WHAT TO EAT ON KETO: YOUR COMPLETE KETO FOOD LIST

Article at a Glance:

  • Need help figuring out what to eat on the ketogenic diet? Use this keto diet food list to guide your food choices.
  • The keto diet is a high-fat, ultra-low-carb diet that deprives your body of carbs and forces the body to burn fat as fuel.
  • Choose foods high in fat, moderate in protein, and minimal in carbs. This keto food list shows you the best foods to eat in every category — plus, you’ll learn how to stay Bulletproof in ketosis for more energy and mental clarity.
  • Download this printable keto food list to make grocery shopping easier.

Not sure what foods you should eat on the keto diet? This keto food list will get you started. By depriving your body of glucose, the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet shifts your body into ketosis, a state of burning fat instead of sugar for energy. Take the guesswork out of eating keto, and follow this complete keto diet food list to start dropping weight and feel amazing.

Note: Items in the red-zone on this keto food list are technically keto-friendly, but not recommended on the Bulletproof Diet (an ultra-clean version of keto). For more information on those foods, and how to keep your keto diet clean, download the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap.

Related: Ketogenic Diet for Beginners – A Complete Keto Guide

KETO FOOD LIST: WHAT CAN I EAT ON THE KETO DIET?

OILS & FATS

ENJOY OFTEN

Avocado oil, Brain Octane Oil, cacao butter, cod liver oil, grass-fed butter and ghee, krill oil, MCT oil, pastured bacon fat, pastured egg yolk, pastured lard, pastured marrow, pastured tallow, sunflower lecithin, virgin coconut oil

ENJOY OCCASIONALLY

Chicken fat, duck and goose fat, grain-fed butter/ghee, olive oil, nut oils

KETOGENIC, BUT KRYPTONITE (DIRTY KETO)

Canola, cottonseed, corn, flaxseed, peanut, safflower, soy, and sunflower oils; commercial lard; low-carb commercial dressings; margarine

Fat makes up the bulk of a keto diet, to the tune of 70 – 80 percent of your daily calories, so smart fats are a must. This keto food list loads you up on saturated and monounsaturated fats such as grass-fed butter, ghee, and lard, plus coconut oil, fish oil, and MCT oil.

Avoid trans fats, hydrogenated fats, polyunsaturated fats and other processed vegetable oils. Limit your intake of inflammatory omega-6s, which can hide in chicken skin, grain-fed meats and farmed seafood. Beware of oxidation in olive oil, and chicken, duck or goose fat.

PROTEIN

ENJOY OFTEN

Collagen peptides, colostrum, dark meats, eggs, fish, gelatin, offal/organ meats, pork, shellfish, whey protein concentrate

ENJOY OCCASIONALLY

Pastured chicken and turkey, factory-farmed eggs, heated whey/whey protein isolate

KETOGENIC, BUT KRYPTONITE (DIRTY KETO)

Factory-farmed meat, farmed seafood, protein powders from grain-fed animals, soy protein

Make no mistake: Steak and bacon alone are not the keys to ketosis. If you get more than 20 – 30 percent of your calories from protein, your body will begin converting protein to sugar through a process called gluconeogenesis — and kick you out of ketosis. If you stick to fatty cuts of grass-fed or wild proteins, there aren’t too many rules here.

If you can’t get your day’s protein from animal sources, opt for whey protein concentrate (not isolate), which helps to boost glutathione production. Avoid packaged, factory-farmed or heavily processed meats, which can contain trace antibiotics or heavy metals. Plus, watch out for additives or curing agents in items like bacon or sausages.

VEGETABLES

ENJOY OFTEN

Asparagus, avocado, bitter greens, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, chard, collards, cucumbers, endive, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, nori, olives, radish, spinach, summer squash, zucchini

ENJOY OCCASIONALLY

Artichokes, celery root, eggplant, garlic, green beans, jicama, leeks, okra, onion, parsnip, peppers, pumpkin, rhubarb, sweet potato, tomatillo, tomato, turnip, winter squash

KETOGENIC, BUT KRYPTONITE (DIRTY KETO)

Raw cruciferous veggies, canned low-carb veggies, mushrooms

Veggies can add sneaky carbohydrates to your diet. Your keto food list sticks to nutrient-dense, lower-carb veggies, with smaller amounts of those in the moderate zone. Root veggies are higher in carbs, so limit your use of moderately starchy vegetables like leeks, parsnips, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and rutabaga, and avoid all other potatoes.

Be aware of the effects of nightshades on your body; while they are permitted in ketosis, they cause inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis in sensitive people. Nightshades include tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, okra, and eggplant. For a Bulletproof ketosis, also limit onions and garlic, which tend to be moldy and can disrupt your alpha brain waves. Plus, lightly cook any oxalate-heavy cruciferous and leafy greens.

Mushrooms, though low-carb, contain many unstudied compounds and can encourage yeast growth.

NUTS, SEEDS & LEGUMES

ENJOY OFTEN

Coconut

ENJOY OCCASIONALLY

Raw almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, and walnuts; almond flour, coconut flour; tigernut flour

KETOGENIC, BUT KRYPTONITE (DIRTY KETO)

Black soybeans, brazil nuts, chia seed, edamame, flaxseed, hemp seeds, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios

Although excellent sources of fat, nuts add up quickly in protein and carbs, and are often inflammatory. Snack on fattier nuts such as macadamia nuts and pecans, but limit those high in inflammatory omega-6s, like peanuts and sunflower seeds. Only use nut flours (almond, coconut) in moderation, as they are packed with protein. To stay in ketosis, limit high-carb nuts like cashews, pistachios and chestnuts, and avoid most beans.

This is one area where full keto and Bulletproof differ. Except for coconut, all nuts and legumes are suspect on the Bulletproof Diet and should be limited. All expose you to high amounts of omega-6s, inflammatory oxidized fats, mold toxins, and phytates (plant anti-nutrients). Peanuts are one of the main sources of mold toxins in our diets, and often trigger allergic responses with inflammatory polyunsaturated fats, lectins and histamines. The Bulletproof Diet also excludes all soy products due to their phytoestrogen content, which messes with your hormones and may promote cancer.

DAIRY

ENJOY OFTEN

Grass-fed butter, grass-fed colostrum, grass-fed ghee

ENJOY OCCASIONALLY

Organic grass-fed cream, non-organic grass-fed ghee or butter

KETOGENIC, BUT KRYPTONITE (DIRTY KETO)

Fake butter, all cheese, pasteurized low-carb dairy products

For both keto and Bulletproof diets, opt for full-fat, grass-fed, raw, and organic dairy to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3s and CLA. Dairy is a great source of fat on a ketogenic diet, but be mindful not over-do the protein. Although milk (yep, even raw, full-fat, or goat milk) is too high in lactose sugars, you can stay in ketosis with foods like butter, ghee, and colostrum. Avoid sweetened or low-fat dairy, evaporated or condensed milk, and buttermilk to keep your fat intake high.

For a Bulletproof ketosis, cheese is not on your plate. The unique flavors in cheese are actually courtesy of mold toxins, both from mold in animal feed, and the molds used in fermentation. Cheeses cause inflammation, which can lead to weight gain.

Additionally, unless you are immunocompromised, opt for raw, unpasteurized dairy. Processed dairy is highly allergenic, difficult to digest, and associated with a wide range of diseases. Plus, pasteurization destroys nutrients and oxidizes fats.

If you want keto and Bulletproof choices, opt for organic, raw, grass-fed dairy.

BEVERAGES

ENJOY OFTEN

Bone broth, diluted coconut milk, Bulletproof Coffee and coffee made from mold-free beans, filtered water with lemon/lime, high-quality green tea, mineral water bottled in glass

ENJOY OCCASIONALLY

Bottled nut milks, herbal tea, yerba mate

KETOGENIC, BUT KRYPTONITE (DIRTY KETO)

Conventional bone broth, diet sodas, artificially-sweetened low-carb drinks, low-carb liquor (vodka, gin, tequila, whiskey)

One common side effect of a keto diet is dehydration. When your insulin levels drop on a low-carb diet, your body retains less sodium and water, making a keto diet slightly diuretic. Stay hydrated with plenty of water, and reload on electrolytes with bone broths, especially during the “keto flu” in the first few weeks of your diet.

Related: How to Conquer the Keto Flu

Tea and coffee, including Bulletproof Coffee, are completely ketogenic, with bonus points for jump-starting weight loss and focusing your mental clarity. Watch out for sweeteners, fillers, or artificial flavors. While you can drink unsweetened, plant-based milk alternatives in moderation without going out of ketosis, they are not Bulletproof, and are usually loaded with toxic molds — the exception being full-fat coconut milk. If you plan to include them in your diet, beware of carrageenan and BPA-lined containers.

Alcohol is not Bulletproof or ketogenic, but if you’re going to drink, stick to hard liquors in moderation. Beer, wine, and mixed drinks are bombs of hidden carbohydrates.

ORGANIC FRUITS

ENJOY OFTEN

Avocado, low-fructose berries, coconut, cranberries, lemon, lime

ENJOY OCCASIONALLY

Non-organic low-carb fruits

In general, the sugar content in fruits can quickly take you out of ketosis. Coconut and avocado are the exceptions, plus antioxidant-packed fresh berries in limited quantities. For a more Bulletproof approach to fruit, enjoy it at night to avoid high triglycerides.

For a fruity refresher without the high sugar content, try a keto green smoothie.

SPICES & SEASONINGS

ENJOY OFTEN

Apple cider vinegar, Ceylon cinnamon, cilantro, cocoa powder, coconut aminos (if tolerated), ginger, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sea salt, thyme, turmeric, vanilla bean

ENJOY OCCASIONALLY

Black pepper, garlic, nutmeg, onion, paprika, table salt

KETOGENIC, BUT KRYPTONITE (DIRTY KETO)

Artificial flavors; bouillon; commercial low-carb dressings, spice mixes, and extracts; fermented tamari; MSG; nutritional yeast; soy products; all vinegars except apple cider vinegar

Beware of added sugars or high-glycemic sweeteners in spice blends or condiments, but other than that, it’s fair game for keto. In spice-heavy dishes, carbs can add up, but don’t drive yourself crazy worrying about your teaspoon of turmeric. Check labels for additives like sugars, milk solids, potato starch, corn starch, or MSG, or make your own blends at home. Table salt often contains undisclosed fillers and anti-caking agents, so it’s best to opt for sea salt or Himalayan pink salt instead.

Even after irradiation (the industry standard sterilization process that also destroys any antioxidants and health benefits), spices and herbs can spoil in your home, and often harbor aggressive mold toxins. To spice up your dishes the Bulletproof way, use high-quality, fresh or recently opened herbs and spices. Spices with especially high mold toxin risk include black pepper, powdered garlic, nutmeg, and paprika. Apple cider vinegar is the only vinegar permitted in the Bulletproof diet, as other vinegars and yeasts introduce toxins, and promote yeast growth in your gut.

SWEETENERS

ENJOY OFTEN

Allulose, non-GMO erythritol, maltitol, monk fruit, sorbitol, stevia, birch xylitol

KETOGENIC, BUT KRYPTONITE (DIRTY KETO)

Aspartame (NutraSweet), sucralose (Splenda), tagatose

Sugar has no place in a ketogenic diet, but that doesn’t mean entirely cutting out desserts. It’s easy to get a sweet fix using safe sweetener alternatives — just keep it in moderation to reduce temptation.

On your keto food list, stick to low-glycemic sweeteners to avoid spikes in blood sugar, and avoid fillers and binders such as maltodextrin and dextrose, which can spike blood sugar and contain sneaky carbs. Sugar alcohols such as maltitol or xylitol may read as no sugar on a label, but be aware that they will still cause moderate glycemic response when digested.

Stay away from aspartame (NutraSweet), acesulfame, Splenda, sorbitol, saccharin, fructose, agave, honey, and maple syrup. Lastly, although pure, liquid sucralose won’t kick you out of ketosis, it will bioaccumulate in your body, and wreak havoc on your gut bacteria.