Keto Diet Food List: What to eat and what to avoid

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I know it’s not easy to follow a low-carb diet if you’re a beginner. This is a shortlist of foods that you are allowed to eat and help you make the right choices by yourself.


It’s a challenging mission to choose keto-friendly foods. That’s why I’ve created this list to help you to understand what are the best and the worst foods for a keto diet.

The basics of the keto diet

  • Eat tiny amounts of carbs (5%).
  • Eat a moderate amount of protein (20%).
  • Eat lots of healthy fats (75%).
  • Focus on staying under 20 g carbs per day.
  • Be aware of the added sugar in the foods that might seem ok to eat on keto.
  • Calculate your personalized macros using our keto calculator.

What to choose and what to avoid?

The top priority on a ketogenic diet is REAL FOOD and not going by the idea “If it fits my macros is ok!”.

Healthy Fats and Oils

Fats will be the primary source of your daily calorie intake. Fats are awesome if we consume the right kind.


Avoid hydrogenated fats, such as margarine to reduce the trans fat intake.

If your goal is to lose weight on keto, you should eat fat in moderation, so your body can use it from its own body fat deposits.

Always choose the grass-fed, organic sources, unprocessed and cold-pressed butter and oils:

  • Butter
  • MCT oil
  • Ghee/ Clarified butter
  • Avocado Oil
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Fish Oil (cod liver)
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Lard
  • Macadamia Oil
  • Mayonnaise
  • Olive Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Sesame Oil (small amounts)
  • Soybean Oil
  • Walnut Oil (small amounts)
  • Peanut butter


protein keto diet
  • Beef
  • Whole Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Goat
  • Goose
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Rabbit
  • Sheep
  • Turkey
  • Fish

Dairy Products


Choose full-fat milk products over the low-fat ones. Avoid milk!

  • Full-Fat Whipping Cream
  • Full Fat Sour Cream
  • Hard Maturated and Soft Cheese (Cheddar, Mozzarella, Mascarpone, Brie, etc.)


vegetables keto lowcarbspark

Vegetables are an important part of healthy eating habits. We should carefully choose them on keto. Some of them are loaded with sugar.

Choose the veggies that are high in nutrients and fiber. Go for lots of leafy greens.

Eat them often in salads or as a side dish with your favorite protein such as roasted lemon chicken legs or butter pork tenderloin.

Here is a list of the allowed vegetables (some are my favorites) on keto:

  • Arugula (Rocket)
  • Avocado
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Bell Peppers
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Chicory Greens
  • Chives
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Eggplant (Aubergine)
  • Endives
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Leafy Greens (If it’s a leaf eat it)
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms (All of them)
  • Onions (small amounts)
  • Parsley
  • Peppers (All Kinds)
  • Radicchio
  • Radishes
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Seaweed (All Sea Vegetables)
  • Tomatoes(small amounts)
  • Zucchini



Fruits are well known for their benefits but they slow your keto-adaptation. Treat fruits like candies and enjoy in moderation.

  • 1/2 cup of raw strawberries (3.3 net carbs)
  • 1/2 cup of raw raspberries (4.2 net carbs)
  • 1/2 of kiwi fruit (4.3 net carbs)
  • 1/2 cup of blackberries (5.9 net carbs)

 Nuts and Seeds

  • Almonds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamias
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine
  • Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Psyllium Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Various Nut Butters
  • You can use nuts and seeds flour as an awesome substitute for usual flour.

Try to stay away from peanuts. They are legumes and not allowed on keto because peanuts cause inflammation. Cashews are higher in carbs, so be careful with them.


As you are not allowed to eat sugar, go for natural sweeteners. Sweeteners with maltodextrin and dextrose raise your blood sugar.

I’m not a huge fan of the aftertaste that some sweeteners have. My absolute favorites are SweetLeaf and Tagatesse.

What to avoid?

Avoid sweeteners like High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Agave Syrup, Artificial Sweeteners.

When it comes to keto, there are always foods that I always have to double-check the label & ingredients list. Some of them might contain added sugars.  Other foods that I avoid are those that I know I will overeat ( Peanut Butter ).

  • Canned veggies.
  • Products based on tomato. A lot of people use canned tomatoes while cooking. What they don’t know is that most of them have added sugar. Check the ingredients list. If it has sugar on it, leave it there.
  • Diet Drinks & Sodas. Even that diet soda has 0 carbs, be careful with the fact that the artificial sweeteners raise blood sugar and give you cravings. A lot of people are kicked out of ketosis because of plenty of sweeteners they consume.
  • Processed Food 
  • Cashews. They are delicious, but have lots of carbs, and trust me you won’t stop only at 3-4 cashews.
  • Medicine. Cough syrups and flu remedies. Try to go for the natural cures.
  • Eating out. Most of the restaurant menus contain hidden carbs so be careful with what you order.

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Ioana is a food and travel lover. Her greatest passion is developing mouthwatering recipes that are comforting, easy to make, and budget friendly! She firmly believes that cooking should be fun! About me...

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Hello! My name is Ioana Borcea, and I'm here to provide you with mouthwatering recipes. This blog is all about sharing my favorite tested easy to make, delicious low-carb & keto, nutrient-dense recipes.

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