The immense buzz surrounding the efficacy of the ketogenic diet may have you curious, but the big question in your mind may be, "What do I eat?"
You may also think: don't all foods contain carbs and sugars? And how do I eat the right combination or set of foods to achieve metabolic ketosis to release excess body fat, among other benefits?
Well, there are loads of no-carb and low-carb foods to enjoy on a low-carb, high-fat diet, and we're going to share our favorites with you.
Plus, accessing helpful tools like a customized keto meal plan is a fantastic way to start and execute a keto diet with an approach that's most effective for you.
No worries, a personalized meal plan is one of the most effective ways to find an approach to a ketogenic diet that suits your tastes and lifestyle, and you can access a premium plan without breaking the bank.
We've created a brief quiz to provide you with an ideal program, based on your input, and you can access the plan immediately after completing our 30-second questionnaire.
Click here to take the quiz and snag your keto meal plan.
How to Calculate Carbs in Keto Foods
There are two ways to look at carbs when on a ketogenic diet. You have a total carb count, which represents the entire amount of carbs in a food, and then there are net carbs, which is total carbs less the fiber and sugar alcohols in a food.
Some people find it best to count total carbs to achieve weight loss on a ketogenic diet and keep total carbs around 50 grams or less.
In contrast, others can experience consistent weight loss while counting net carbs, and curbing the target at 20 grams or less a day.
Limiting carbohydrates on a ketogenic diet is essential to enter and maintain metabolic ketosis, and this practice is the cornerstone of the keto diet.
Even more than eating healthy fat, which is critical on a keto diet, reducing carbs is the most vital step to take when eating a low-carb, high-fat diet.
No Carb Keto Foods
We have access to an abundance of no-carb keto foods that are excellent options when eating a keto diet.
And eating no-carb foods is a fantastic choice to feel full while keeping carbs extremely low to maintain metabolic ketosis and keep your body deeply in fat-burning mode.
Some carbs work well on keto, those that fall along the lower end of the glycemic scale, but it's crucial to avoid high-glycemic options.
Here are optimal no-carb foods to enjoy on keto:
- Meat and low-carb animal products: lamb, chicken, venison, beef, turkey, bison, butter, pork, eggs, cheese, lard
- Seafood: lobster, salmon, tilapia, sardines, cod, shrimp, herring, crab
- Seasonings: herbs and spices
- Zero-calorie beverages: water, plain tea, and black coffee
- Nuts and seeds (those low in net carbs): almonds, pumpkin seeds walnuts, sunflower seeds
- Non-starchy vegetables (those low in net carbs): cucumber, broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, cauliflower, leafy greens, rutabaga, turnips, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, mushrooms
- High-fat fruits: avocado, coconut
No-Carb Fats and Oils
Adding fats and healthy oils to your keto meal plan is an incredible way to hit your fat macros while staying fuller for longer. However, there are some oils to avoid, mainly those with trans or hydrogenated fats.
Fortunately, there are some excellent healthy oils to enjoy on keto like those shared below:
- Butter and ghee (clarified butter)
- Double cream, whipping cream and coconut cream
- Coconut oil
- MCT oil
- Lard and tallow
- Avocado oil
- Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies)
- Grass-fed animals
- Dairy from grass-fed animals
- Eggs from pastured chickens
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Grapeseed oil
No-carb fats and oils are so easy to incorporate into your keto meal plan. Whether you enjoy a few cubes of cheese with some turkey pepperoni or you choose to make some overnight chia pudding using full-fat coconut milk, there are limitless ways to add healthy fats to your diet.
Most meats are no-carb, and for that reason, there are many choices to eat on a ketogenic diet. From grass-fed and finished beef to dark meat chicken thighs, no-carb meats add a hearty, tasty, and fatty element to any meal.
Plus, it's easy to prep no-carb meats ahead of time, so you're ready whenever it's time to eat—a fantastic way to prevent reaching for non-keto fare and losing focus of your weight-loss goals.
Here are some of our favorite no-carb meats that work well on a ketogenic diet:
- Bacon (pork)
- Chicken (breasts or dark meat)
- Grass-fed beef
From roasting a rotisserie chicken over the weekend and picking at it all week to prepping trays of beef or bison meatballs filled with zero-carb seasonings, no-carb meats are a definite centerpiece of the keto diet.
Here are some delicious meat-based meals we love and hope you'll enjoy, too:
- Keto Corned Beef and Cabbage
- Keto Beef Tenderloin with Peppercorn Sauce
- Impossible Keto Barbeque Chicken
- Carne Asada and Keto Chimichurri Sauce
- Grilled Ribeye Steak with Gorgonzola Butter
- Finger Lickin' Crispy Keto Chicken Tenders
- Quick N' Easy Breakfast Sausage Keto Quiche
- Ham and Gruyere Keto Casserole
Thoughts of an overflowing keto seafood boil with endless amounts of lobster tails, king crab legs, grass-fed butter, and cucumbers for dipping in some flavorful sauce are enough to make any keto cutie drool.
Also, kingfish is a meaty and satisfying fish choice, often eaten in the Caribbean but available in the US, and an option that we suggest on keto because it has zero carbs!
Here are some more excellent zero-carb seafood options to consume on a low-carb, high-fat diet:
Also, here are some of our favorite keto-friendly seafood meals:
- Water with lemon or lime
- Tea (sweetened with a keto-friendly sweetener like stevia)
- Coffee (black)
- Diet soft drink (stick to Zevia or other options without artificial sweeteners)
- Low-Carb BBQ Sauce (Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free)
- Low-Carb Keto Alfredo Sauce
- Béarnaise sauce
- Sriracha sauce
- Hot sauce
- Ketchup (sugar-free options like Heinz have zero carbs)
- Dill relish (sugar-free, or sweetened with stevia or monk fruit)
- Keto tartar sauce (sugar-free)
Whether it's condiments, meats, seafood, or dairy, knowing the best foods to eat is ideal. Specifically, using a customized keto meal plan will help you achieve the best results possible.
We realize that starting a new diet can feel a bit daunting and may cause you to procrastinate beginning a unique eating style. However, we have created a quick quiz to formulate a personalized keto meal plan just for you!
There's no need to fret over transitioning to a low-carb, high-fat lifestyle, we've removed all the guesswork for you. Click here to take our brief quiz and gain access to your roadmap to success on the ketogenic diet.
Low Carb Vs. No Carb Foods
Some foods like grass-fed beef have zero carbs, while others like blueberries are low-carb. The great news is there's room for both on a keto diet.
We've shared many zero-carb foods. Here are some of our favorite low-carb fare that adds variety to any keto meal—delicious.
Vegetables deliver an abundance of essential vitamins and provide added texture and flavor to any dish.
Plus, dark leafy greens are an excellent staple on keto. But there are many other low-carb veggies to incorporate into your ketogenic meal plan.
Here are some excellent low-carb veggie options to eat on keto:
- Broccoli or Broccoli Raab
- Cabbage or Sauerkraut
- Green beans
- Bell peppers
- Summer or spaghetti squash
- Bok choy
- White mushrooms
- Brussels sprouts
- Mustard greens
- Bean sprouts
Enjoy the many veggie options available to you on a ketogenic diet and add them to bulk meals or add dimension to hearty dishes, stews, and soups.
There's no wrong way to enjoy your veggies; keep them low carb and prepare them in high-quality fat, and you're golden.
Low-Carb Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a component in most keto meal plans, and we are fortunate because there are several keto-friendly options to enjoy on a low-carb, high-fat diet.
Whether it's a packet of almonds to snack on while running errands or some sunflower seeds to enjoy while catching up on your favorite online content, nuts and seeds are a perfect element to include in your regimen.
- Macadamia Nuts
- Brazil Nuts
- Pine Nuts
- Sunflower Seeds
- Hemp Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Coconut (dried and unsweetened)
- Sacha Inchi Seeds (Inca peanut)
Here are some fantastic recipes containing nuts and seeds to try on keto:
- No-Bake Chocolate "Oat" Bars
- Amazingly Keto Açai Bowls
- Keto Almond Cake (Fat-bomb)
- Konscious Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Keto Shake
- Keto Pumpkin Walnut Bread
- Crunchtastic Keto Granola
Cheese, who doesn't love cheese? Luckily a variety of cheese and many other varieties of dairy are perfect for anyone on a keto diet.
Aside from the creaminess produced when cooking with dairy or how satisfying it is atop a keto pizza, dairy also provides protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins A, D, and B12, riboflavin, and niacin, which is excellent for building and maintaining healthy bones.
Plus, dairy provides an abundance of healthy fats, which can help you hit your macronutrient targets each day.
Also, the multitude of keto-friendly cheeses available to us on a low-carb, high-fat diet is perfect for making ooey-gooey mac & cheese, using low-carb noodles, of course, ziti, fettuccine alfredo, and so much more.
Plus, besides heavy cream taking any sauce to the next level, cubes of hard cheese are useful to pair with cucumbers and mayo or pepperoni as a delicious and super-quick snack to keep you on track throughout the week.
Here are some delicious dairy options to incorporate into your keto meal plan:
- Brie Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Cheddar Cheese
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Double Cream
- Half and Half
- Full-fat Yogurt (sugar-free)
- Whole Milk
- Swiss Cheese
- Provolone Cheese
- Halloumi Cheese (frying cheese)
- Cream Cheese
- English Clotted Cream
- Crème Fraîche
- Keto-friendly Ice Cream (e.g., Halo Top)
- Paneer (Indian-style cheese)
- Sour Cream
- Whey Protein Powder
Cheese is a favorite for many, and we are no exception. Whether a sharp cheddar or a creamy triple-cream brie, it's simply irresistible.
Adding cheese to a dish elevates it to another level: there's no mac & cheese or lasagna without this beloved ingredient.
Here are some of our go-to cheesy keto recipes you may want to try:
- Zoodle Keto Alfredo with Bacon
- King Keto Taco Casserole
- Ultimate Strawberry Cheesecake Keto Shake
- Cheesy Spinach Keto Puffs
- Strawberry Ricotta Pancakes
- Mini Keto Velvet Cheesecake
- Creamy and Keto Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Golden Keto Cauliflower Bake
Fruit may be the last thing you think of when you ponder the tenets of the ketogenic diet, but specific options work well and help keep carbs low, as well.
While fruits provide vitamins and antioxidants, it is essential to choose wisely to ensure that you maintain nutritional ketosis and keep your body in fat-burning mode.
Here are some ideal low-glycemic fruit options to enjoy on a ketogenic diet:
- Coconut Meat
Puréed coconut meat and chia seeds with stevia make for a delicious dessert or snack. Also, Homemade whipped cream topped with any low-glycemic berries is a fantastic way to incorporate nutritious foods into your meal plan.
Plus, adding blueberries and cucumber, along with monk fruit, to some spring water and letting it marinate creates a perfect Agua Fresca to help you stay hydrated during the week with a twist.
Also, combining spinach, coconut milk, or a milk of your choice and berries to a blender create a tasty smoothie that you can enjoy in less than a minute.
Here are a few fruit-based keto recipes we think you'll love:
Eat a Range of Low-Carb, Whole Foods
Above all, the most important thing when eating a ketogenic diet is to compose a well-rounded meal plan full of premium vitamins, minerals, fat, and protein.
While restricting carbs is needed on keto, it's still vital to concentrate on eating dense nutrients and making sure you consume an adequate amount of micronutrients.
Aside from eliminating carbs, eating vitamins like A, C, and K, along with the spectrum of B vitamins, is crucial.
Fortunately, dark leafy greens, broccoli, watercress, arugula, grass-fed beef, fatty fish, and berries will help keep your diet balanced.
Also, we share many balanced, full-fat, recipes to enjoy on keto on our site, and the following are some of our favorites:
- Keto Reuben Chaffle (Low-Carb Reuben Sandwich)
- Keto Corned Beef and Cabbage
- Zoodle Keto Alfredo with Bacon
- Keto Cajun Parmesan Salmon
- King Keto Taco Casserole
- Kickin' Keto Chicken Salad
- Creamy Keto Pumpkin Soup
- Warm Me Up Slow Cooker Keto Chili
It's time to indulge in high-quality grass-fed meats, artisanal cheeses, and yummy veggies and fruits. Stock up on premium oils and enjoy cooking or making sauces and marinades to spice up your meals—the options are virtually limitless.
Plus, add a personalized keto meal plan to your regimen, and you're on your way to fast-tracked weight-loss results on keto. A plan is the key to success in all we do, and it's no different when making a dietary change.
Take a moment to answer the questions in our brief meal plan questionnaire, and you'll gain instant access to your very own customized keto meal plan. Once you see the rapid results you desired on keto, you'll be so glad you did.
- Low-Carb Diet Beats Low-Fat for HDL-Cholesterol Levels. (2010). SciVee. doi: 10.4016/20185.01
- Best. (2007). Preparing for a Low-Carb Future. Cereal Foods World. doi: 10.1094/cfw-52-1-0004
- Brown-Borg, H. M. (2017). Disentangling High Fat, Low Carb, and Healthy Aging. Cell Metabolism, 26(3), 458–459. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2017.08.020
- Dupuis, N., & Auvin, S. (2016). Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Ketogenic Diet. Oxford Medicine Online. doi: 10.1093/med/9780190497996.003.0017
- Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy. (n.d.). doi: 10.4172/2165-7904
- Vinci, D. M. (2005). Navigating the Low-Carb Craze. Athletic Therapy Today, 10(1), 20–22. doi: 10.1123/att.10.1.20
- Rubenstein, J. E., & Vining, E. P. G. (2004). Efficacy of the Ketogenic Diet. Epilepsy and the Ketogenic Diet, 95–102. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59259-808-3_6
- Wise, J. (2000). Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables. Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs in Health Promotion Modern Nutrition. doi: 10.1201/9781420042542.ch11
- Volek, J. S. (2012). Carbohydrate restriction uniquely benefits metabolic syndrome and saturated fat metabolism. BMC Proceedings, 6(S3). doi: 10.1186/1753-6561-6-s3-o27
- Carlson, B. A. (n.d.). Grass-Fed Beef. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Food Issues. doi: 10.4135/9781483346304.n220
- Alothman, M., Hogan, S. A., Hennessy, D., Dillon, P., Kilcawley, K. N., O’Donovan, M., … O’Callaghan, T. F. (2019). The “Grass-Fed” Milk Story: Understanding the Impact of Pasture Feeding on the Composition and Quality of Bovine Milk. Foods, 8(8), 350. doi: 10.3390/foods8080350
- Slomski, A. (2019). Low-Carb Diets Help Maintain Weight Loss. Jama, 321(4), 335. doi: 10.1001/jama.2018.22031