Remaining faithful on the Keto diet can be challenging if you are not sure what foods you can have to stay within your limits. It is more than just avoiding carbs; you have to stay within range of proteins and fats as well. To do this, you need to understand what Keto diet foods you can have and which to stay far away from to succeed.
If you are starting the Keto Diet for beginners, do you have a thorough understanding of what foods you need to buy to have on hand? That is a very vital step with staying on this diet without cheating.
- The Keto Diet: What it all means? – Part 1
- The State of Ketosis and The Keto Flu – Part 3
- How to Know You Are in Ketosis and What You May Been Doing Wrong – Part 4
This week is my second week of really sticking to my daily limits of the foods I can and cannot have. I have not weighed because I am going to do that monthly so that I do not find the results discouraging if nothing changed. However, I can tell I have lost weight, and I feel super.
I have much more energy than I did before introducing the keto diet regimen to my life and I am thinking much clearer than before. My struggles are meeting my macros each day. That is the number of Carbs, Protein, Fat, and Calories we eat each day. I may hit one or two, but be way off on the others. I need to figure this out.
I never dreamed there would be a day I did not get enough fats! However, this is my struggling area. Yesterday, I wanted to add some nuts to my snack and my numbers. I chose cashews without looking at the nutrient section to check for the carbs. That would have been a big mistake.
While entering my numbers, those few cashews (9 to a serving), put my carbs to the exact amount I am allowed daily. Messed my entire day up on what to eat. Almonds and pecans are the better choices when we want to add some healthy nuts to our diet.
Let’s take a look at the ketogenic diet and the foods that we need to eat to be successful.
Everything You Should Know about the Keto Food List
Are you like me and unsure of what you can and cannot eat while on the keto diet? Being on any diet is not the simplest thing to accomplish, especially if you are lost or confused on what to eat. Below is a food list of the items you can have while on the keto diet. 
This blog will help you make simple decisions on what to eat and what to buy to keep on hand.
All these foods stick to the 5 percent strict carbohydrate allowance that those of us on keto eat. In general, you can choose foods from these following groups:
- Protein: If at all possible, stick with pasture-raised organic and grass-fed meat. Most meats do not have added sugar so you can eat these in moderate quantity. Remember, too much protein is not a good idea when you are on the keto diet.
- Fats and Oils: Try your best to get your fats in from natural sources such as nuts and meat. You can supplement monosaturated and saturated fats such as olive oil, butter, and coconut oil.
- Dairy: Most dairy you are good to go. However be sure you buy full-fat dairy products. Harder cheeses generally have fewer.
- Vegetables: Frozen or fresh does not matter. Stick with vegetables that grow above ground and lean towards green/leafy items.
- Seeds and Nuts: Seeds and nuts in moderation, can create excellent textures. Try to eat those that are fattier nuts such as almonds and macadamias.
- Beverages: Keep it simple and stick to mostly water. However, if you want to add flavor, add lime/lemon juice or use stevia-based products.
An In-Depth Look at Proteins
If you notice with any visual list for the keto diet, the higher the amount of protein the foods have, the less of it you want to consume. The best option is when possible to choose grass-fed and pasture raised. That will minimize your steroid hormone intake and bacteria.
With poultry, when at all possible eat the dark meat because is the more fattier between it and white meat. I did not know this part to be honest. An excellent way to get all the omega 3’s in is by eating fatty fish as well.
There is really not much to avoid when it comes to red meat. Sausage and cured meats can often have added processed ingredients and added sugars. If you are a hamburger (ground beef) fan, buy the fattier options like 85/15 or 80/20 if that is not an option.
The thing we have to watch for on this diet is our protein intake. Too much on a ketogenic diet can cause lower levels of increased glucose production and ketone production.
One thing you do need to be careful of when dealing with meat is your protein intake. Too much protein on a ketogenic diet can lead to lower levels of ketone production and increased production of glucose. You cannot over-consume protein if your aim is nutritional ketosis.
Try your best to balance out the protein of your meals with fattier sauces and side dishes. If you eat lean beef, you need to be highly cautious of your protein portioning. Beef snacks and jerky can add your protein levels up very quickly. Just be sure to pair it up with something fatty such as cheese.
Here are some examples of how you can get your protein while on a keto diet.
- Whole Eggs: I love eggs, period. So it makes me very happy to know that I can eat them anyway I wish. If you can find free-range eggs, these are the better choice. You can eat your eggs in a variety of ways, including scrambled, poached, boiled, deviled, and fried.
- Beef: Stew meat, roasts, steak, and ground beef. Choose meats that are fattier when possible.
- Shellfish: Squid, mussels, scallops, crab, lobster, oysters, and clams.
- Poultry: Duck, Quail, Pheasant, Chicken, and other wild game
- Pork: Ham, tenderloin, pork chops, pork loin, and ground pork. You have to be careful of these due to added sugars. Try your best to choose fattier cuts.
- Fish: Anything caught in the wild is the preferred fish such as tuna, trout, snapper, salmon, mahi-mahi, mackerel, halibut, flounder, cod, and catfish. The fattier the fish, the better.
- Organ/Offal: Tongue, kidney, liver, and hearts. Offal is one of the leaders for the best source of nutrients/vitamins. (That may be true, but, I’ll pass)
- Sausage and Bacon: Be sure to check the labels for item cured in sugar or if it contains extra fillers. Nitrates are really nothing to worry about with eiter. I did not think about that. I eat bacon as my go-to snack. Eeks.
- Other Meats: Turkey, Lamb, Goat, Veal, and other wild game. Be sure to eat the fattier cuts when possible.
- Nut Butter: If you can find Macadamia Nut or Almond Butter, that is better. These are fattier. However, Peanuts are high in Omega’6’s. Therefore, you have to be cautious and not over-consume.
Go for natural, unsweetened nuts and try to stick with fattier versions like almond butter and macadamia nut butter. Legumes (peanuts) are high in omega 6’s so be careful about over-consumption.
Fats and Oils and How to Not OverEat
Fats are going to be your central daily calorie intake when you are on a keto diet. Therefore, your food choices should be with your likes and dislike in mind. They can be a combination of many different strategies added to your meals, such as dressings, sauces, or just some meat with real butter.
Believe it or not, this is the section I struggle meeting each day. I cannot seem to eat the right amount of fats yet keep my other stats in check. Fat is necessary for our body. However, they can also be dangerous if you consume too much of the wrong fats. 
There are a few varying types of fat part of the keto diet. Different foods generally have various combinations of fats.
However, the fats that are bad for us are easy to avoid. Here is an overview:
- Trans Fats: Avoid these at all cost. Fats such as these contain chemicals to improve shelf life (hydrogenated). Products such as hydrogenated fats (margarine) associate with heart disease, therefore stay far away from these type products.
- Polyunsaturated Fats: Be sure you learn the difference. You should eat the polyunsaturated fats such as those in fatty fish, and animal protein is excellent sources. However, processed polyunsaturated fats that you see if those “heart healthy” margarine spreads stay far away from these.
- Monosaturated Fats: Eat these! Examples of these type of fats are avocado, olives, and macadamia nut oils.
- Saturated Fats: You can have these. Samples of saturated fats are lard, coconut oil, ghee, and butter.
Monounsaturated and Saturated fats such as coconut oil, egg yolks, avocado, macadamia nuts, and butter are less inflammatory and more chemically stable to most individuals.
You need to have your balance between your omega 3’s and 6’s. Therefore, you should eat shellfish, trout, tuna, or salmon. However, if you do not like fish, or you would rather not have it, be sure to take a fish oil supplement. You can take krill oil such as this, if you are allergic to fish oil.
Keep your eye on your intake of seed based foods and nuts due to them causing inflammatory omega 6’s. These foods consist of corn oil, sunflower oil, pine nuts, walnuts, and almonds. Eating animal meat and fatty fish, limiting our snacking and going easy on the dessert foods that are thick with almond flour is generally plenty to keep your omega’s intact.
The Omega’s (essential fatty acids) provide our human body with core functions. However, there are times when these are out of balance when on a standard diet. Yet, with a bit of prep work, your omega fatty acids can be easily managed.
Some keto diet foods that are perfect for oils and fats are the following: (Eat grass-fed and organic when possible)
- Fatty Fish
- Animal Fat (non-hydrogenated)
- Egg Yolks
- Macadamia/Brazil Nuts
- Cocoa Butter
- Macadamia Oil
- Coconut Butter
- Olive Oil
- Avocado Oil
I have to admit, I have never heard of some of these and will need to hit my friend, Google, up for some info. If you use vegetable oils such as safflower, flax, soybean, and olive, choose “cold pressed” options when possible.
If you fry your foods, use non-hydrogenated lards, ghee, beef tallow, or coconut oil beings they have a higher smoke point than the other oils. That permits less oxidation of the oil, which mean you are reaping the benefits of the essential fatty acid.
Fruits and Vegetables While on Keto
Vegetables are a principal part of a healthy keto diet. However, there are times when we are stuck on decisions that we may later regret. Some are high in sugar and do not make the cut nutritionally. So, we have to weed those out of the plan.
The best vegetable for a keto diet is those that are low in carbs and high in nutrients. These are mainly leafy and dark. That covers anything that resembles kale or spinach, and it will be the best to add to your meals.
Do your best to choose cruciferous veggies that grow above ground and are green and leafy. If possible, buy organic where fewer pesticides are involved. If this is not possible, do not fret they both have the same nutritional value. You can also choose both fresh and frozen veggies to eat. 
No definite rule is going to work perfectly. Choose your veggies with carbs in mind but just portion them accordingly to the carb counts.
Be cautious and monitor the veggies (and their carb count) you add to your meals. Especially do your best to limit your adding the following to your meals:
- Nightshades: Pepper, eggplant, and tomatoes
- Berries: Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries
- Higher Carb Veggies: Squash, mushrooms, garlic, parsnip, and onions
- Avoid altogether: large fruits such as banana’s and starchy veggies
Dairy Products and Keto
Dairy is usually eaten sparingly with a meal on this diet plan. Do your best to keep dairy to a moderate level. Most of your nutrients and meals should be from vegetables, protein, and added fats. If possible with dairy, buy raw and organic.
Highly processed dairy typically has two to five times the amount of carbs as raw/organic. Therefore it does add up in the long run. Moreover, you should buy full-fat products and not low-fat or fat-free, and those have many more carbs and offer the “less filling effect.”
If you have lactose issues, stay with long-aged, very hard dairy products because they have much less lactose. The following are examples of the dairy foods you can have on the ketogenic diet.
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Greek yogurt
- Spreadable’s such as Crème Fraiche, mascarpone, sour cream, cream cheese, and cottage cheese
- Hard Cheese such as Swiss, feta, parmesan, and aged cheddar
- Soft Cheese such as Colby, Blue, Monterey Jack, Brie and Mozzarella
- Mayonnaise and mayo alternatives that include dairy
I found out that dairy is an excellent avenue to add extra fats to my meals by making fatty side dishes and sauces such as creamed spinach. However, keep in mind that it has protein in it as well. Be sure to remember this when pairing up dairy and protein heavy food.
The most common dairy items by far are heavy cream for tea and coffee and cheese for me. If you notice slower weight loss and you are eating a good bit of cheese, cut back.
Nuts and Seeds and Keto
Roasted nuts and seeds are best to eat due to it removing any anti-nutrients. If possible, avoid peanuts as they are legumes which are a no-no in keto diet food list. I did not know that until now. Generally, you can add raw nuts to add textures or flavorings to meals.
Some people eat them for snacks which may taste good but work against your weight loss goals. Actually, snacking altogether will increase insulin levels and can slow weight loss down long-term. Nuts are an excellent source of fats. However, you have to remember that they also have carbs that add up quick.
I sure found this out with those cashews I bought. I love nuts and could snack on them all during the day. However, if I did that, I would ruin my weight loss battle. Nuts also have protein as well. Be real cautious of nut flowers as they calculate protein really fast.
If you are going to eat nuts, make sure it’s the one the fattier ones with low carbs.
- Higher Carb Nuts: Cashews and Pistachios should rarely if ever be part of your keto diet. The reason is that they are high in carbs. A mere two handfuls of cashews rakes up nearly a full day carb allowance.
- Fatty, Moderate Carbohydrate Nuts: Peanuts, Pine nuts, Hazelnuts, Almonds, and Walnuts you can eat in moderations as a supplement for flavor and texture.
- Fatty, Low Carbohydrate Nuts: Pecans, Brazil Nuts, and Macadamia nuts you can eat with meals to supplement fat. Yummy! I love pecans.
Boy is that tricky at times? All these names and numbers really scared me at first because it is tough to balance each division. I am getting better are keeping up with my numbers, and I can tell that I have lost weight.
I use a couple of apps to keep me on track. These are The Atkins Website and The Keto Counter. I have these on my phone as well for when I am out and eat in a restaurant. It keeps me grounded and assured of what I am ordering and what I may skip.
Also, I drink Atkins shakes like these often for breakfast because that is my least favorite meal. There are numerous other Atkins products that I love to keep on hand such as these snack bars. Amazon has these for lower prices that ship right to your door.
Be sure to add your carbs, fat, and proteins to make the most of the Ketogenic Diet. I have to save I rarely am hungry in between meals. I know the best is yet to come as long as I stick to my goal. My hardest part is at night when I read. Good luck and please contact me if I can help you.
Look for more articles like this to come on this diet and others to compare apples-to-apples. Please share this article and our others on your social media if you do not mind. We put much time and attention into each one and do our best to bring you educational pieces that you will enjoy reading.
Thanks again, Malissa~