Eating keto foods can promote weight loss, improve your health, and make you feel better without the stress of counting your calorie intake. In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about the foods you can eat, as well as the ones you should avoid, when on a keto diet.
The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that advocates the consumption of whole, nutrient-dense foods while discouraging eating processed foods. Below is a list of the foods that can keep your carbohydrate consumption at less than 20 grams per day, including some that you should drastically limit eating.
Meat and poultry
Meats and poultry are perfect for keto, so they are considered the staple food in the keto diet. You can eat all kinds of poultry, as well as beef, pork, lamb, and wild game. However, we recommend choosing grass-fed meat over grain-fed meat if possible. You can also have deli meats like cold cuts and sausages, as well as soy products like tofu and tempeh.
Fish and seafood
Most fish and shellfish are allowed in the keto diet. Salmon, sardines, mackerel, and other fatty fish are mostly carb-free, but the amount of carbs in shellfish varies per type. Oysters and octopus contain carbs, while shrimp and carbs do not. Other keto-friendly seafood includes anchovies, tuna, lobster, and squid. Consume your fish and seafood without breading or added sugars to keep them keto-friendly.
Eggs are another staple food in the keto diet. Not only are they delicious, nutritious, and healthy, but there are also several ways to cook them. Eggs can be boiled, poached, scrambled, or fried in butter. Although egg yolks are high in cholesterol, limiting your carb intake can drastically lower your cholesterol levels.
Green, leafy vegetables
Green leafy veggies are excellent for keto because they are extremely low in carbs but loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collard greens are particularly rich in vitamin K and iron.
Leafy green vegetables can make you feel full without drastically adding to your carb consumption. Herbs can also add flavor to your meals with a minimal-carb count. Greens you can enjoy on a keto diet include lettuce, baby spinach, arugula, kale, spinach, cabbage, basil, sage, thyme, parsley, mint, and other herbs.
Other non-starchy vegetables
Besides leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables are also keto-friendly. They are low in carbs but are rich in nutrients and antioxidants. You can even substitute high-carb foods with these non-starchy vegetables in your diet. For example, you can make rice with cauliflower, and have roasted jicama and turnips instead of French fries. Other vegetables you can eat on a keto diet include asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, cucumber, green beans, eggplant, and tomatoes.
However, keep in mind that not all vegetables are keto-friendly. Avoid eating potatoes and sweet potatoes, onions, certain types of squash, corn, and beets when you are keeping your carb intake low.
Most fruits are loaded with carbs and sugar, but berries are an exception. A small scoop of fresh berries, raspberries, and strawberries, in particular, can provide you with high amounts of fiber and minimal carbs. You can add real whipped cream and shaved dark chocolate to your berries to make a delicious, keto-friendly dessert. Avocado, coconut, lemons, and limes are also keto-friendly fruits.
Most nuts and seeds contain low amounts of carbs but are high in fiber, which makes you feel full. However, be careful with the kind of nut you choose. Nuts that are best for keto are almonds, macadamia, pecan, walnuts, and Brazil nuts. Cashew nuts contain more carbs than other types of nuts, so it’s best to avoid them.
Most types of cheese don’t contain too many carbs, and they are also high in fat, making them perfect keto foods. An ounce of cheddar cheese contains1 a gram of carbs, and 6 grams of protein. However, snacking on cheese when you’re not hungry can slow down your weight loss, so watch your cheese intake. Cheeses that are good for the keto diet include cheddar, cottage cheese, cream cheese, and mozzarella cheese.
Butter and ghee
Another good source of fats is butter and ghee, a form of clarified butter made by skimming the solid milk that arises from heated butter. Butter is low on carbs, and ghee contains zero carbs. Ghee is commonly used in Indian cuisines.
Unsweetened plant-based milk
Many plant-based milk varieties, including almond milk, soy milk, and coconut milk, are keto-friendly. Choose unsweetened versions to ensure that your sugar intake is appropriate for your keto diet. You should also avoid oat milk, even unsweetened versions because it has too much carbs content.
Olive oil is an excellent source of fat. It contains zero carbs. You can use it as a base for your salad dressings, as topping to cooked dishes, or for low-heat cooking. Other plant-based oils like coconut oil and avocado oil are also keto-friendly options.
Unsweetened coffee and tea
The best beverages you can drink on a keto diet are unsweetened coffee and tea. These drinks are carb-free. If you want them sweetened, opt for zero-calorie sweeteners, or add a small amount of milk or cream. The caffeine in coffee and tea can boost your metabolism and mood. It can also lower your risk of diabetes.
Unsweetened sparkling water
Of course, water is still the best drink whether or not you’re on a keto diet. But if you’re looking for a keto-friendly soda substitute, a great option would be unsweetened sparkling water. These flavored and refreshing beverages often do not contain sugar or artificial sweeteners, so they are considered carb-free and zero-calorie. However, some varieties may have a small amount of carb-containing juice that gives the drink its flavor. Always check food labels to ensure that you are not consuming more than the number of carbs that are allowed in the keto diet.
Some types of wines are keto-friendly when consumed in limited amounts. Keto-friendly wines include dry wone, champagne, merlot, pinot noir, cabernet, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, and chardonnay. Avoid sweet wines or dessert wines like Moscato, port, and ice wine as they are not considered keto-friendly. Whisky, tequila, brandy, and vodka are also considered keto-friendly drinks if not mixed with sweet sodas or juices.
Beer contains too many carbs and is not considered keto-friendly, but low-carb beer options do exist. Still, limit your consumption of alcoholic drinks of any kind because it will slow down your weight loss.
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
Surprisingly, you can satisfy your chocolate cravings even when you’re on a keto diet. Dark chocolate and cocoa are rich in beneficial antioxidants, and dark chocolate also contains flavanols that help reduce your risk of heart disease. However, make sure that your choice of dark chocolate contains at least 70% cocoa solids, and as with any other food, consumer it in moderation.
Keto-friendly bakery in the Denver Metro area
At Wave the Grain, we make sure to offer delicious keto desserts for the Denver-metro community. Our cakes, cupcakes, and other goodies can be customized to make them strictly keto, yet still nutritious and delicious. If you’re looking for the best keto-friendly food in the Denver metro area, visit Wave the Grain today! We are conveniently located at 8172 South Holly Street Centennial, CO 80122. For special orders like keto-friendly custom cakes and birthday cakes, or gluten-free pastries, you may contact us through our website, or give us a call at (303) 721-7547.