Keto Shopping List (With the Carb Count For Every Food)

Picture of a lady shopping - keto shopping listIf you plan to start a ketogenic diet, then you might be feeling some confusion over which foods to eat.

With this in mind, this article provides a keto shopping list featuring the best foods.

You can see the carbohydrate content and net carbs clearly listed for each food. This knowledge will allow you to plan for precisely how many carbs you consume.

As a general guide, the upper limit to stay in ketosis is approximately 50g carbohydrate per day (1).

Keto Shopping List

Below you will find some tables showing the best ketogenic foods along with the number of carbs they contain.

These tables spread over ten different categories, which include:

  • Dairy
  • Fruit
  • Meat
  • Nuts
  • Oils and Fats
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Seeds
  • Vegetables
  • Everything else (such as sauces, snacks, and condiments)

About the Carb Count

For all keto foods, the carb count is per 100g.

‘Total carbs’ refers to the overall amount of carbohydrate in the food.

In contrast, ‘net carbs’ means the amount of non-fiber carbohydrate in the food—the carbs that are digestible.

Some foods can be high in carbohydrate but very low in net carbs (such as cacao), while others can be the opposite.

Sources

Nutrition data and the USDA Food Database are the sources for all nutrition values.

Dairy Keto Foods

Picture of keto dairy foods

Almost every dairy food is an excellent choice for a keto diet, but be careful to buy real dairy.

By this, I mean that a yogurt full of added sugar and chocolate rings is not going to be beneficial for health.

Also, while full-fat milk is a perfectly healthy food, there is approximately 5g lactose (milk sugars) per 100ml.

With this in mind, don’t go overboard with drinking milk if you are trying to do a ketogenic diet.

For instance, a big glass of milk would be almost half of your daily carb limit.

Food Total Carbs Net Carbs
Butter 0.1 0.1
Cheese (hard – parmesan) 3.2 3.2
Cheese (medium hard – cheddar) 1.3 1.3
Cheese (soft – brie) 0.5 0.5
Clotted Cream 2 2
Cottage Cheese 3.4 3.4
Cream Cheese 4 4
Ghee 0.4 0.4
Greek Yogurt 4 4
Heavy Cream 2.8 2.8
Kefir 6 6
Milk (whole) 5 5
Sour Cream 4 4
Quark 4 4

Full-fat dairy foods are one of the best things you can eat on keto.

Not only are they low in carbohydrate, but they’re also very nutrient-dense and full of beneficial fat-soluble vitamins (2, 3).

Key Point: As dairy foods are non-fibrous, the total and net carbs are the same. The best keto dairy foods are butter, cheese, ghee, and heavy cream.

Keto Fruits List

Picture of fruits suitable for a keto shopping list

Technically, you can eat any fruit you want on a ketogenic diet if you’re watching your overall carb intake.

However, it’s better to focus on nutrient-dense, lower sugar fruits which have the least carbohydrate content.

Some good examples are below.

Food Total Carbs Net Carbs
Avocado 9 2
Blackberries 10 5
Blueberries 14.5 12.4
Boysenberries 12.2 6.9
Cloud Berries 8.6 8.6
Cranberries 12.2 7.6
Elderberries 18.4 11.4
Gooseberries 10.2 5.9
Huckleberries 8.7 8.7
Lemon 9.3 6.5
Lime 11 8
Olives (black) 6.3 3.1
Olives (green) 4 1
Raspberries 11.9 5.4
Rhubarb 4.5 2.7
Salmonberries 10.1 8.2
Strawberries 7.7 5.7
Tomatoes 3.9 2.7

As you can see, berries and fatty fruits dominate the table.

One of the main things to consider when putting your keto shopping list together is that not all carbs are bad.

A far more beneficial way of thinking is to examine carb quality. For instance, brown rice has approximately 73g net carbohydrate, and it is relatively low in nutrients (4).

On the other hand, avocado, olives, and berries all contain a few carbs, but also a wide range of nutrients.

If you want to know more about the best types of berries, then here are the nutrition details for twenty of them.

Key Point: While all fruit is possible if you carefully monitor carbs, the most keto friendly fruits are avocado, olives, tomatoes, rhubarb, and blackberries.

Keto Meats

Picture of steak - ketogenic diet meats

There are no real restrictions on the type of meat on a ketogenic diet, so you can add anything you want to your keto shopping list.

The only exception here would be for processed meats which contain sugars or a marinade.

Red meat is the king when it comes to nutrients, and organic grass-fed meat is great if you can source it.

The reason for this is that it has a slightly more beneficial nutrient profile and higher amounts of omega-3 and conjugated linoleic acid.

Several studies show that both of these nutrients offer benefits for cardiovascular health (5, 6).

However, if you’re on a tight budget then don’t worry about the type of meat – any is better than none.

Food Total Carbs Net Carbs
Bacon 1.5* 1.5*
Beef – all cuts 0 0
Buffalo 0 0
Ham 0 0
Lamb 0 0
Mutton 0 0
Organ Meats – liver 3.8 3.8
Pork 0 0
Prosciutto 0.3* 0.3*
Salami 3.8* 3.8*
Sausages 0** 0**
Venison 0 0

* Cured meat products such as bacon and salami often contain tiny amounts of sugar.

** Based on 99% meat sausages; be careful as some brands of sausage use significant amounts of flour in their products.

Key Point: Meat generally has no carbs, so it belongs on your shopping list. All meats are perfect ketogenic diet foods.

Nuts For a Ketogenic Diet

Picture of nuts for a keto shopping list

There are many types of nuts to choose from, and not all of them are low in carbs.

In fact, some nuts—such as cashews—have quite a high carbohydrate load.

But all things considered, nuts are a healthy food that belong on your keto shopping list.

On the downside, they are very energy dense; 100g of nuts can come to around 700 calories.

With this in mind, don’t go crazy on snacking with nuts—a small handful is easily enough.

Food Total Carbs Net Carbs
Almonds 21.7 9.5
Brazil Nuts 12.3 4.8
Hazelnuts 16.7 7
Macadamia 14.2 5.6
Peanuts 16.1 7.6
Pecans 14 4.4
Pine Nuts 13.1 9.4
Walnuts 13.7 7

All of these nuts are full of important vitamins and minerals, and they taste great.

Key Point: No matter which nuts you buy, you will be gaining health benefits from eating them. However, the ‘most keto’ of these nuts are brazil nuts, pecans, and macadamia.

Keto Oils and Fats

Picture of fats and oils suitable for a keto diet

Regarding fats and oils, the first thing to remember is that just because a certain food is ketogenic doesn’t make it healthy.

Some of the unhealthiest foods on the planet are ‘keto’ by nature.

For instance, soybean oil and partially hydrogenated trans fats have links to cancer and cardiovascular heart disease (7, 8).

And yes, these foods are ‘ketogenic’ – no carbs in sight! So, again, it’s not just the amount of carbs that matter — it’s the food and nutrient quality.

Given this, here are some of the very best oils and fats that are both ketogenic and healthy.

Food Total Carbs Net Carbs
Avocado Oil 0 0
Butter 0.1 0.1
Coconut Oil 0 0
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 0 0
Ghee 0 0
Goose Fat 0 0
Lard 0 0
Macadamia Nut Oil 0 0
Red Palm Oil 0 0
Tallow 0 0

As shown above, there are no carbs to worry about with fats and oils.

For me, I think the best choices on here are extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, lard, and butter.

If you have money to burn, then ghee and avocado oil are also excellent but pricey options.

Lastly, margarine, trans fats, and industrial vegetable oils are some of the most important foods to avoid on a ketogenic diet.

Key Point: There are many great oils and fats that taste delicious and are also good for you. Butter, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil should be the first choices on your shopping list.

Poultry (and Eggs) for a Ketogenic Diet

Picture of a roast chicken with skin - a great keto food

While poultry is not quite as nutrient-dense as red meat, it does contain a range of beneficial nutrients, and it is zero carb (9, 10).

Of course, the exception is fried chicken, which is neither ketogenic nor good for health!

As for eggs, they are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.

Food Total Carbs Net Carbs
Chicken 0 0
Duck 0 0
Eggs 0.8 0.8
Goose 0 0
Turkey 0 0
Quail 0 0

Poultry should be another mainstay on your ketogenic diet shopping list, and I like to eat it once or twice per week.

Eggs have a large number of benefits and if you have any concerns over their cholesterol content, don’t worry.

Dietary cholesterol is very different to plasma cholesterol (the amount in our blood), and it is “no longer a nutrient of concern” (11, 12).

Key Point: Meat generally has no carbs, so any type is fine for your shopping list. All meats are perfect ketogenic diet foods.

Keto Seafood

Picture of wild Alaskan salmon - keto seaweed

There are all kinds of different fish and shellfish that are perfect ketogenic foods.

Fish

Here are some of the most common edible fish that you can buy.

Food Total Carbs Net Carbs
Anchovy* 0 0
Bream 0 0
Carp 0 0
Catfish 0 0
Cod 0 0
Flounder 0 0
Haddock 0 0
Halibut 0 0
Herring 0 0
Mackerel* 0 0
Sardines* 0 0
Salmon* 0 0
Swordfish 0 0
Tilapia 0 0
Trout* 0 0
Tuna 0 0

Just to point out the asterisk next to five of these fish — this is for the purpose of identifying the best choices.

All these fish are low in mercury and also contain decent amounts of omega-3 fatty acids (13, 14).

Shellfish and Other Seafood

Unlike fish, shellfish and other sea creatures do contain carbs—but only in minimal amounts.

Shellfish are also full of nutrients, and they are some of the healthiest foods you can eat.

Food Total Carbs Net Carbs
Abalone 6 6
Clams 2.6 2.6
Cockles 4.7 4.7
Crab 0 0
Eel 0 0
Lobster 0.5 0.5
Mussels 3.7 3.7
Octopus 2.2 2.2
Oysters 3.9 3.9
Scallops 0.8 0.8
Sea Squirt 2.2 2.2
Shrimp 0.9 0.9
Squid 3.1 3.1
Key Point: All seafood tends to be incredibly nutritious—try to include it on your keto grocery list.

Keto Seeds

Picture of edible seeds that are suitable for a keto shopping list

Seeds are interesting in that they contain large amounts of fat, but also a high amount of carbohydrate.

However, as you can see from the table below, the majority of the carbs are from fiber and non-digestible.

Food Total Carbs Net Carbs
Chia Seeds 43.8 6.1
Flaxseed 28.9 1.6
Hemp Seeds 12 5
Pumpkin Seeds 17.8 14.9
Sesame Seeds 23.4 11.6
Sunflower Seeds 20 11.4

Don’t feel like you have to include seeds on your keto shopping list.

They are a reasonably healthy food that can help with meeting nutrient requirements, but they’re not necessary.

Key Point: Seeds are high in fat and contain a large amount of fibrous carbohydrate. On the negative side, they aren’t the tastiest of ketogenic foods.

Keto Vegetables

Picture of vegetables that are okay on a keto shopping list

There are hundreds of vegetables that are suitable for a keto shopping list.

One of the first that comes to mind is zucchini, especially considering it’s the base vegetable for the infamous zoodles.

Generally speaking, it’s best to emphasize leafy greens as they contain minimal amounts of carbohydrate. In addition, leafy greens are extremely nutrient-rich — especially foods such as spinach and seaweed (15, 16).

While starchy vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes do offer valuable nutrients, they are simply too high in carbohydrate for a ketogenic diet.

Food Total Carbs Net Carbs
Artichoke 10.5 5.1
Asparagus 3.9 1.8
Beets 13 9.2
Bell Pepper 6.3 4.2
Bok Choy 2.2 1.2
Broccoli 7 4
Brussels Sprouts 9 5
Cabbage 5.8 3.3
Carrot 10 7
Cauliflower 5.3 2.8
Celery 3 1
Chives 4.4 1.9
Cucumber 3.6 3.1
Eggplant 6 3
Garlic 33.1 31
Green Onion 7.3 4.7
Kale 10 8
Kohlrabi 6.2 2.6
Leek 14.2 12.4
Mushrooms (white) 3.3 2.3
Napa Cabbage 3.9 2.6
Okra 7 3.8
Radish 3 2
Romaine Lettuce 3.3 1.2
Red Onion 9 7
Rutabaga 8 5
Spaghetti Squash 6.5 5.1
Spinach 3.6 1.4
Turnip 6.4 4.6
Yellow Onion 9 7
Zucchini 3 2

By and large, most vegetables are low in net carbs and suitable for a keto shopping list.

However, if you want to stay in ketosis then limit the amount of higher carb veggies such as carrots and onions.

For a carb count of all ketogenic foods, see this article.

Key Point: While there’s a range of veggies that qualify as keto groceries, some offer more health benefits than others. With this in mind, Spinach is the king of low carb vegetables.

Keto Condiments / Sauces / Snacks

Picture of peanut butter - keto condiments

As many of these foods are commercial products, keep in mind that the nutrition values may change depending on the brand.

However, providing you read the labels to confirm the ingredients, they are still relatively healthy foods for your keto grocery list.

While it is true that most of these are processed foods, we can still class them as ‘clean’ foods.

On the negative side, some peanut butter and dark chocolate brands use harmful additives in their products.

So once more, be careful to read the ingredients label if it’s a brand you don’t know well.

Food Total Carbs Net Carbs
Almond Butter 21.2 17.5
Beef Jerky 0* 0*
Cacao Nibs 35.7 3.6
Cacao Powder 57.9 24.7
Coconut Chips 25 7
Dark Chocolate (85% – Vivani) 35.7 21.4
Kimchi (commercial) 7 6.2
Peanut Butter (chunky style) 22 14
Pork Rinds (Pork Crackling) 0 0
Salsa 7 6
Sauerkraut 5 2
Tamari Soy Sauce 6 5
Tomato Paste 19 15
Whey Protein 17.6 14.1
Wholegrain Mustard 10 10

*Beef jerky contains zero carbs providing you buy a quality product — look for 100% beef with only added seasoning.

As for the rest of these foods, they are all perfectly acceptable for a ketogenic diet in their standard serving sizes.

Key Point: A keto shopping list has room for condiments, sauces, and snacks. However, check the ingredients list carefully for unnecessary additives.

Summary

Keto Shopping List With Full Carb Counts For Every Food

Final Thoughts

All in all, the majority of healthy foods can easily fit into a ketogenic diet plan.

Shopping for your groceries doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, most of the foods that aren’t suitable for keto are the industrially processed foods.

This shows why ketogenic diets can be so successful — they cut out the junk food.

Overall, there’s a big difference between a good and a bad keto plan, but if you stick to this list of foods then you’ll be on the right track.

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