Keto-friendly Foods

Meat & Seafood

Just about all meats are keto! If it used to cluck, moo, or oink… you can eat it! Red meat, poultry, pork, and seafood are all great for a ketogenic diet. The organ meats of each are fantastic as well.

  • Alligator
  • Bacon
  • Bear
  • Beef
  • Beef Jerky (watch the sugar counts on these)
  • Bison
  • Bison Jerky
  • Bison Ribeye
  • Bison Sirloin
  • Bison Steaks
  • Boar
  • Chicken Breast
  • Chicken Leg
  • Chicken Thigh
  • Chicken Wings
  • Chuck Steak
  • Clams
  • Crab
  • Duck
  • Eggs (chicken, duck, goose)
  • Elk
  • Emu
  • Goat
  • Goose
  • Ground Beef
  • Ground lamb
  • Ham
  • Hot dogs
  • Kangaroo
  • Kielbasa
  • Lamb Chops
  • Lamb rack
  • Lobster
  • Mussel
  • New York Steak
  • Ostrich
  • Oyster
  • Pheasant
  • Pork
  • Pork Chops
  • Poultry
  • Quail
  • Rabbit
  • Rattlesnake
  • Reindeer
  • Salmon
  • Sausage
  • Scallop
  • Shrimp
  • Spam
  • Steak
  • Trout
  • Turkey
  • Turtle
  • Veal
  • Venison Steaks


Breaded Meats. Breadcrumbs and batter often have flour and other carb-loaded ingredients.

Cured Meats. Honey and sugars are the main ingredients used to cure meat… watch the carb counts on these meats, they tend to add up quickly.

Glazes and Sauces. Glazes are packed with sugar and a lot of traditional sauces use cornstarch or flour as thickening agents. So many carbs!

Processed Meats. Some processed meats have starchy fillers added to stretch the product. If it’s not 100% meat, there are probably hidden carbs. Keep an eye out for this!


Vegetables are awesome on a ketogenic diet, but they can be a little tricky sometimes. As a general rule of thumb, if it’s green and leafy go for it. If it’s starchy, it’s best to avoid it when you’re first starting out.

Keto is a low carb diet, but it’s not necessarily a NO carb diet. While vegetables do have carbohydrates, a lot of that can be chalked up to fiber. Fiber is discounted when you calculate your “net” carbs, so you actually have more wiggle room to add in vegetables. They are a great source of vitamins and nutrients, so be sure to eat your veggies!

The veggies listed below are just a taste of low carb veggies. Be sure to check out my searchable, sortable keto vegetable list for a comprehensive overview!

  • Alfalfa Sprout
  • Asparagus
  • Artichoke
  • Arugula
  • Avocado
  • Banana Pepper
  • Beet Greens
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Brussels Sprout
  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Chayote
  • Chicory Greens
  • Collard Greens
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Green Beans
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Jalapeno Pepper
  • Jicama
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mung Bean
  • Mushroom
  • Mustard Greens
  • Nori
  • Okra
  • Radish
  • Red Tomatoes
  • Romaine
  • Rutabaga
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Spinach
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatillo
  • Turnip
  • Water Spinach
  • Yellow Tomatoes
  • Zucchini


Certain types of dairy can be enjoyed on the keto diet! Butter, cheese, full fat yogurts and heavy cream – this is not your typical diet fare! When eating dairy, you will generally want to choose ingredients that have a lower amount of lactose. Lactose is a sugar that will spike your blood sugar. You will want to stay away from milk, as it is full of lactose (aka sugar)! And of course, if you have lactose intolerance you should avoid dairy altogether.

It’s best to avoid low fat or fat free dairy items entirely. These products usually have tons of added sugar or other starchy fillers to make them more palatable. When you remove fat, you destroy the natural flavor and completely change the consistency. Food companies use sugar to make up for it. Fat is not bad and it most certainly does not make you fat! Don’t shy away, embrace it on the keto diet!

  • Blue Cheese
  • Brie
  • Butter
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Colby Jack Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cream Cheese
  • Feta Cheese
  • Goat Cheese
  • Gouda
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Provolone Cheese
  • Ricotta
  • Sour Cream
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Unsweetened Greek Yogurt
  • Unsweetened Plain Yogurt

But BEWARE: Some people find that dairy stalls their weight loss. Dairy sensitivies are very common, so you may need to revisit how much dairy you are eating if you notice any issues.

Fats & Oils

Fats are fuel for the keto diet! Seriously, I mean it! Fats are the source you need to obtain most of your calories from on a ketogenic diet. Think: USDA food pyramid flipped upside down and that might give you a good idea of how much fat you should really be eating.

Your macro goals on the keto diet will focus on eating minimal amounts of carbs, moderate amounts of protein (enough to maintain your muscle mass), and the rest of your nutritional needs will be met with fat. That’s the basis of most keto calculators!
(Check out my post What Are Macros? for more information about how dietary fat plays a role in the keto diet.)

Now, this doesn’t mean you need to go around drizzling bacon fat on everything you eat. You definitely can if you have a burning desire to do so and it fits into your macros… but it’s pretty easy to get adequate amounts of fat in your diet without going out of your way to do so. Contrary to popular belief, fat bombs, bulletproof coffee and the like are not fundamental for a ketogenic diet. They are nice treats or occasional meal replacements, but you don’t need them in addition to balanced keto meals.

  • Animal Fats
  • Avocado Oil
  • Butter
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Ghee (clarified butter)
  • Hemp Oil
  • Lard
  • Macadamia Oil
  • Mayonnaise
  • Olive Oil
  • Palm Oil
  • Peanut Oil
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • Red Palm Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Tallow
  • Tea Seed Oil
  • Walnut Oil


Avoid processed vegetable oils, margarine, and trans fatty acids as they can be damaging to your health.


Water and broth are best, hands down. You need to stay hydrated and manage your electrolyte balance when getting into ketosis or you will not feel very good. Water and broth will help you do this! I would recommend sticking to water and broth to start with and gradually adding in other drinks when you need variety.

While coffee, diet pop and booze are all low in carbs, caffeine and alcohol are known diuretics. If you choose to drink these, it may be more challenging to stay hydrated.

When you do choose to drink alcohol, beware that the keto diet significantly lowers your alcohol tolerance level. Stick to one or two drinks tops! Even if you could drink someone under the table before, you will severely regret overdoing it while in ketosis. Consider this your warning! I’m trying to save you from the ultimate hangover from hell!

  • Broth
  • Club Soda
  • Coffee
  • Cream
  • Diet Soda
  • Dry Wines
  • Hard Alcohol
  • Herbal Tea
  • Seltzer Water
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • Unsweetened Tea
  • Water


Yes, you can have fruit on the keto diet. No it is not a “free” food you can eat unlimited amounts of. Fruit is naturally sweet and that means it has carbohydrates that need to be accounted for. If and when you choose to eat fruit, measure your intake before you grab a handful and shove it into your mouth.

Just like veggies, starchy fruits should be avoided. I’m looking at you, bananas!

Still iffy about certain fruits? Double check the carbohydrate counts in a nutrition database to make sure your fruit of choice is not too sugary. The carb counts can really creep up on you if you don’t track and measure. Be careful! Don’t let your sweet tooth take over your portion control or you will kick your cute little butt right out of ketosis.

Limited amounts of:

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Boysenberries
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Currants
  • Gooseberries
  • Loganberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Absolutely NO FRUIT JUICE!

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are low in carbohydrates and can be a wonderful addition to a ketogenic diet. You do need to be careful with your intake, as the carb count quickly adds up. Since they are such a delicious and easy snack food, it’s super easy to zone out and mindlessly eat. If you’ve ever gotten a hold of a can of Pringles, you know just what I mean. Like all the other foods, you’ll need to measure and track if you want to be successful with this way of eating.

There are quite a few flours out there made from nuts and seeds that can be used to substitute wheat flour. Gravies, sauces, low carb baked goods… it’s absolutely insane how creative people have gotten with low carb flours. Breads, cookies, you name it. I would recommend sticking to whole foods and wait to venture into baked goods territory. Get comfortable with what you can and can’t eat, get into ketosis, and thenstart experimenting with ketofied versions of your favorite foods.

  • Almonds
  • Almond Butter
  • Almond Flour
  • Almond Meal
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashews
  • Cashew Butter
  • Coconut
  • Coconut Flour
  • Hazelnuts
  • Hemp Hearts
  • Macadamias
  • Macadamia Butter
  • Peanuts
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Soy Nuts
  • Soy Nut Butter
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Sunflower Seed Butter
  • Sunflower Seed Flour
  • Tahini
  • Walnuts