bloodstream where they can travel to your brain for energy. This increase in ketones in the blood is known as ketosis! You can read more about How the Keto Diet Works here.
Need Beginner Tips on How To Start The Keto Diet? Click the link for my post and tips.
Keto Macros Calculator
Before you start you’re going to want to establish daily macros. Here is a link to my favorite macros calculator. You can input your goals and relevant information and go from there.
How to Test If Your Body is in Ketosis
Keto Mojo Testing Meter
This testing meter is the #1 rated meter on the market. It’s more accurate than urine test strips with 100% accuracy. The meter tests your ketones and allows you to track ketone levels and ketosis progress.
What Food Should Be on My Keto Grocery List
You will want to keep in mind that the keto diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, and high-fat lifestyle. You should aim for plenty of fresh vegetables (especially green veggies) and you should limit your consumption of fruit. The only fruit I would recommend (sparingly and in low servings) is berries, like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Berries have the lowest amount of sugar among fruit. Fruit like bananas are loaded with sugar and carbs.
I also recommend you seek out organic, grass-fed, and free range meats. I love to use Butcher Box and have outlined a few details and tips below.
You will also want to focus on healthy fats like coconut oil, MCT oil, avocados, nuts (almonds), etc.
Where to Shop For Keto Diet Food and Meals
Butcher Box is a great source for organic meat. They get bonus points because they deliver directly to your doorstep. You can check out my Butcher Box Unboxing and Review here. All meat is premium and is 1) 100% Grass-fed & Grass-finished Beef, 2) Heritage Breed Pork, or 3) Free-range Organic Chicken. They have recently added on wild-caught Alaskan salmon as well.
Butcher Box offers amazing promotions like free bacon for life.
I use Butcher Box grass-fed beef and uncured, nitrate free bacon in my popular Keto Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole recipe.
Thrive Market is a great online resource for keto friendly foods and snacks. What I love most about them is the easy drop-down menus that allow you to isolate your search to keto-friendly products only. The service is also very convenient! Who doesn’t want to have their groceries delivered right to their door step?
Keto Diet Grocery Shopping List Healthy Fats
Keto Diet Grocery Shopping List Coffee and Drinks
Keto Coffee is perfect for on-the-go and comes loaded with MCT Oil. Use discount code STAYSNATCHED to save 20%
MCT Oil to add to coffee. I like to add it to my tea or coffee. I have also grown to love the Perfect Keto Matcha Latte MCT Oil Powder. It’s delicious! High fat is critical with keto. MCT oil helps boost fat macros and is proven to get you into ketosis faster. Use discount code STAYSNATCHED to save 20%
Keto Collagen to create lattes. Collagen is proven to improve gut health and works wonders for the hair, skin, nails, and with muscle recovery. I use the caramel flavor to create caramel lattes. Use discount code STAYSNATCHED to save 20%
Omega Power Creamer is loaded with MCT oil and comes in a variety of flavors. I used the Cacao flavor to create this Peppermint Mocha Latte. Use discount code STAYSNATCHED to save 15%
GrassFed Butter or Ghee
BeMixed Alcoholic Mixers are zero calorie, keto-friendly, and gluten-free. Flavors include margarita, cucumber mint, and more.
Pique Tea is wonderful for gut health! I really like kombucha, but it is naturally loaded with sugar. The brand I use the most often has 8 grams of sugar per serving. That will knock you out of ketosis. This is a great sugar-free alternative.
Kettle and Fire Bone Broth is great to help combat keto flu and brain fog. It’s also great for gut health. I use it in my Keto Chicken Zoodle Soup recipe. Use discount code STAYSNATCHED to save 15%.
Keto Diet Grocery Shopping List Sweeteners
Swerve Sweetener is the brand I personally recommend. It measures 1:1 to real sugar. I use it in all of my keto dessert recipes. They offer granular, confectioners and brown sugar.
Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener DISCOUNT CODE STAYSNATCHED for savings
Lakanto Sugar-Free Maple Syrup for all of those keto pancakes! DISCOUNT CODE STAYSNATCHED for savings
Keto Diet Grocery Shopping List Dairy
GrassFed Butter or Ghee
Cheddar Cheese (most cheese is ok!)
Keto Diet Grocery Shopping List Desserts
Lily’s Chocolate Chips are what I use in my Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies, Keto Double Chocolate Chip Muffins, and Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Fat Bombs.
Unblanched Almond Flour
Natural Unsweetened Peanut Butter
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder works great in chocolate cake, cupcake recipes, and more.
Catalina Crunch Cereal
You won’t miss out on cereal while keto with this keto-low carb cereal. It comes in a few flavors: Cinnamon Toast (my favorite, reminds me of cinnamon toast crunch), dark chocolate, and maple waffle.
Keto Diet Grocery Shopping List Snacks
Here are keto snacks that are perfect on-the-go:
Unsweetened Beef Jerky
KetoKrate is my favorite source for keto snacks. KetoKrate provides an online snack box with a variety of snacks that are all less than 5 net carbs. This is a great way to try out new snacks that you may, in turn, wish to purchase. Use Discount Code KRATE15
Perfect Keto Protein Bars are great for breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack. For breakfast, I cut a bar up into chunks and sprinkle them over my Keto Hemp Oatmeal. Use discount code STAYSNATCHED to save 20%
Cheese Crisps have 1 net carb for every 22 crisps you eat! I love to treat them like chips. My favorite way to pair them is with my Keto Spinach Cheese Dip.
Peak Yogurt is the only keto-friendly yogurt I have been able to find. Most yogurt is loaded with carbs. I only use their plain flavor, as it’s keto-friendly. I like to add it to my green smoothies.
Keto Diet Grocery Shopping List Condiments and Spices
Standard, store-bought condiments are usually loaded with sugar! I like to make mine at home. Here are a few of my favorite recipes:
Keto Ranch Salad Dressing
Keto BBQ Sauce
Keto Cocktail Sauce
Here are the ingredients you will need for most condiments:
Unsweetened Raos Marinara Sauce
Everything But the Bagel Seasoning
Himalayan Pink Salt is wonderful for electrolytes. Lack of electrolytes contributes to keto flu and leg cramps.
Keto Products and Cooking Utensils:
Mealthy Crisp Lid will turn your Instant Pot or pressure cooker into an air fryer. USE DISCOUNT CODE STAYSNATCHED for savings.
Mealthy Stainless Steel Frying Pan is essential for pan fried foods and seared favorites.
Keto Testing Strips to test ketosis levels.
Meal Prep Containers to keep you on track and help you plan your meals for the week.
Veggie Spiralizer to create zucchini noodles and more.
Silicone Baking Mat to bake Keto Cookies. Cookies baked with almond flour will stick to a regular cookie sheet and will burn easily. A baking mat will help prevent that.
Meat Thermometer is necessary when cooking Keto Steak and Keto Stuffed Chicken.
Power Air Fryer is one of my favorite gadgets to make Fried Buffalo Chicken Wings and more.
Instant Pot is what I use to make my 20 minute Keto Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
What’s in your keto fridge? What are you some of your favorite keto foods and ingredients that you can’t live without? Be sure to comment below!
When just getting started following a keto diet, all of the different keto friendly foods can seem overwhelming. I created this basic keto grocery list for beginners to take the guesswork out of grocery shopping. All the foods on this list are low in net carbs to help guide you as you buy groceries.
The Very Best Keto Grocery List
I’ve had many people ask for a Keto Grocery List. At first, I was hesitant because I am a picky eater and tend to stick to the same foods over and over. I know that most people eat a larger variety of foods than I do. At the same time, when I was researching Keto Grocery Lists, so many seemed overwhelming and included many foods that even after almost a year of following a Keto Diet I have never used.
With that in mind, I created a basic Keto Grocery List as a helpful resource. My goal is to make following a Keto Diet simple. It isn’t necessary to purchase every food item on this list. Consider it a helpful guide when you are at the grocery store. Instead of going out and buying all the foods on this list for the sake of stocking your pantry, I would suggest creating a keto meal plan first. Then, shop weekly for those foods that you need so that you build your keto pantry as needed.
How Do I Get Started on a Keto Diet?
Research is your best friend when beginning any kind of lifestyle change. This especially applies to the keto diet because if you are like most, this will be a completely different kind of eating. This Guide to Getting Started on Keto is a fantastic resource.
What Can I Not Eat on a Keto Diet?
The keto diet is high in fat, moderate protein, and low in carbs. You will avoid foods that are high in carbs, including some fruits and vegetables, most vegetable oils (like canola and corn oil) sugar, and grains, to name a few. Instead of going over all the foods to avoid, it is easier to print the keto grocery list pdf at the bottom of this post and stick to those keto foods for simplicity.
Keto Meal Planning & a Keto Grocery List
If you aren’t familiar with meal planning, check out my 5 Easy Steps to Meal Planning for simple steps to get started. I also post a Keto Meal Plan each Sunday afternoon for inspiration. Once you plan your meals for the week, it would be a good idea to compare the needed ingredients to what you already have in your pantry. Then, with this super easy printable keto grocery list in hand, eliminate any foods you already have in your pantry as well as items that you need for that week.
Do I Buy Every Item on a Keto Shopping List?
No, you won’t need every single item on a keto grocery list at any time. Instead, a list is simply a guideline to help you to make the best food choices while you are shopping for keto foods. You don’t need to stock every single kind of nut butter, oils, sweeteners, etc. Pick the ones that you like the most, and stock those as needed. Then, you can build your keto pantry over time.
Keto Beginner Grocery List for Specialty Ingredients
Besides healthy fats like chicken thighs, olive oil, avocado oil, and high-quality bone broth, there are several specialty ingredients that you will find in many keto recipes such as keto friendly sweeteners, flours, and chocolates. There are several different sweeteners on the list, but purchasing all of them isn’t necessary. I’ve listed some of my favorite Keto Grocery List items below that you’ll need for baking, low carb bread, and keto desserts.
My Favorite Specialty Keto Diet Grocery Items:
Keto Friendly Sweeteners –
- Lakanto Monkrfuit Classic
- Lakanto Powdered
- Lakanto Golden
- Pyure liquid sweetener – in my coffee
You can also use Swerve as it is interchangeable with Lakanto Monkfruit as long as you choose the same variety. For example, Lakanto Monkfruit Classic can be subbed with Swerve Granular, Lakanto Monkfruit Powdered can be subbed with Swerve Confectioners, and Lakanto Monkfruit Golden can be subbed with Swerve Brown.
Keto Friendly Thickening Agent – Xanthan Gum is a thickening agent used in many soups and sauces on low carb diets. A little bit goes a long way in recipes.
Keto Friendly Flours
- Almond flour
- Coconut flour
I use coconut flour in all my recipes due to my oldest daughter’s almond allergy.
Keto Friendly Sugar-Free Chocolate
- Lily’s Chocolate Chips
- Choc Zero Milk Chocolate
- Lily’s Chocolate Candy Bars
You can find a complete list of keto snack ideas and keto snacks on the go that will be helpful to stay on track. Personally, I enjoy nuts and seeds, fat bombs, and cheese if I need a quick snack.
Keto Grocery Shopping Guides
To make shopping easier, when buying low carb foods check out these excellent shopping guides:
- Keto Shopping at Costco
- Keto Shopping at Sam’s Club
- Shopping Keto at Walmart
- Keto Shopping at ALDI
- Keto Shopping at Target
Stay in Touch:
You can access all of my Keto/Low Carb Recipes in my Keto/Low Carb Recipe Index or follow me on Pinterest for fabulous Keto/Low Carb Recipe Ideas. Keto Grocery List PDF
Don’t Miss this FREE Keto Diet Shopping List For Beginners that you can print and take grocery shopping. Having a keto food list will take out the guesswork so that following a ketogenic diet is simple.
Save Money on Keto Diet Food
If you are looking for ways to save money on your keto diet food, check out these 10 easy tips for eating Keto on a budget.
It’s one of the most popular diets in the world and was the top trending diet of 2018. But what is the ketogenic diet, and will a keto shopping list really help you lose weight?
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The keto diet was the diet phenomenon of 2018. If you didn’t hear or read about any other diet plan last year, it was most likely this one. But why is it so popular?
Well, it’s one of the few diets that really work when it comes to weight loss! What’s more, the weight loss is pretty quick. In an age where people are short on time and love instant results, this diet delivers. It’s quite difficult to search for a better weight loss diet.
In this guide, let us take you through what the diet is, it’s purported benefits, some frequently asked questions, and surprises. You can also read about what you should and shouldn’t eat. We’ll also leave you with that all-important grocery list with all the items needed to get you started on your keto adventure. However, if you’d rather not read all that information, you can skip straight to the free printable keto diet shopping list if you want.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet, or “keto” for short, is a low-carb diet. It gets its name from the metabolic state that the diet puts your body into: ketosis.
So, what is ketosis?
Ketosis happens when our bodies hasn’t any, or very few carbohydrates, to burn for energy. When this happens, it starts to burn through your fat reserves and any you eat. This produces energy molecules known as ketones.
To do the diet, all you need to do is the following:
- Reduce your carb intake to less than 20g / 0.7oz a day
- Keep your protein intake to a maximum of 20% of your daily calorie intake
What Are the Benefits of a Keto Diet?
Weight Loss & Appetite Control
This is the reason the diet is so popular. You are very likely to lose weight, and lose it fast! Also, because your body starts burning through your store of fat during the first few weeks, or even months, you may find yourself less likely to be reaching a snack or eating extra meals during the day.
More Energy & Better Focus
Many people on the diet claim to experience much higher energy levels and a better quality of concentration. This is because ketones are claimed to be excellent brain food.
Good Blood Sugar Control
Losing weight greatly reduces the likelihood of you developing type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. This diet will certainly help you do that. What’s more, because you’re consuming very small amounts of carbohydrates and sugar for your meals every day, you relieve a lot of stress on your body having to produce insulin to break these down into energy.
If you already have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, some studies suggest that this can help you significantly control it. One study found that “insulin sensitivity” in subjects on a keto diet dropped 75%, whilst in another study ⅓ of participants were able to stop using their diabetes medication altogether.
If you already have type 2 diabetes or are at risk, we strongly recommend you fully consult with your doctor before going on this diet.
Other Health Benefits
Other claimed health benefits of the diet include:
- Better seizure management in epileptic children
- Reduced risk of polycystic ovary syndrome
- Acne control
- Slows down cancer growth
This diet seems similar to the Atkins diet. Is it?
The Atkins is a low-carb diet that’s the predecessor to the keto diet. But the Atkin’s diet plan isn’t necessary keto friendly.
The key difference is that you’re allowed unlimited protein every day on the Atkins diet. On the keto diet, you’re limited to 20% of your daily calorie intake. Therefore, you can’t just eat only beef and chicken for your meals. This is because it’s believed that the body will try to burn protein first for energy before resorting to the body’s fat stores, thus slowing down ketosis.
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Is it easy?
The keto diet for beginners is generally not hard, but it’s not simple. The trick is trying to keep yourself within the 20g carb limit and the 20% protein limit per day.
Meat and dairy items tend to make up the bulk of a ketogenic diet meal. But, their protein content means you shouldn’t go overboard with them to ensure effective weight loss. Likewise, you’ll need to plan to put some fruits and veg products on your shopping list to ensure you are still getting vital minerals and vitamins that you need. But you mustn’t go over that 20g carb limit.
Finding good recipes, making a detailed meal plan and an accurate grocery list to go with it, will mean you will buy and cook only the foods you need. This means you’re unlikely to get tempted at the grocery store when shopping, or accidentally over-indulging at home.
For those who love high-carb foods, such as pasta, bread, legumes, and grains, the adjustment to the diet can be quite tricky, and may even feel quite extreme. But, like with any other diet, there’s always going to be an element of willpower and restraint to resist the foods you’re not supposed to have.
There are plenty of keto diet pdf meal plans and recipes available online that can help you with your keto shopping. After a while, you’ll almost instinctively know what and what not to eat every time you plan your keto meals.
Are there vegetarian and vegan versions of the diet?
This is especially important if people are concerned about the ethical and environmental impact of the diet. However, whilst vegetarian and vegan versions are available, they are harder to do. This is because both vegetarian and vegan diets revolve around grains and legumes, which you’ll absolutely need to leave out of your keto meal. This means the range of foods that you can eat is much narrower.
But it’s not impossible. Fatty vegetables like avocado are still completely possible to have, leafy and “above-ground” green vegetables are keto friendly, meaning salad can be on your keto menu. Tofu is certainly an option for your vegan keto recipes. Healthy oils such as coconut, olive, linseed/flaxseed, and rapeseed, are still a great source of the fats you’ll need to make the diet work.
You can search for plenty of good quality vegetarian and vegan keto recipes for you to try and have as much variety in your diet as possible.
Is it expensive?
Yes, it can be.
Meats are generally more expensive compared to vegetables. Not to mention, keto diet recipes champion high quality grass-fed meat because it’s lower in calories and higher in good fats. But, this is much more expensive than regular feed-fed meat products.
That’s not to say the diet has to be expensive. With some savvy, effort, and time, you can save money when at the grocery store and keto essentials like beef and chicken. But, if you want it to be the most effective, you’ll have to be prepared to spend some extra pounds when shopping in order to shed some!
Is it environmentally friendly?
If you’re opting for the standard dairy and meat-loaded version, this is not the diet that’s going to save the planet!
The meat industry has been highly criticized recently for its contribution to damaging the environment and climate change. Specifically, for producing methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and deforestation for beef grazing and feed-crop growing. Indeed, the planetary diet that appeared earlier this year heralded that we need to drastically reduce the amount of meats and dairy we are eating in order to stop the collapse of the natural world.
But, as mentioned earlier, the keto diet can be done with vegetarian and vegan grocery lists if you want to show a bit more love for planet earth. This will greatly reduce your environmental impact whilst on the diet and keep things green. But these are a lot trickier and require a lot more effort.
Are there any side effects?
Some people have experienced what has been dubbed “keto flu”. The symptoms of which are:
- Muscle cramps
This occurs as the body adjusts and shifts into ketosis. Thankfully, this is generally only temporary and shouldn’t last a long time. It is possible to find a guide that gives advice about how to control the symptoms, or even prevent keto flu altogether.
You can also get what’s known as “keto breath”. This happens when excess ketones are released through your mouth because the body isn’t using them. The smell isn’t always unpleasant and has been described as smelling like nail varnish or boiled sweets. Once your body is in full-blown ketosis and has adjusted, keto breath should disappear.
Yikes! So, is it healthy?
The diet’s health benefits are backed up with quite a few studies and is generally seen as healthy in the short term. However, it must be pointed out that there hasn’t been any research into the long-term effects.
Some dieticians certainly have some apprehensions about the diet. Some claim that your bad cholesterol (LDL) may rise on the diet, from eating all that steak, cream, cheese, and butter. This will leave you at risk of developing heart disease (however, there are conflicting studies on this). The lack of fiber in your diet can also put you at risk of bowel cancer, and can cause bad constipation.
Those with either type 1 or 2 diabetes may also be at risk of ketoacidosis: a very serious condition. This is when ketones don’t get used and are turned into acid.
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Can I do exercise?
The keo diet is definitely exercise-friendly. Research has shown that doing exercise is absolutely fine on the diet and there is minimal risk. However, some have found that, when starting the diet, it can be difficult to exercise because of the tiredness and muscle pain associated with your body shifting into ketosis.
Is keto weight loss sustainable?
Again, the diet hasn’t been around enough for a long enough time for any surefire study to be done into the long-term effectiveness of the quick weight loss. Other ketosis diets see people put weight back on quite easily when they switch back to eating carbs.
Because the jury is still out on its long-term effect on health and sustainable weight loss, US News has actually ranked the keto diet a very low #38 out of 41 in their overall 2019 world diet ranking.
If you want long-term and sustained weight loss, the general opinion of experts is that you need to achieve this through fundamental changes in your diet, activity, and lifestyle. This is why diets like the Mediterranean diet (ranked #1) and flexitarian diet (ranked #3) are so highly praise, even if they aren’t as popular. Not to mention, they’re more friendly for both the environment and your wallet.
But there’s little better for a quick fix. Despite its poor overall ranking, US News ranks it #2 in the “Fast Weight Loss” category. But, whether those on the keto can sustain this weight loss in the long-term is still unknown.
Many people who start the keto diet make some mistakes which see them struggle to make their body go into ketosis. Sometimes, the reasons for this might be more surprising than you think. So, save yourself some trouble but not making these common keto mistakes.
“Sugar-Free” Doesn’t Mean Carb-Free!
You should stay away sugar because it’s a ton of carbs. Eating donuts are obviously right out, as are many other sugary snacks. But that sugar-free healthy drink can go on your grocery list, right?
Sweeteners are absolutely not keto friendly.
Surprisingly, a lot of sweeteners can still be full of carbs. Even “health” drinks can still pack a carb-filled punch, especially sports brands. With sweeteners, the carbs usually come in the form of “filler” used to bulk them out. Sweeteners also still produce glucose and prompt an insulin response in the body. Although this is significantly reduced compared to pure sugar, it still postpones ketosis.
Save time. Buy only necessary things with a shopping list
The only sweeteners to be completely carb-free are stevia or erythritol. But, very little is known about the long-term effects of these on people’s health. Therefore, they should be used with caution. Some users have reported side effects, such as diarrhea.
Drinking alcohol is generally quite bad for any diet. The same is true for keto. Even though there are some alcoholic drinks that can be had on keto, it’s generally best to not drink alcohol as this can increase hunger and derail your efforts. Not to mention the shenanigans you might get up to which might impact more than your health!
Keto doesn’t need to be a dry diet. Dry wine is the most keto friendly drink, so you can sip it accompanying your keto meal. But, it should be drunk in small amounts as it still contains some carbs. Consider switching to spirits, such as vodka, whiskey, and gin, as these contain zilch! Be careful what you mix them with. Mixers, such as fruit juice and tonic water, are chock-full of carbs. If you must mix, soda water is really a very viable option.
Beer, however, is a keto disaster. As are alcopops.
Light beers are the “best” option. However, they still carry carbs and should be drunk at an absolute minimum.
A warning about drinking alcohol whilst in ketosis. It is reported by some that they tend to get intoxicated quicker and have worse hangovers. If you chose to drink, then be very careful, even with carb-free drinks like spirits.
But all in all, it might be better to leave alcoholic drinks out of your keto plan.
Be Free from “Fat-Free”
The whole point of ketosis is that you get your energy from eating fats. However, people can still be quite cautious about having such a high intake. Who can blame them? For years, weight gain has been more or less solely blamed on fatty foods and snacks. What this does it make people put some low-fat products on their grocery list just to be on the safe side.
But don’t do it! Leave them on the shelves.
This is because, to make food “low-fat”, producers usually add a lot of ingredients, often artificial, that rack up the carb content. These are far worse for the keto diet than you think. Plus, products like low-fat cheese don’t taste as nice.
That being said, you still should be trying to limit your intake of saturated fats from things like butter. However, healthy oils, such as olive, linseed/flaxseed, and rapeseed, and fatty vegetables such as avocado, are excellent for your meal, especially as they also contain omega-3.
Ketogenic diet food list: What to Eat and What to Avoid
Foods to Eat
Dairy & Eggs
Foods to Avoid
Keto Shopping List
Now that you read all of the above, you’re probably raring to get yourself onto the keto diet. So here’s your grocery list. You can even download a keto diet shopping list pdf and save it for later.
Keto Grocery List 📃✅🛒
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Dairy & Eggs
- Milk (full fat)
- Soda water
- Bell peppers
- Courgettes / zucchini
- Rocket / arugula
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Linseed / flaxseed oil
- Rapeseed oil
How much have you lost during your time on the ketogenic diet? How did you cope with keto flu? What simple keto recipes do you love? What are you go to keto snacks? Are we missing something off our grocery list? Let us know in the comments.
If you’re anything like us then you’re always pulling up your phone while you’re at the grocery store to see which foods fit into your new diet plan. Lucky for you, we made it simple with these 21 must-have items for your keto grocery list. These are the most basic staple foods of a keto diet, so read through the list and get acclimated with it.
This might come as a shock to you, but butter is actually a health food. That’s right. You’ve been lied to your whole life. Butter has adequate amounts of all of the fat-soluble vitamins as well as CLA. In America, butter is often the most widely available form of quality animal fat. Some good brands to look for at your local grocery store are Kerrygold, Vital Farms and Organic Valley.
The HUGE list of keto friendly foods.
If you’re looking for a dairy free alternative to butter, see if you can find some ghee. Ghee is clarified butter which means the milk solids have been removed, so it is suitable for a dairy-free diet. Our favorite brand for ghee is 4th & Heart.
Pro Tip: A deeper colored butter means it is more nutrient dense. Butter will be dark yellow or even orange if the cow is pastured on nutrient-dense grass, rich in carotene.
Coconut oil is high in saturated fat which makes it suitable for cooking with, and it comes with a long list of proven benefits. Coconut oil will go through varying degrees of processing so you will have some decisions to make in the grocery store. We always look for virgin, unrefined and cold-pressed. Cold-pressed is the least processed form, but it will also have the strongest coconut taste. If you prefer a more mild tasting oil, you may want to opt for refined coconut oil. Our favorite brand is Nature’s Way.
Lard or Tallow
We always prioritize animal fats over plant fats as the foundation of our diet, so we are big fans of lard and tallow. Lard is the rendered fat from a pig and tallow is the rendered fat of ruminant animals like cows, sheep and lamb. The low polyunsaturated fat content of tallow makes it our preferred fat for cooking with. Whenever buying animal fats, quality will be more important than when buying plant fats, so take some time to seek out high quality sources. Our favorite brand is Epic Beef Tallow.
Avocados are the perfect keto food. They are an instant high-fat side dish that takes no time to prepare. We always have a bunch on hand for when we don’t feel like cooking a complex side dish. Keto beginners will get confused about the carbs in avocado. They do contain a high amount of carbs, but they also contain a high amount of fiber which can be subtracted when calculating net carbs. A medium avocado will only have around three grams of net carbs.
Pro Tip: Avocados have a high amount of potassium which can help when starting a keto diet and combating the keto flu.
Nuts are great for snacking on when you start a keto diet. Just about all nuts are keto-friendly in moderation. Refer to the graphic below for specific carb counts. There’s even some interesting studies that show nut consumption is associated with lower rates of type-2 diabetes.
Pro Tip: Aside from just picking up nuts, see if you can find nut flours like almond flour, peanut flour or coconut flour. You can use these to make keto bread and desserts.
If you’re a coffee lover, then this has to make it on your keto diet shopping list. Instead of using that low-fat, flavored, creamer you’re probably used to, try using heavy cream and some flavored stevia.
Just about everyone loves cheese, and it definitely has its place in a keto diet. With cheese, it is important to seek out quality options because the cheapest options are really devoid of nutrition. We always look for cheese made from raw milk. This can be found at most grocery stores in the United States nowadays. Just look for the words “raw” or “unpasteurized” on the ingredients list.
Beef is our favorite protein source primarily because it has a higher fat content than chicken, fish and most cuts of pork. This makes hitting your keto macros a little easier. An added benefit is that beef has the most bio-available form of iron in high amounts. Check out this handy guide for selecting the most cost effective cuts of steak if you’re trying to do keto on a budget!
Pro Tip: 80/20 ground beef is one of the most cost effective foods you can buy. For only a few bucks a pound, you can get a large quantity of calories and nutrients.
Since 1960 per capita chicken consumption has increased by over 400%. Needless to say, chicken is one of America’s biggest staple foods. Most people will favor chicken breasts over thighs and drumsticks because we’ve been incorrectly told leaner meats are better for us. On a keto diet, you’re going to want to opt for the fattier cuts. Not only are they cheaper, but they taste a lot better too. If you’re looking for new chicken recipes then try the most popular one on our blog – Keto Butter Chicken.
If you don’t like bacon, this might not be the right diet for you. While pork is tasty it also comes along with a strong nutrient profile, most notably in B vitamins.
Pro Tip: Buying bacon can be confusing since most of them are cured using sugars. If you’re willing to pay a premium, you can find sugar-free bacon in most grocery stores these days, but we personally don’t mind buying bacon with a small amount of sugar.
Fish and other seafood is important for providing omega-3 fatty acids which most Americans are not getting enough of. Some of the highest fat fish are salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring. We like to make sure to get at least 1 serving of seafood per week at a minimum and typically more like 2-3 servings.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for travel snacks that are packed full of nutrients, then pick up some canned fish like sardines, tuna, salmon, clams and oysters. Be sure to check what kind of oil they are canned with. Look or olive oil and try to avoid soybean oil.
Eggs are another budget friendly food that are packed full of nutrients. They are rich in choline, which most Americans do not get enough of. Four Eggs can cover the daily choline needs.
What type of eggs should you buy? Typically the more you pay the better quality the eggs will be, so do the best you can. One way to save money on high quality eggs is to get them from a local farmers market instead of the grocery store. That way you’ll save a few dollars per dozen of pasture raised eggs. Our favorite brand at the grocery store is Vital Farms.
Pro Tip: As with butter, the darker colored yolk indicates a higher concentration of nutrients.
Almond butter and most other nut butters are great for a treat once in a while. If you’re doing a keto diet for weight loss, you may want to avoid these calorie dense, highly palatable foods. The secret when buying nut butters is to look at the ingredients list on the back. The only ingredients you should see listed is the type of nut and salt. The cheaper brands like JIF and Skippy will have sugar added. We don’t want that!
When including fruit in your keto diet, you have to be selective or the carbs can start to add up. Low-sugar berries are going to be your best low-carb fruits. Berries are full of antioxidants and can bring a refreshing flavor to a keto diet. One of our favorite after-dinner snacks is berries and cream.
Pro Tip: Buy fresh berries when they are in season and freeze them! The only time we buy fresh berries at the grocery store is when they are in season, otherwise we will go with the berries from the frozen section.
Raspberries are a good keto diet snack, coming in at 7g of carbs per cup. As with all berries, they are high in antioxidants and flavonoids, but more importantly they are delicious!
Broccoli is one of our favorite vegetables for a keto diet because it really soaks up all of the fat we cook it in. We’ll usually use butter to give the broccoli some flavor, which makes it easy to hit our fat macros for the day. Not to mention, broccoli is a good source of minerals and fiber.
It is a good idea to pick up your favorite type of leafy green vegetable on your first keto shopping trip. Kale, collard greens, cabbage and spinach are all good options. We like spinach because it is among the most nutrient dense vegetables and contains high amounts of minerals. It’s great for mixing into salads and omelettes.
Pro Tip: Find out what type of vegetables grow local to your area and prioritize those. We live in Georgia so we will often choose locally grown collard greens over spinach. Even if you’re at a grocery store like Publix, Kroger, or Whole Foods they will usually have some local brands.
Interestingly, asparagus is one of the only wild plants that we still consume en masse today. It also pairs nicely with a perfectly cooked steak, and for that reason we eat quite a bit of it. A cup of asparagus only has around 2g of net carbs.
The carbs in Brussels sprouts can add up quickly, but they are so tasty we had to include them on this list. If you’re not familiar with how to prepare them we have a super flavorful recipe that you have to try. Brussels sprouts contain around 8g of net carbs per cup, so keep that in mind when formulating your meals.
Cauliflower is truly the wonder food of the 21st century. We turn it into pizza crusts and rice to make healthier versions of the foods we love. It’s high-fiber content allows cauliflower to be shaped into a variety of healthy dishes that may help you stick to a keto diet, while eating all of your favorite foods. Cauliflower is rich in minerals and antioxidants which make it a nutritious substitution for grains.
Chocolate lovers, you’re in luck. Dark chocolate is the perfect ketogenic sweet treat after a long day. When buying chocolate you have two options. You can stick with high cocoa percentage chocolates, all the way up to 100% (although 85%-95% will be more palatable). The other option you have is chocolates that are sweetened with keto friendly sweeteners. The most common brand of these chocolate is Lily’s, but there is a few others such as Choc Zero and Choco Perfection.
Pro Tip: Dark chocolate may take some getting used to since the stuff we eat these days has lots of milk and sugar added to it. Try starting at 70% dark chocolate and work your way up. Anything above 85% is going to be low enough in carbs to include regularly in your keto diet.
A Full Keto Day of Eating
Now that you have all your grocery items, it’s time to plan your meals for the week so you have an idea of how much to buy. Here is an example of a typical day of keto meals using our keto diet shopping list.
Keto Diet Shopping with KetoConnect
If you need ideas for certain stores in particular, take a look at all of the keto grocery shopping lists we have for different stores. We even have videos showing you some of our favorite purchases from grocery stores across the united states like the one below we filmed at Costco.
Costco Keto Shopping List
- Almond Flour – Kirkland Brand is the cheapest option for this keto baking staple.
- Sardines – High in Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Powdered Bone Broth – All the bone broth benefits for just $1 per packet.
- Protein bars – Costco protein bars are keto friendly and cheaper than Quest bars.
- Cheese Crisps – Costco carries Moon Cheese and Cello Whisps, our favorite travel snacks.
Trader Joe’s Keto Shopping List
- Bacon Ends and Pieces – Great fat content.
- Mahi Mahi Burgers – Only one carb per burger and delicious!
- Nuts – Low prices!
- Sunflower Seed Butter – The best alternative to nut butters and perfect for fat bombs.
- Pre-Cooked Pork belly – Delicious and easy to make. Just heat it up and serve.
Whole Foods Keto Shopping List
- Grass-fed Marrow Bones – Great for making bone broth.
- Kelp Noodles – Crunchy keto noodles for asian style salads.
- Primal Kitchen Mayonnaise – Made with avocado oil, not refined vegetable oils.
- Marinara Sauce – Victoria Vegan and Rao’s Sauces are both low-carb and tasty.
- Zevia – We drink these all the time. Sugar-free and no artificial colors.
Sprouts Keto Shopping List
- Keto Yogurt – Kite Hill is a great low-carb brand of yogurt.
- Keto Baking Supplies – Great deals on chocolate chips, flours, and sweeteners.
- Low-Carb Chips – We love Quest Chips as a late-night snack or for munching on the road.
- Keto-Friendly Chocolate bars – Our favorite is Lily’s!
Publix Keto Shopping List
- Whipped Cream – Great for when we’re in a pinch and need whipped cream.
- Little Chorizo Sausages – The brand is called Quijote Chorizos Caseros and we love them as a movie snack.
- Real Good Foods Products – Publix carries keto-friendly frozen foods like pizza and enchiladas.
- Low-Carb Ice Cream – Their best keto option is Enlightened brand.
Walmart Shopping List
- Duke’s Sausages – Our favorite flavor is Original.
- Mac’s Pork Rinds – Cheapest and tastiest. We like the barbecue flavor.
- Adobo Peppers – Essential to our favorite mexican shredded chicken recipe.
- Chicken Thighs – We prefer thighs over breasts for the higher fat content.
- Baker’s Chocolate – Great for fat bombs, snacking, and baking.
Aldi Keto Shopping List
- Babybel Cheese – These little cheese snacks are great for on-the-go keto.
- Avocados – Our favorite fatty fruit.
- Lemons – Great for cooking with chicken and fish.
- Heavy Whipping Cream – An essential for many of our keto baking recipes!
- Flaxseeds – The main ingredient in our Pumpkin Flax Crackers.
- Choose a high quality fat source and make it a staple of your diet.
- Buy fattier cuts of meat over leaner cuts like chicken breast for a better keto macro ratio and cheaper prices.
- Have snacks on hand like nuts, cheese and dark chocolate, especially when first starting a ketogenic diet.
- Prioritize seasonality and where the food was grown/raised when possible.
10 Must-Have Items On Your Keto Grocery List
Going to the grocery store is a hard enough task without the added work of shopping for specific items because you’re adhering to a very particular food plan. If you’re following the keto diet, navigating the aisles in search of items that the high-fat, low-carb lifestyle allows can be even trickier.
So what are some of the things you want to make sure find their way into your cart? We asked Kristin Mancinelli, author of The Ketogenic Diet: A Scientifically Proven Approach to Fast, Healthy Weight Loss, about the ingredients you’ll want to include on your keto diet shopping list. Her tips will make following this plan as easy as opening your fridge.
“Nearly all the calories in an avocado come from fat, and one whole fruit has less than 3 grams of digestible carbohydrate — traits that make it a perfect keto food right off the bat,” Mancinelli says. Plus, avocados are high in fiber, which is missing in a lot of keto diets, a lack that can lead to constipation. They also kick up the potassium, and Mancinelli says they’re kind of perfect.
Bonus? That dose of fiber helps you feel full, longer. Try adding avocado slices to your salad or just eating on its own. Mancinelli recommends cutting one open and sprinkling with sea salt before digging in.
Spinach and Arugula
Unlike some other high-protein, low-carb diets, large quantities of leafy greens are not fair game on a ketogenic diet, Mancinelli says. Instead, they get counted along with any other carbohydrates that you incorporate. But you’ll want to include them on your keto shopping list because the plan allows for 20-30 grams of carbs per day or less to stay in ketosis, and greens can fulfill that quota. Mancinelli says she likes to make keto-compliant salads with a mix of spinach and arugula “for some spiciness.”
“Each has less than half a gram of net carbs per cup, so a 4-cup salad has less than 2 grams of net carbs,” she says, referring to “net carbohydrates” which is found by subtracting your total fiber intake from your total grams of carbohydrates.
Other popular keto-approved veggies you’ll want to consider: kale, fennel celery, cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, and zucchini.
High in omega-3 fatty acids and a high-quality source of protein, canned sardines are a tasty keto staple. Plus, Mancinelli points out that they also often come canned in olive oil, providing a healthy dose of fat. She adds: “And they’re ready-to-eat — a claim that few keto foods can make!” Toss a couple on top of that spicy salad you’re working on, and voila: that’s a keto-friendly meal.
Then again, if the mere idea of sardines makes you cringe, salmon is a palatable alternative. “Fatty fish are an important contribution to any diet because of their uniquely high omega-3 fat content. This is especially important to a ketogenic dieter who gets most of their calories from fat,” Mancinelli says, adding that other fatty fish options include mackerel and tuna.
Mancinelli says it’s true that coconut oil is the “darling of the keto diet” as a result of its high MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) content, but olive oil shouldn’t be overlooked. Almost 75 percent of the fats in olive oil (and olives) are the monounsaturated kind associated with good heart health.
“The great thing about olive oil is there are so many varieties of olives used to make it, so the flavor profiles of different oils vary widely,” she says. There are herbaceous olive oils, ones with earthy flavors, and even some that are spicy. “A ketogenic diet can tend to lack flavor variety, so these oils can be used to spice up a dinner plate and add fat at the same time.”
If you’re looking for a super convenient way to squeeze in healthy fats from oils, then you might want to check out FBOMB oils. These single-serving packets of olive, MCT, and avocado oils make it easy to add your oil while eating on the go.
If you are going keto, then Mancinelli says you can expect to miss one thing during your meals — crunch.
“If you think about it, most crunchy foods are high in carbohydrate (e.g. tortilla chips and crackers), and most fatty foods have a smooth, silky texture (e.g. avocado, mayonnaise),” she says. “If you’re seeking crunch, find yourself some flax crackers. These crackers have 1 to 2 grams of net carb per serving and are made entirely from flax seeds.”
Note: Make sure not to choose flax crackers that also include wheat and other ingredients. Popular keto brands include Flackers, which are made with flaxseed, apple cider vinegar and sea salt. Thankfully nuts and seeds can kick in the crunch factor you’re sorely missing. Mancinelli suggests topping with keto-friendly ingredients, like avocado, cheese or cucumber.
RELATED: Considering the Keto Diet? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
When shopping for meat, Mancinelli suggests looking for well-marbled cuts, like a ribeye or a NY strip. And the reason for this one is pretty simple: “When you’re eating a ketogenic diet, it’s often hard to get enough fat and avoid overeating protein.” That way, she adds, you’ll be able to eat a smaller portion of meat because the fat throughout the cut will contribute to your feeling of fullness.
Other popular protein sources on the keto diet include lamb, chicken, venison, turkey, tuna, cod and, you guessed it — bacon.
“If you’re already on a ketogenic diet, then you know it can require a good deal of cooking since there are so few keto-compliant prepared foods,” Mancinelli says.
Enter almond butter: A keto lifestyle staple that “rescues many a keto dieter from the work of meal prep,” according to Mancinelli.
“Not that I am recommending almond butter in lieu of a real meal, but it will do just fine as a snack in a pinch,” she says. “Try putting it on celery sticks if you want the crunch. Two tablespoons (one serving) provide 18 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein and only 3 grams of net carbs.”
That’s right — unlike other popular diets, like the Whole30, dairy gets a green light on the keto diet. But that doesn’t give you a free pass on all dairy. Mancinelli points out some guidelines for choosing dairy, especially because “the carb content of dairy products can range dramatically — from zero grams to 45 grams per serving.”
She suggests reading labels carefully and choosing only unflavored, full-fat dairy items. “Skim or low-fat items often contain sweeteners added to replace some of the texture and flavor lost with the removal of the fat,” she says.
A sure thing? Using heavy cream in your coffee in place of milk or powdered creamers. Mancinelli says heavy cream has less than .5 grams of net carbs per fluid ounce (i.e. two tablespoons), whereas whole milk has 1.5 grams of net carbs for the same amount. She adds: “For people who drink coffee a few times a day, that can really add up!”
When it comes to cheese, Mancinelli recommends opting for harder, aged cheeses, like Parmesan and Gouda. And use caution with yogurt, which can have five grams of carbohydrates or more per serving, “and much more if there’s a sweetener added,” Mancinelli says.
If you’re about to embark on a keto journey, then don’t count on fruit being a staple. As Mancinelli points out, the only fruits appropriate for a strict ketogenic diet are avocado and olives because they’re both rich in fat (especially the healthy monounsaturated kind mentioned earlier).
“That said, most people following a ketogenic diet are much more lax with their carb intake and will include berries in their diet,” adding that one cup of blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries has approximately 7 to 9 grams of net carbohydrates.
A keto favorite dessert? Heavy cream whipped and sprinkled with fresh berries.
You did your research. You know which foods are keto-friendly and which you should avoid.
You know how to count your macros.
You’ve even bookmarked this 7-day keto diet meal plan to get started.
Birthday Cake Keto Bars are here!
The answer to your sweet tooth. 17g of fat, 3g of net carbs, incredibly delicious.
The next step? Hit the grocery store.
Even after all your preparation, the first trip to the store can be a little daunting. How do you know what to buy? Will your regular grocery store have everything you need?
Below is a comprehensive, master keto diet shopping list that covers everything you may need at the store. Having this list will help you stay on track and stress even less about what to buy.
How to Use This Keto Shopping List
The below food list encompasses many foods that fit within the keto diet — far more than you could ever purchase in a single trip. Before hitting the grocery store, here are a few things to keep in mind.
#1. Do Not Overbuy
Resist the temptation to fill up your shopping cart to maximum capacity. Many people do this on their first keto shopping trip, which can cause spoiled produce, bad meat, and a blown food budget.
If you want to stock up on emergency items, purchase frozen veggies (stir-fry combos are always a great option) and meat that freezes well.
#2. Focus on the Basics
When shopping for the keto diet for the first time, many people get caught up on specialty ingredients, rather than simply sticking to the basics.
Fill your shopping cart with:
- Fresh or frozen veggies
- One to two dairy items
- A healthy cooking fat, like avocado oil or coconut oil
- Fresh herbs or spices for added flavor
That’s all you need.
Don’t get too caught up in purchasing keto snacks or products that include “low-carb” or “keto” on the label. Oftentimes, products labeled “diet foods” like keto granola, keto tortillas, or keto noodles are just clever marketing ploys — and they may have a higher carb count than you think.
If you want a safe keto-friendly snack that won’t raise your blood sugar to unhealthy levels, try Perfect Keto Bars.
#3. Select Only Items You Need
Every item below fits within a healthy ketogenic diet. Highlight items or create a second list for your next grocery trip, saving the remaining items for another time. Each section is categorized by food group, making it easy to select items at your local store.
Finally, remember to consume foods according to your macro guidelines, with the majority of calories coming from fat and protein, and very few from carbs. Just because a food is labeled as a “keto food” doesn’t mean it should make up the bulk of your calories. Berries, for instance, are listed below but should only be consumed in moderation.
Let’s jump in.
Meat Shopping List
When selecting meat, choose the highest quality you can reasonably afford. Choose grass-fed meat, wild-caught seafood, and pasture-raised pork, chicken, and eggs whenever possible.
Shop by type of meat:
- Red meat
Focus on grass-fed and organic cuts whenever possible. For the highest quality meat, see if you can find a local farmer or butcher in the area, so you know where your meat comes from. You can choose:
- Organ meats
- Some deli meats
- Other meats such as bison, lamb, or goat
- Prime rib
- Roast beef
- Baby back ribs
- Ground beef
- Corned beef
- Stew meats
Some Deli Meats*
- Cold cuts
*Double-check the label for sugar and other unwanted additives
- Pork loin
- Pork chops
- Ground pork
- Pork rinds
Meat to Avoid
Try to avoid highly processed meats, including charcuterie, hot dogs, and even some bacon and sausages. Some lunch meat is fine (Applegate is a trusted brand), but double-check the label, avoiding deli meat that contains additives such as carrageenan, sodium nitrate, BHA, BHT, natural flavor, aspartame, or other sugars.
Some jerky is OK, as long as it doesn’t have any added sugars.
Seafood Shopping List
When you’re shopping for seafood, the good news is that fresh, frozen, or canned are all going to work. When you buy canned, get a no-BPA can and look for meat that is packed in olive oil instead of water.
- Orange roughy
- Crab (make sure it’s the real thing — not imitation)
*Canned is fine; look for a BPA-free can and choose canned seafood in olive oil, rather than water, for the rapidly absorbed fats that may be preferentially burned for fuel.
Poultry Shopping List
Poultry is a lower-fat option. When possible, try to purchase high-quality meats. And avoid any meats that are packed with other spices or oils.
- Chicken (leg, thigh, wings, breasts, whole or ground)
- Turkey (leg, breast, whole or ground)
- Wild game
- Cornish hen
- Chicken broth
- Turkey bacon
- Turkey sausage
Dairy Shopping List
Like meat and seafood, always choose the highest quality dairy you can afford. Select full-fat, organic, grass-fed products whenever possible.
Remember, dairy products shouldn’t make up the bulk of your calories. Limit yourself to one or two items per shopping trip.
- Full-fat Greek yogurt
- Heavy creams (preferably raw)
- Sour cream
- Butter (grass-fed)
- Heavy whipping cream
- Monterey Jack
- Goat cheese
- Blue cheese
- Cottage cheese
- Cream cheese
- String cheese
- Ricotta cheese
Dairy Products to Avoid
Avoid all low-fat or reduced fat products.
Avoid certain dairy products like milk (yes, even whole milk), evaporated or condensed milk, and half-and-half. These three products are usually higher in carbs or contain added sugar.
Finally, avoid fermented products (like kefir and yogurt) with added fruit or sugar.
Oils and Fats Shopping List
Fats are an important staple of any keto diet. But it’s the quality of your dietary fat that matters.Saturated fats like coconut oil and grass-fed butter are excellent options for cooking. Oils like extra virgin oil are best reserved for unheated uses, like homemade salad dressings. Nuts and seeds make great snacks, or your can sprinkle them on salads and other veggie dishes. Just watch your nut intake. While they’re high in many healthy fats, some of them also contain a lot of carbs.
Enjoy these healthy fats and oils on keto:
- Nuts and seeds
- Other fats
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- MCT oil
Nuts and Seeds
- Almonds (or almond butter)
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds
- Peanut butter
- Almond butter
- Cocoa butter
- Coconut butter
- Bacon fat
- Duck fat
Oils and Fats to Avoid
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils found in margarine or fast food should be avoided. Avoid seed oils in general, such as grapeseed oil, corn oil, canola oil, peanut oil, and soybean oil. Finally, avoid peanuts and nuts that are very high in carbohydrates.
Vegetable Shopping List
Vegetables should fill a substantial portion of your shopping cart. Vegetables, particularly leafy greens, contain very few net carbs per serving and are packed with vitamins and minerals. Fermented vegetables like kimchi and sauerkraut are also great items to include in your cart, as they contain healthy probiotics.
Remember: Vegetables come with an expiration date. To save on your budget and prevent food waste, try not to buy more fresh produce than you can eat in 5-7 days. If you live far away from a grocery store, stock up on frozen vegetables — which are just as nutrient-dense as fresh.
- Leafy greens
- Swiss chard
- Bok choy
- Romaine lettuce
- Iceberg lettuce
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
- Artichoke hearts
- Bean sprouts
- Bell peppers
- White mushrooms
- Portobello mushrooms
- Black olives
- Green olives
- Spaghetti squash
- Snow peas
- Sauerkraut (no added sugars)
- Salsa (sugar-free)
Vegetables to Avoid
Certain vegetables, while packed with micronutrients, simply contain too many carbohydrates to be included on the keto diet. Exclude starchy vegetables like white potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and corn. Even some forms of squash, like summer squash, are too high in carbohydrates.
Fruit Shopping List
Fruit should be consumed in moderation on the keto diet. Enjoy one handful of berries per day as a treat, and try to purchase organic whenever possible. Avocados are the exception. Avocado is a high-fat, low-carb fruit that you can enjoy regularly.
Like vegetables, frozen berries can be purchased to prolong the shelf life of your groceries.
Fruit to Avoid
You should avoid most fruit on keto, simply due to the high sugar and high carb content. Apples, bananas, mangoes, watermelon, pears, oranges, and other fruits are off limits. Dried fruit and fruit juice are also way too high in sugary carbs.
Baking Supplies Shopping List
Alternative baking flours like almond flour and coconut flour make excellent pantry staples and are the perfect low-carb alternative to regular white flour. Use these and keto-friendly sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit to make low-carb, keto-friendly desserts.
Replace your former pantry items with the products listed below. Remember, try to limit your keto treats, focusing on meat, veggies, and eggs instead.
- Coconut flour
- Almond flour
- Coconut flakes
- Cocoa powder
- Sea salt
- Baking soda
Baking Staples to Avoid
Chances are you will need to clean out your pantry before starting the keto diet. White flour, wheat flour, whole wheat flour, cornstarch, and corn flour are too high in carbs to be considered keto-friendly. Finally, some gluten-free flours should also be avoided due to the carb content, including cassava flour, tapioca flour, and tapioca starch.
Sweeteners Shopping List
The sweeteners you can use on keto are narrowed down below:
- Pure stevia powder
- Pure stevia drops
- Monk fruit
Sweeteners to Avoid
White sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, most sugar alcohols, honey, and maple syrup should also be avoided.
Condiments, Spices, and Herbs Shopping List
To add flavor to dishes, stock your fridge and pantry with condiments, spices, and herbs. The best condiments are typically those made at home, but there are plenty of quality products out there that are keto-friendly and made from simple ingredients. Finally, purchase fresh herbs, spices, and citrus such as lemon and lime juice for added flavor.
Enjoy these items for added flavor in your keto recipes:
- Yellow mustard
- Brown mustard
- Soy sauce or coconut aminos
- Sugar-free ketchup
- Hot sauce
- Low carb salsa
- Worcestershire sauce
- Sugar-free, high-fat salad dressings (ranch, blue cheese, or very low sugar is OK)
- Lemon juice
- Lime juice
- Sugar-free syrup
Spices and Herbs
- Cayenne pepper
- Chili powder
- Salt and pepper
Condiments, Spices, and Herbs to Avoid
When buying condiments, check the label every single time. Plenty of brands include added sugar and harmful, unnecessary additives. When buying spices, avoid spice blends, as they may contain added sugar.
Drinks and Liquids Shopping List
When it comes to beverages, water will always be the safest choice. There are plenty of other options, including dairy-free alternatives, coffee, tea, and sparkling water.
With certain products, like kombucha and coconut water, make sure to double-check the label to ensure they are low in sugar and carbohydrates.
- Some kombucha (make sure it’s low in sugar)
- La Croix and other sparkling waters
- Soda water, tonic water, and seltzer water
- Coconut milk (unsweetened)
- Cashew milk (unsweetened)
- Almond milk (unsweetened)
- Unsweetened tea or coffee
- Heavy creamer (sugar-free)
- Low-carb smoothies
- Low-carb alcohol, like hard liquor
- Bone broth
Drinks and Liquids to Avoid
Avoid all soda, juice (even vegetable juice), diet soda, sports drinks, sugary coffee drinks, beer, and most alcohol.
Now that you know everything you can buy at the store to make healthy keto meals, you’re fully prepared to go grocery shopping and make smart choices.
The next step is to create a meal plan. Then you will know what to buy and what you’re going to eat this week. This will help you stay in ketosis and lose more weight.
And we’re helping you with that too!
To help you get started right now and save you the guesswork, below are two easy keto meal plans with their respective shopping lists.
The 3-Day Keto Meal Plan and Shopping List
If you want to test a keto plan for a few days, here’s an easy 3-day keto meal plan and the shopping list you need for it:
3-Day Keto Meal Plan
Breakfast: Four Savory Breakfast Sausage Balls and High-Fat Keto Coffee
Lunch: Easy White Turkey Chili and salad greens with olive oil and pine nuts
Dinner: Portobello Bun Cheeseburger
- Pre-Workout: Pre-workout
- Post-Workout: Keto Collagen
- Dessert: Keto Matcha Fat Bomb
Breakfast: Keto Grand Slam
Lunch: Tuna Zoodle Casserole and roasted broccoli with olive oil
- Pre-and-Post Workout: Perfect Keto Pre-Workout and Keto Collagen
Breakfast: Two Cheesy Low-Carb Stuffed Mushrooms with Bacon and half an avocado
Lunch: Italian Keto Stuffed Peppers and Low-Carb Cauliflower Fritters
- Pre-and-Post Workout: Perfect Keto Pre-Workout and Keto Collagen
3-Day Keto Shopping List
- 2 medium cauliflower heads
- 2 small to medium sized Vidalia onions
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 6 portabella mushroom caps
- 16 oz of baby portabella mushrooms
- 16 oz of white mushrooms
- 1 avocado
- 3 oz of spinach (this can be fresh or frozen, the latter will need to be drained)
- 1 head of romaine lettuce
- 1 head of broccoli
- 3 large bell peppers
- 8-16 oz of sauerkraut (depending on preference)
- 2 lbs of organic ground turkey, chicken, or pork
- 1 lb of grass-fed 80/20 ground beef
- 1 package of bacon (look for at least 6 slices, thick cut)
- 1 lb spicy Italian-style ground sausage
Dairy and Eggs
- 13 organic cage-free eggs (large)
- 2 oz of heavy whipping cream
- 3 tbsp melted butter (or 1.5 oz)
- 5 oz full-fat organic cream cheese
- 8 oz organic cheddar cheese
- 2 oz organic shredded cheddar cheese
- 6 slices of organic sharp cheddar cheese
- 16 oz of organic shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 oz of parmesan cheese
- 2 oz of grated parmesan cheese
Oils and Condiments
- 5 oz of unrefined coconut oil
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tbsp of mustard
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Herbs and Spices
- 2 oz of fresh basil
- 5 ½ tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 3 ½ tsp pepper
- 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 ½ tsp of thyme
- 1 tbsp onion flakes
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp of sage
- ½ tsp parsley
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp of red pepper flakes
- Pinch of vanilla
- 4 oz of coconut flour
- 2 oz of almond flour
- 2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp of stevia or monk fruit
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 15g of espresso
- 16 oz of full-fat coconut milk (or substitute with heavy whipping cream)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 oz of chicken broth
- A handful of pine nuts
- 12 macadamia nuts
- Sliced dill pickles
- Sugar-free barbecue sauce
- Spicy brown mustard
- A dollop of sour cream
- 3 green onions
Supplements and Other Items You Won’t Find at the Grocery Store
- Raw cocoa butter (note: specialty grocery stores and places like Whole Foods may sell this, so call ahead to find out)
- Perfect Keto Perform
- Perfect Keto’s Grass-Fed Collagen Protein Powder
- Perfect Keto Pure MCT Oil (liquid)
- Perfect Keto Matcha MCT Oil Powder
The 7-Day Keto Meal Plan and Shopping List
If you want to take it beyond three days, below you’ll find seven days of meal planning you can use for inspiration to start your new ketogenic diet.
The example macros are set for a person who is eating 1,600 calories per day and sticking to 100 grams or less of protein, 25 grams or less of carbs, and around 125 grams of fat.
Feel free to mix and match meals from different days and adjust your daily macros according to how your body feels. For the recipes below, consume one serving unless otherwise noted.
Day 1 Meals
|Breakfast||Keto Brunch Spread||38g||17g||3g||426|
|Lunch||Crispy Skin Salmon with Pesto Cauliflower Rice||51g||24g||10g||647|
|Dinner||Superfood Meatballs and Keto Creamed Spinach||36g||36g||7g||485|
Total macros for the day: 125 grams of fat, 87 grams of protein, 20 grams of carbs, and 1,558 total calories.
Day 2 Meals
|Breakfast||Chocolate Pancakes with Blueberry Butter||50g||27g||11.5g||611|
|Lunch||Turkey Sausage Frittata with 4 slices bacon fried in 1 tbsp butter and one cup of coffee with MCT Oil Powder||50g||25g||5.5g||572|
|Dinner||Lemon Herb Low-Carb Keto Meatloaf||29g||33g||2g||344|
Total macros for the day: 129 grams of fat, 85 grams of protein, 19 grams of carbs, and 1,527 calories.
Day 3 Meals
|Breakfast||Bacon, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Casserole||38g||43g||2g||437|
|Lunch||White Turkey Chili with 2 cups mixed leafy greens with 1 tbsp olive oil||44.5g||28.8g||5.5g||568|
|Dinner||Portobello Bun Cheeseburger with Celeriac Everything Oven Fries and Homemade Keto Mayo||40g||31g||13g||539|
Total macros for the day: 122.5 grams of fat, 102.8 grams of protein, 20.5 grams of carbs, and 1,544 total calories.
Day 4 Meals
|Breakfast||Keto Power Breakfast Bowl||27g||10.5g||7g||305|
|Lunch||Keto Chicken Salad||36.5g||55g||8g||575|
|Dinner||4 oz grilled ribeye steak, 2 tbsp grass-fed butter and 2 cups of mixed leafy greens with 1 tbsp avocado oil||62g||20g||1g||636|
|Dessert||MCT Fat Bomb||8g||1g||2g||81|
Total macros for the day: 133.5 grams of fat, 86.5 grams of protein, and 1,597 total calories.
Day 5 Meals
|Breakfast||Avocado Breakfast Bowl||40g||25g||3g||500|
|Lunch||Roasted Chicken Stacks||25g||34g||5.5g||369|
|Dinner||Cheesy Broccoli Meatza||24g||32g||7g||375|
|Dessert||2 Macadamia Nut Fat Bombs||34g||2g||4g||200|
Total macros for the day: 123 grams of fat, 93 grams of protein, 19.5 grams of carbs, and 1,444 total calories.
Day 6 Meals
|Breakfast||Acai Almond Butter Smoothie||20g||15g||6g||345|
|Lunch||Keto Beef Bulgogi||18g||25g||3g||242|
|Snack||1 hard boiled egg and 1 oz almonds||19g||12g||3g||241|
|Dinner||Creamy Mushroom Chicken||27g||24g||3g||334|
|Dessert||Keto Chocolate Mousse||14g||17.5g||6g||248|
Total macros for the day: 98 grams of fat, 93.5 grams of protein, 21 grams of carbs, and 1,410 total calories.
Day 7 Meals
|Breakfast||Keto Bulletproof Coffee||31g||1g||0.5g||280|
|Lunch||Low-Carb Crispy Keto “Fried” Chicken and one cup steamed broccoli||27g||33.5g||6.5g||494|
|Dinner||Low-Carb Keto Lasagna||21g||32g||12g||364|
|Dessert||Collagen Mug Cake||43.5g||27g||4g||535|
Total macros for the day: 122.5 grams of fat, 93.5 grams of protein, 23 grams of carbs, and 1,673 total calories.
7-Day Meal Plan Keto Shopping List
- About 48 asparagus spears
- 2 avocados
- 2 small Vidalia onions
- 1 large shallot
- About 23 cloves of garlic
- 1 head of savoy cabbage
- 1 large celeriac root
- 4 medium carrots
- 3 broccoli crowns
- 2 bell peppers
- 1 lemon
- 4 large zucchini
- 6 portabella mushroom caps
- 5 cremini mushrooms
- 1 medium cauliflower head
- 24 oz frozen cauliflower
- 3.5 oz frozen blueberries
- 32 oz mixed leafy greens
- 8 oz baby spinach
- 16 oz fresh spinach
- 8 oz of arugula
- 10 oz of fresh basil
- 16 oz of fresh parsley (8 oz of this can be from basil or cilantro)
- 2 oz of fresh oregano
- 5 oz hemp hearts
- 8 oz raw sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 30 slices sugar-free bacon
- 4 oz grass-fed grilled ribeye
- 1 lb skirt steak
- ½ lb spicy Italian sausage (or sweet)
- 5 lbs 85% lean grass-fed ground beef
- 1 lb grass-fed 80/20 ground beef
- 1 lb organic ground turkey
- 12 oz ground turkey
- 5 small organic chicken breasts or breast cutlets
- 1 lb boneless/skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
- 2 pastured chicken cutlets
- 1 lb pastured chicken livers
- 3 salmon fillets (4 oz each)
- 5 slices prosciutto
- 48 organic free-range large eggs
- 2 oz salted grass-fed Kerrygold butter (+ 11 oz of unsalted grass-fed butter)
- 4 oz sour cream
- 4 oz heavy whipping cream
- 3 oz of parmesan
- 12 oz mozzarella cheese
- 10 oz organic shredded cheese
- 6 slices organic cheddar cheese
- 8 oz lactose-free cream cheese
- 8 oz lactose-free sour cream
- 8 oz of AIP dairy-free paleo cheese
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
Oils, Condiments, and Spices
- 21 oz light olive oil
- 7.5 oz avocado oil
- 8.5 oz of unrefined coconut oil
- 3 spoonfuls of ghee
- 1 oz of apple cider vinegar
- 1 oz Worcestershire sauce
- 5 tbsp mixed Italian herb seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of black sesame seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp everything bagel seasoning
- 1 tsp of Ceylon cinnamon
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 tbsp pink Himalayan salt
- 5 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp celery salts
- 3.5 oz garlic powder
- 2 oz of nutritional yeast
- Pinch of Chinese 5 spice
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 oz sesame seeds
- 26 oz full-fat canned coconut milk
- 6.5 oz coconut flour
- 1 oz flax meal
- Less than 1 oz of baking powder
- 16 oz Rao’s marinara sauce
- 3 cups of Keto Coffee
- 12 drops of liquid stevia
- 1 oz mustard
- .5 oz of Red Boat fish sauce
- 2 oz of coconut aminos
- .10 oz of baking soda
- 4 oz of bone broth
- 2 oz of pizza sauce (alfredo, marinara, or pesto)
- 2 oz of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 oz of erythritol
- 1 single-serve packet (100 g) of unsweetened pureed acai
- 6 oz of unsweetened almond milk
- 12 macadamia nuts
- 1 oz of raw almonds
- 1 oz almond butter
- 1 stalk of green onions
- 10 more drops of liquid stevia
- 2 oz shredded Tillamook cheddar
Supplements You Won’t Find at the Grocery Store
- Perfect Keto Matcha MCT Oil Powder
- Perfect Keto’s Grass-Fed Collagen Protein Powder
- Perfect Keto Nut Butter or tahini
- Perfect Keto Pure MCT Oil (liquid)
Keto Shopping: Download the Free Grocery List
The keto diet is easy to stick to when you have a plan in place. That’s why it’s so important to meal prep and plan your meals for the week ahead. so you’re prepared.
With this keto shopping list in hand, you’re ready to hit the grocery store. Remember:
- This list is very comprehensive — select only those items you will need for the week. We’ve compiled all the items in a checklist if you’d like to have it on hand at the grocery store.
- When purchasing meat, dairy, and seafood, always choose the highest quality you can reasonably afford.
- When purchasing fruit and vegetables, purchase organic whenever possible. You want to prioritize those on the Dirty Dozen list.
- Buy frozen products to cut down on cost and waste.
- When restocking your pantry, select low-carb, low-sugar pantry staples like alternative flours, keto-friendly sweeteners, and low-carb beverages.
Starting the keto diet can be a little overwhelming—the high-fat, low-carb diet, known for its dramatic weight loss results, requires an overhaul of most people’s typical shopping lists. That means saying goodbye to some of the easy items you might keep on hand for lazy nights (we’re talking to you, quick-cooking rice and frozen french fries), and hello to some slightly more perishable foods that are higher in fat and protein like meat and full-fat dairy.
But before you go filling your grocery cart with bacon and cheese galore, know that you’ll want to opt for good-for-you sources of unsaturated fat and protein—like fish and avocado, instead, says Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, of the Nutrition Twins. “Since this diet is primarily coming from fat, choosing healthy sources of fat is important,” she says.
So, healthy fat = good; protein = good; but what about everything else? Don’t freak—while, yes, tons of stuff is off-limits on the keto diet, there are plenty of yummy things you can eat. To help, a few dietitians weighed in on what they’d put on their keto diet grocery shopping list—so all you really have to do is save it and go to the store.
Not all vegetables are created equal for keto followers. High-carb veggies (think: potatoes) are a no-go. Instead, opt for low-carb options like cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, bell pepper, celery, cucumber, eggplant, and asparagus, says Pegah Jalali, RD, a nutritionist with Middleberg Nutrition.
Frozen veggies are cool, too. Sydney Greene, RD, also of Middleberg Nutrition, recommends frozen cauliflower in particular. “It’s very low carb yet high in fiber and vitamin C. Use cauliflower in place of bananas for a creamy smoothie without the extra carbohydrates,” Greene says.
Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, of Nutrition Twins, describes avocados as one of the very best keto foods, jam-packed with both nutrients and healthy fats. “I like to have them with some hemp or flax seeds sprinkled on top and some parmesan cheese,” says Jalali.
Raspberries are a perfect sweet treat for people on the keto diet, since they’re the fruit with the fewest carbs, says Jalali—though blueberries and blackberries are great, too.
Pre-washed greens, like spinach, kale and arugula, are a huge timesaver. “Having greens on hand makes it super easy to throw together a quick salad or add some quick nutrients—folate, vitamin C, fiber, magnesium—to your proteins,” says Greene.
For a quick, keto-friendly breakfast, Greene suggests scrambling two whole eggs and a handful of spinach to get a good serving of healthy fat, protein, and fiber.
Grass-fed beef and organic chicken
Keep grass-fed beef and lamb, along with organic chicken, on hand, recommends Jalali. “Our clients particularly love Applegate’s Great Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dog,” says Shames—they’re non-GMO and made with grass-fed beef, sans nitrates and preservatives.
Another option? Sip your meat-based protein. Greene loves Bonafide Provisions Bone Broth, which uses bones from grass-fed cows. “The amino acids found in the broth support a healthy gut,” says Greene.
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Tuna, salmon, or sardines (fresh or canned)
If you opt for fresh fish, grill, bake, or pan-fry it in a healthy oil (olive or avocado) and serve with a low-carb veggie like broccoli or cauliflower rice.
If you choose canned, mix it with mayo and serve over greens, suggests Jalali. For a simple keto lunch, Greene suggests combining a can of tuna with half an avocado in a collard green wrap.
Go for grass-fed, organic, and full-fat options in the dairy aisle, recommends Jalali. For cheese, one easy-to-find option—readily available at groceries and convenience stores alike—is Organic Valley’s full fat cheese. “It fits in the keto diet perfectly,” says Lakatos.
Always read the nutrition info before purchasing pre-shredded cheeses, cautions Jalali, who says they sometimes contain a stabilizer that adds carbs—so just make sure your shredded cheese has zero grams of carbs.
Greek yogurt and sour cream
These can be used interchangeably on the keto diet, as they all have similar amounts of carbs—Greek yogurt has five grams per serving and sour cream has seven. Just make sure they’re plain options—added flavors also add carbs.
Quark is a German food that’s somewhere in between yogurt and cheese in flavor and consistency—you can add it to smoothies, or use it as a spread or topping. “It’s rich, creamy, and a favorite among our clients who are keto followers,” says Lakatos.
If you’re on a keto diet, opt for Eggland’s Best Eggs, says Lakatos. “They have double the omega-3s and six times the vitamin D of other eggs, thanks to their all-vegetarian hen feed which provides high-quality, keto-friendly nutrients.”
Milk can actually have a good amount of carbs, so nut milk is a good alternative on the keto diet, says Lakatos. Unsweetened coconut, hemp, and almond milks in particular are good options, as they contain no carbs and more than four grams of fat—a perfect combo for keto dieters.
Avocado, olive, hazelnut, and coconut oil
The keto diet is all about fat, so clearly all healthy oils are welcome on this keto grocery list. Cooking food in the oils is one thing—but you can also amp up your fat intake by drizzling some oil on your cooked meal, as well.
Ghee, like the oils above, is a pure fat, which means its free from carbs or protein, says Jalali. “Ketogenic diets are more than 60 percent fat so having pure fats for all meals helps keep you on track,” she says. If you can’t find ghee, you can also use butter.
This low-carb snack has just one gram of carbs, and is full of iodine, which supports a healthy thyroid, says Greene. Some even come in individual grab-and-go packets so you can store them in your desk at work or in your purse.
You can add olives to salad or have them as an on-the-go snack. “We find these to be a lifesaver for our keto clients,” says Shames. Olives offer a healthy monounsaturated source of fat; some even come in different flavors (like taco or sriracha).
Shames recommends single-serving packages of pistachios, too. “Ninety percent of the fats found in pistachios are the better-for-you mono- and polyunsaturated type,” says Shames. “Plus, pistachios provide a good source of plant protein and fiber for a trio that can help to keep you fuller longer.”
Nutritional yeast provides B12, a nutrient that many of us—especially vegans and vegetarians—just don’t get enough of. It’s also a source of protein without many carbs at all, says Lakatos.
“Keto followers can sprinkle it on their meals for a cheesy flavor and they often use it to make keto-friendly breads and tortillas,” says Lakatos.
Chia seeds and flax seeds
You can use these seeds to coat meats, include them in bake goods, or make keto-friendly oatmeal and pudding, says Jalali. These pantry items are high in fiber, but low in carbs.
Healthy frozen foods
Added items like frozen cauliflower pizza and frozen frittatas can make eating keo simple on mornings and nights when you’re strapped for time. Nora Minno, an RD in New York City, loves this pizza, which contains only 16 grams of carbs for the whole pie.
“Tofu is a great way to add plant-based protein into a diet that is typically heavy in animal protein and fat,” says Minno. “A 3-oz serving contains 80 calories, 4 grams of fat, 9 grams of protein and only 3 grams of carbs. You’ll also be getting important micronutrients like calcium, iron, and potassium.”
Low-carb pasta alternatives
“Shiratake noodles are a great low-carb pasta alternative with only 2 grams of carbs and 0 calories per bag,” says Minno.
A high-quality nut butter is a great keto snack, topping for flax crackers, and ingredient for keto fat bombs and desserts. Lara Clevenger, RD and founder of The Keto Queens, recommends this brand.
Grass-fed beef tallow
Beef tallow is rich in omega 3 and CLA and is a “high quality saturated fat which has a high smoke point and is great for cooking,” says Clevenger.
Yes, you can totally add chocolate to your shopping cart on the keto diet! Clevenger recommends Choc Zero. “It’s sugar-free chocolate, non-gmo, and contains no sugar alcohols or soy lecithin. It’s not super bitter like some chocolate bars and tastes great and has a very good texture,” she says.
One of the trickiest things to shop for while keto? Dressings and condiments. Clevenger recommends low-sugar ketchup and BBQ sauce from Alterna Sweets. “These sauces taste amazing and they all contain only 1 gram net carb per tablespoon,” she says. As for salad dressing? Clevenger reaches for Primal Kitchen brand. “These are sugar-free and keto-certified.”
Keto Diet Food List
Following the keto diet promotes fat-burning, weight loss, and boosted energy levels; all without restricting calories or eating bland, boring meals. But to fully reap the benefits of a ketogenic diet, you must know which foods are encouraged on the keto diet food list and which foods to avoid.
Why Follow a Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carb diet that’s become increasingly popular for weight and fat loss. As we explain extensively in our keto diet mastery, the principle of the keto diet is to “eat fat to burn fat.” By heavily restricting carbs — your body’s primary fuel source — your body begins to burn your fat stores for fuel instead, which produces ketones. This state of elevated ketones in the bloodstream is called ketosis, hence ketogenic diet (1).
In addition to weight loss and energy, the keto diet has been shown to support skin health, cognitive function, memory, and hormonal balance (2). Now, let’s dive into the keto diet nutrient ratios and the keto diet food list.
How Much Fat Do You Need on the Keto Diet?
On the keto diet, you’ll be eating a small amount of protein and very few carbs. That leaves the rest of your micronutrient consumption to fats — anywhere between 60-75%.
There are four different types of keto diets you can follow. Each version is high fat and low carb but with different macronutrient ratios.
For example, the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) is the most popular version of the keto diet and the one we’re referring to throughout this article. The SKD recommends 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs.
The second type is the High Protein Keto Diet, which is geared mostly towards extremely active people or athletes. This version of the keto diet recommends 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
If your reason for following the keto diet is to lose weight, you typically won’t eat more than 20-25 grams of carbs per day. To put that into perspective, a medium-sized banana is around 23 grams of net carbs — so even eating bananas in moderation would almost be enough to prevent the average person from entering ketosis. People who are extremely active are the exception, as they require more fuel(3).
As you can see, the macronutrient ratios of your keto meals can vary depending on your personal needs. However, your fat ratio must always be significantly higher than carbs and proteins.
The keto calculator can give you a general sense of how much fat you should be eating, although your individual nutrient requirements may vary. It’s a good idea to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner to determine your unique nutrient needs so you can achieve the results you’re looking for.
What Kind of Fats Are OK?
Since fats make up 75% of dietary macros, they’re obviously a vital aspect of the ketogenic diet. There are four types of ketogenic-approved fats: saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats and naturally occuring trans fats(4).
For many years, experts believed that consuming too many saturated fats could potentially be linked to poor cardiovascular health. More recent research has shown that there is no direct link between saturated fats and cardiovascular health and that these fats may be beneficial for your body(5).
Some saturated fats also contain medium-chain-triglycerides (MCTs), which the body converts into energy for enhanced physical performance and accelerated fat loss. MCTs are commonly found in oils such as coconut oil and MCT oil.
Now, let’s get into which foods you’ll be enjoying most often on the keto diet, which foods you can eat occasionally and which foods are off limits so you can get started on your very own ketogenic diet meal plan.
Keto Diet Food List
The good news is that the ketogenic diet food list offers plenty of variety. With fats being the most satiating macronutrient, you’ll find it’s impossible to go hungry on a keto diet. In fact, there’s no calorie restrictions on the keto diet — you can eat what you please as long as you stay in ketosis. Here are the keto-friendly foods you’ll want to be eating most often on the Standard Ketogenic Diet (for a complete, detailed list, see our infographic below):
75% of Your Diet: Healthy Fats and Non-Starchy Vegetables
- Veggies: leafy greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, asparagus, bok choy, zucchini, bell peppers, white mushrooms
- Nuts and seeds: sugar-free nut and seed butter (no peanut butter), pecans, cashews, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, brazil nuts
- Other: 100% dark organic cocoa powder or chocolate, spirulina, almond flour, mineral water, tea or coffee (no added sugar), unsweetened nut milk (almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk)
20% of Your Diet: Proteins
- Animal protein: grass-fed meat (higher in omega–3 essential fatty acids), chicken, turkey, wild game, duck, pork
- Bone broth
- Collagen and gelatin powdered supplements
- Full fat dairy products: organic sour cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese (with no added sugars), heavy cream
5% of Your Diet: Carbs
- Small amounts of berries: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries
- Legumes: green peas and beans
*Note: these percentages are based on the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD). Read more about how to stock your kitchen for the Standard Ketogenic Diet here.
- Refined sugar
- Sugar alcohols: xylitol, sorbitol
- Processed foods such as vegetable oils
Download The Keto Diet Food List & A Cheat Sheet
We know that’s an insanely long keto food list, so to keep things simple, we included a simple cheat sheet of keto diet approved foods to choose from in PDF format. You can refer back to this keto cheat sheet to help guide your choices when it comes to grocery shopping, meal prep and eating out at restaurants.
You can get the results want from the keto diet by setting yourself up for success. We recommend:
- Bookmarking this page on your laptop or smartphone for quick references.
- Pinning the Keto Diet Food List on Pinterest.
- Printing out our free downloadable Keto Diet Food List (click the link above) and take it with you when you go grocery shopping.
- Trying out our new keto recipes each week.
Having a simple plan with Lazy Keto Meals makes our week go much smoother. As a mom of four, I’m happy to find anything that saves me time that my entire family can enjoy.
Lazy Keto Meals: Meal Plan Week 46
I have a business trip this week so it looks like I will be eating out a lot. Thankfully, there are so many low carb options that it won’t be hard to stay on track. However, I know many of you count on this weekly meal plan for inspiration, so I wanted to make sure I got this list of Lazy Keto Meals posted before I left. If you’d like alternative meals ideas check out my keto/low carb recipe index for a considerable list of recipes.
Low Carb Breakfast Ideas
Low Carb Breakfast Ideas: You can find lots of keto breakfast ideas here. I typically only drink bulletproof coffee for breakfast as it keeps me full for hours. I recently posted how I make my bulletproof coffee since I had so many of you ask. To keep it simple at lunch, I prefer to eat leftovers, so I am not spending a ton of time in the kitchen during our homeschool day. I have a big family so to make this happen I often double or triple recipes when I prepare dinner.
Don’t Miss – Lakanto Monkfruit – 40% off Sale Sitewide
It’s March Madness, and Lakanto is offering a fantastic 40% off sitewide sale through March 19th. Lakanto Monkfruit has quickly become my very favorite keto friendly sweeteners. It is an excellent time to stock up. They offer a huge variety of products for a keto or low carb lifestyle. Orders over $120 get FREE SHIPPING too!
My favorite Lakanto products are:
- Monkfruit Golden Sweetener (brown sugar substitute)
- Monkfruit Granulated White Sweetener
- Monkfruit Powdered Sweetener
- Maple Flavored Syrup
Take advantage of 40% off every single Lakano product.
This Week’s List of Lazy Keto Meals
Sunday: Bunless Burgers with Grilled Zucchini & Squash
Monday: Lazy Chicken Parmesan with Cheddar Garlic Biscuits
Tuesday: Keto Stuffed Pepper Soup & a Garden Salad
Wednesday: We eat out on Wednesday nights.
Thursday: Keto Cheesy Ranch Chicken & Broccoli
Friday: Keto Sloppy Joe Skillet on 90-Second Bread with Roasted Broccoli
Saturday: Smoked Boston Butt with homemade sugar-free bbq sauce & Loaded Broccoli
Snacks – Homemade Cheese Cracker Crisps, pecans, or pork rinds
Sweet Treat – Keto No Bake Peanut Butter Bars
Don’t Miss New Recipes
If you aren’t already following my Easy Keto/Low Carb Recipe Page on Facebook where I post all my new recipes, you can join here and follow me on Pinterest here. If you are just getting started following a keto diet and would like more information, there are tons of fantastic resources. Amazon has several excellent books you may want to check out here. It’s all about learning what works best for you and your family.
Keto / Low Carbohydrate Diet Meal Plan Master List
You can find all of the previous Keto Meal Plan samples in one place. My Low Carb Meal Plans for weight loss list is updated weekly, and there are also links to all the previous meals plans in one place for your convenience.
Keto Shopping Lists
There are many Keto friendly foods that you can find at your local grocery store when shopping for a Keto Diet Recipes. Below, I’ve included links to a general shopping list as well as store-specific lists for your convenience. Make sure to print out The Very Basic Keto Shopping List to keep handy when you go shopping. Remember, you won’t need every item on this list, you can stock your Keto pantry as items are needed.
- Amazon Keto Shopping List
- The Very Best Basic Keto Shopping List
- Walmart Keto Shopping List – Top 16 Keto Items
- Costco Keto Shopping List
- Sam’s Club Keto Shopping List
- ALDI Keto Shopping List
- Target Keto Shopping List
‘Lazy Keto’ Only Has One Rule You Need to Follow
Turns out there’s more than one spin on the keto diet—that ultra-low-carb, high-fat, trendy way of eating. You’ve got the super-strict original diet, in which roughly 5% of your daily calories come from carbs; 75% to 90% of your calories come from fat; and the remaining 5% to 20% of you caloric intake comes from protein. Then there’s “dirty keto,” where you adhere to the same macronutrient breakout, but the quality of the foods you eat doesn’t matter so much. (You can read more about dirty keto here.) Simplify dirty keto, and you essentially get “lazy keto.”
So what is lazy keto?
The cardinal (and only!) rule to lazy keto is to eat no more than 20 grams of carbohydrate a day. Unlike the original keto plan, you don’t have to track your calories, nor do you have to count the other macronutrients (fat and protein).
Trust us, we get the appeal: Tracking is very time intensive. And there’s a steep learning curve involved. A laser focus on carbohydrates is way simpler. But simpler isn’t always better, of course: Though you will lose weight on a lazy keto diet (it’s essentially just another low-carb eating plan, and we know those work), you’ll probably hit a weight-loss plateau, and likely fairly soon.
RELATED: 4 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight on the Keto Diet, According to Nutritionists
The goal of the keto diet is to reach a state of ketosis, in which your body burns fat for energy instead of glucose. While cutting way back on carbs is crucial, you also need to keep your protein intake down.
“Carbs offer a direct source of glucose, but protein is similar. Eat too much protein and your body can make glucose from protein through a process called gluconeogenesis,” explains Chris Mohr, PhD, RD, of Mohr Results. “It’s a fine line. Protein is, of course, required for repairing and building muscles, but too much can tip the body out of ketosis.” And if you’re not tracking your protein, it’s pretty easy to overdo it.
Not tracking your fat intake could potentially be problematic as well, because you may not get enough of the nutrient. Fat is filling (it has more calories per gram than the other macros) and you digest it slower, so it helps keep you satisfied between meals. (In other words, an inadequate fat intake could leave you feeling hangry all day.) Fat also helps your body absorb key fat-soluble vitamins from foods, though that doesn’t have much, if any, bearing on weight loss. It’s just good nutrition.
RELATED: 5 Supplements You Should Take If You’re on the Keto Diet
Building lazy keto meals
If you’re still thinking, Strict keto isn’t for me, here’s how to approach lazy keto so you can make healthy choices and see results.
Start by getting a general idea of how many carbs, proteins, and fats you need in a day. (Try using an online calculator.) Next, it’s vital to understand carbohydrate counting. You know to avoid bread and pasta, of course, but there are carbs in fruits, vegetables, and even dairy. “Do some research on some of your weekly staples, read food labels, and write down a list of carb-heavy items you will need to cut from your diet,” suggests nutritionist Carly McGavin of Nourish Foods.
Then build a list of staple foods and meals that you know will keep you in ketosis. McGavin suggests things like eggs, bacon, and avocados. “Even pre-made meals like chicken salad, or heat-and-eat dinners that star beef with veggies like broccoli or Brussels sprouts work,” she adds.
Make sure to include lower-carb veggies, like asparagus and cauliflower, on your keto grocery list; as well as higher-fat, lower-carb nuts like pecans and macadamia nuts.
There is an upshot to lazy keto: It’ll teach you about carbohydrates, and how to identify the better-for-you kind. Plus, just being more aware of what you’re eating can help you make healthier choices on a day-to-day basis.
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