Keto Food List: What to Eat and What to Avoid

The ketogenic diet can be effective, but it requires the right food choices. A keto food list can help.


A keto eating plan can keep your blood sugar low and help your body burn fat. However, the success of your keto diet depends on the foods you eat — it’s essential to know which foods to steer clear of and which ones to seek out. Having a keto food list on hand can help you make intelligent choices. 

Some foods support a keto diet; others, not so much.

The keto diet requires you to stay in ketosis to get results. To make this happen, you need to consume foods that are low in net carbs. If your daily carb intake gets too high, it could kick you out of ketosis. And you also need to eat foods that have lots of healthy fat.

That’s why having a keto food list is essential. A list of keto-friendly foods can provide vital guidance on your journey. It can tell you which foods support your keto eating plan. And it can let you know about the foods you need to avoid if you want to have a successful keto journey. 

Let’s look at foods to include and avoid on your keto path. 

In this article, we will:

  • Provide a keto diet food list that shares some of the best proteins, dairy, vegetables, nuts, seeds, nut butter, fruits, healthy fats and beverages for your keto diet
  • Share a list of foods to avoid on your keto journey
  • Offer some tips that will help you keep your carbohydrate intake low and stick to your keto eating plan

Keto food list

One of the most appealing things about the keto diet is that it includes delicious and satiating foods. Here is a list of keto-friendly foods to support you on your journey. 

List of keto foods for protein

Protein is essential for good health. It contains amino acids that help the body build muscle and burn fat. Here are some keto-approved protein sources to add to your grocery list: 

  • Beef – seek out grass-fed beef since it has more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than beef from commercially raised animals
  • Bacon
  • Eggs – make sure to include the yolk since the yolk is the source of most of an egg’s nutrients
  • Lamb
  • Poultry – dark meat is preferable for keto dieters since it’s higher in fat
  • Bison
  • Pork
  • Organ meat, such as liver and tongue
  • Fatty fish, such as mackerel and salmon
  • Low-carb shellfish, such as crab, shrimp and lobster — note that shellfish such as oysters and octopus are higher in carbs, which makes them less keto-friendly

Keto food list for dairy

Not all dairy foods are compatible with a keto diet. For example, milk is off-limits because it contains sugar in the form of lactose and is too high in carbs to support ketosis. However, many dairy foods work well with a keto eating plan. Here are some tasty choices: 

  • Cheddar cheese
  • Blue cheese
  • Brie
  • Greek yogurt – an excellent protein source that can help diminish appetite
  • Camembert cheese
  • Colby jack cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Pepper jack cheese
  • Swiss cheese
  • String cheese
  • Romano cheese
  • Provolone cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Goat cheese 
  • Havarti cheese
  • Limburger cheese
  • Manchego cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Heavy cream
  • Half-and-half
  • Sour cream

Keto food list for nuts, seeds and nut butter

Nuts and seeds are excellent for keto dieters since they’re high in healthy fats. However, some nuts and seeds are lower in carbs than others, and these are your best choices for your keto diet. Here are some keto-friendly seeds and nuts:

  • Pili nuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Pecans
  • Hemp seeds 
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Almonds
  • Almond butter
  • Natural, unsweetened peanut butter

Keto food list for vegetables

Non-starchy vegetables work well for a keto diet and provide vital plant-based nutrition. Each vegetable listed below is an excellent choice for the keto dieter:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Asparagus
  • Bok choy
  • Bell peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Cucumber
  • Turnips
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Okra
  • Green beans
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Jicama
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach 
  • Kale
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Escarole 
  • Collard greens
  • Swiss chard
  • Cabbage

Keto food list for fruits

Some fruits — such as bananas — are high in sugar and aren’t a good match for the keto diet. However, some options are relatively low in sugar and carbs, and they provide nutrients that benefit your health. You can consume these fruits in moderation when following a keto eating plan. Here are some keto-friendly fruits:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries 

Keto food list for fats

The keto diet requires a high fat intake to get the job done. These fats support your keto eating plan:

  • Butter
  • Avocado
  • Olives 
  • Olive oil
  • Ghee
  • Coconut oil
  • Unsweetened coconut milk
  • Fish oil
  • Avocado oil

Keto food list for beverages

The keto dieter should stay away from drinks with added sugar for best results. Round out your keto diet with these low-carb beverages:

  • Unsweetened coffee
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Juiced keto vegetables
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Water
  • Unsweetened sparkling water

Foods to avoid on a keto diet

Here are some foods to stay away from if you want to remain in ketosis:

  • High-sugar fruits, such as mangoes, grapes and bananas
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Candy
  • Cow’s milk
  • Fruit juice
  • Rice
  • Cakes
  • Pastries
  • Crackers
  • Oats and oatmeal
  • Lentils
  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Navy beans
  • Rye
  • Popcorn 
  • Wheat
  • Farro
  • Lima beans
  • Quinoa
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Potatoes

Tips that will help you stick to your keto eating plan

A list of keto foods won’t offer any value if you don’t adhere to the program. Here are some tips that will help you stay on the keto path:

1. Plan ahead

Spontaneity is never ideal when following an eating plan as strict as the keto diet. Plan your meals so you always have keto-friendly food on hand. Sticking to a meal plan will make your keto journey simpler.

2. Take meals and snacks with you if eating away from home

If you’re eating away from home, keto-friendly food may not be available at your location. Take items from your keto food list with you when you’re traveling. For example, you could pack unsweetened almond milk or keto vegetables drizzled in healthy oils. Having keto-approved foods on hand will help keep you from consuming an item that could take you off your path. 

3. Stock your fridge and pantry

Stock your fridge and pantry with keto foods. And be sure to remove any menu items that could cause you to stray from your ketogenic diet. 

Next steps

Research shows the keto diet can help you lose weight and burn fat. But it requires you to keep an eye on total carbs, and tracking each carbohydrate you consume can be time-consuming. So instead, make keto eating simple by subscribing to Fresh N Lean. 

Here at Fresh N Lean, we offer a tasty, chef-prepared keto meal plan with whole-food, organic ingredients. We also provide free nutritional counseling from our knowledgeable in-house nutritionists to help you make the best dietary choices for your situation. Subscribe today to have our keto meals shipped to your home or office. 

Fresh N Lean is the nation’s largest organic meal delivery service. Our tasty, chef-prepared cuisine is always fresh and never frozen, and we offer convenient meal plans like Protein+, Keto, Paleo, Standard Vegan and Mediterranean. Choose Fresh N Lean for affordable nutrition, delivered to your doorstep.