Best Foods for a Ketogenic Diet

Updated: Feb 4

We all know the importance of a balanced diet. But do we really know what a balanced diet is? Identifying the right types and amounts of food can become even more challenging when you are following a specified diet plan, like the #ketogenic diet. You have to make conscious adjustments to the food you eat as well as the amount of it.

To help you stay on your ketogenic diet successfully, here are a few basics for your meal planning. You can have any of the following in moderation while on the #keto diet.

Organically grown animals

  • Grass-fed meat such as beef and goat

  • Pastured pork, poultry

  • Eggs

  • Organ meats from grass-fed animals such as kidneys and liver

  • Prawns

  • Cheese

  • Full-fat cream cheese

  • Chicken and duck fat

  • Butter, lard, and coconut oil

  • Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, macadamia nuts, and avocado

  • Polyunsaturated omega 3-rich foods such as seafood and fatty fish

Non-starchy vegetables

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, and bok choy

  • Chives and garlic

  • Cruciferous vegetables such as dark leafy kale and radishes

  • Celery, cucumber, asparagus, zucchini, and bamboo shoots


  • Avocado

Beverages and condiments

  • Water

  • Black coffee (you may add a small amount of unsweetened creamer)

  • Herbal tea

  • Pickles and fermented foods such as kimchi

  • Spices and herbs, lime or lemon juice

  • Whey protein (make sure it contains no additives, soy lecithin, or artificial sweeteners)

  • Egg white and grass-fed gelatin

You may also eat the following on occasion:

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, white and green cabbage, turnips, and Brussels sprouts

  • Root vegetables such as spring onion, pumpkin, mushrooms, leek, onion, parsley root, and winter squash

  • Eggplant

  • Peppers and tomatoes

  • Sea vegetables such as kombu and nori

  • Beans such as wax beans and bean sprouts

  • Water chestnuts, artichokes, and snap peas

  • Berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cranberries

  • Olives and coconut

Grain-fed animals and full-fat dairy

  • Beef, poultry, and eggs

  • Dairy products such as cottage cheese, plain full-fat yogurt, cream, cheese, and cream cheese (make sure they not labeled “low-fat”; those varieties include starch and sugar)

  • Bacon (free of preservatives and starches)

Nuts and seeds

  • Macadamia nuts

  • Other nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans

  • Seeds such as flaxseed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds

Fermented soy products

  • Unprocessed black soybeans

  • Green soybeans

  • Gluten-free soy sauce, Natto, and Tempeh


  • Zero-carb sweeteners

  • Sugar-free tomato products such as ketchup and puree

  • Thickeners like arrowroot powder

  • Cocoa, extra dark chocolate, and cocoa powder

Limit the following vegetables or base the serving size on your daily carb limit because they contain carbohydrates.

  • Root vegetables such as carrots, celery root, and sweet potato

  • Watermelon and cantaloupe

  • Pistachio and chestnuts


  • Dry sparkling white wine, unsweetened spirits

As with any diet or food plan, there are also foods you should always avoid while on the ketogenic diet. These include:

  • Grains such as oats, corn, rice, wheat, and barley

  • White potatoes

  • Products made from grains or flour such as pasta, crackers, cookies, and bread

  • Sweets and sugar, artificial sweeteners

  • Factory-farmed pork and fish, because they contain high doses of omega 6 fatty acids that may cause inflammation

  • Processed foods

  • Refined oils such as canola and soybean oil

  • Trans fats like margarine

  • Milk (except full-fat milk)

  • Sweetened beverages

  • Fruits like banana, pineapple, mango, grapes

  • Alcoholic beverages like beer and sweet wine

Keep this list handy to ensure that you stay within your diet plan guidelines. Most of the foods you can eat are easy to find, and there are lots of varieties to choose from so you don’t have to feel deprived.

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