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Home » Keto Food List For Beginners: Everything You Need To Know

Keto Food List For Beginners: Everything You Need To Know

Keto Food List For Beginners

Starting a ketogenic diet could be a good way to enhance your overall health, shed surplus weight, and feel more energetic.

However, it can also be confusing at first because you need to eat very few carbs and a lot of fats. If you are a beginner, knowing which foods to consume and which ones to avoid is essential to do your keto right.

Whether you’re looking to shed some pounds, boost your energy, or just feel healthier, we will give you the basics you need to know before starting your keto journey.

In this article, we’ve listed foods that are good for the keto diet. These options in the keto food list can help you if you’re trying to eat low-carb. We’ve also explained how the keto diet might help improve your health.

What Foods Could Be Included In A Keto Diet?

To follow a standard ketogenic diet (SKD), you may focus on foods that are low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and have a sufficient amount of healthy fats.

You could include fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel in your Keto Basket, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in carbs.

Green vegetables like Spinach and broccoli could be included in your keto basket due to their low-carb content and high nutrient density.

A 100 gram of Spinach may provide you with a significantly low amount of carbs, around 3.62 grams, which may help you follow your keto diet while also controlling your carb intake.

You could also consider adding mushrooms to your keto food list, as they are a good source of potassium and contain just 3.26 grams of carbs in their 100-gram serving.

You can utilize olive oil or coconut oil for cooking and dressing, adding healthy fats to your dishes. Seeds and nuts like almonds and chia seeds could be suitable snacking options and add healthy fats and fiber to your diet.

Keto Food List For Beginners

Benefits Of The Keto Diet

The ketogenic diet may show promising benefits in managing epilepsy, including reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and improving various metabolic markers.

It could help prevent the progression toward type 2 diabetes, a condition of insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels, by significantly lowering insulin levels and stabilizing blood sugar.

Ketosis may help you shed excess weight by allowing the body to use stored fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. It may help reduce cravings for unhealthy, empty-calorie foods, providing a more sustainable approach to controlling appetite and food intake.

Keto Food List For Beginners

  1. Avocados

    Rich in healthy fats and fiber, avocados contain monounsaturated fats, specifically oleic acid, which offers heart-healthy benefits.

    These healthy fats in avocado could help increase satiety, making you feel full and satisfied, which can be beneficial when following a low-carb, high-fat diet like keto. The fiber content in avocados can assist in digestion and promote digestive health, which is crucial for your overall health.

    Avocados provide essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin C, and potassium, which may help maintain optimal health while on a ketogenic diet.

    Potassium in avocados could help reduce the effects of the keto flu. It does this by replenishing electrolytes, which are often lost when you first start the keto diet.

    Adding avocado can make your guacamole tastier; put slices of avocado on salads or turn it into a creamy dressing. Doing this could make your keto meals delicious while still keeping track of your nutrition goals.

  2. Brussel sprouts

    Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that are low in carbs, which makes them suitable for a keto diet. They contain a good amount of vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber, which could support overall health and digestion.

    Cooking Brussels sprouts in plant-based oils like olive oil may enhance their taste and help absorb the fat-soluble vitamins present in the sprouts. This cooking method retains the Brussels sprouts nutrients and flavor, making it a satisfying and healthy side dish.

  3. Almond flour

    Almond flour could help you maintain ketosis while still enjoying mild, sweet treats on a ketogenic diet. It contains fiber, protein, and essential nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese.

    Almond flour could be used in a variety of recipes, including cookies, cakes, muffins, and bread, allowing you to engage in your favorite baked goods without compromising your diet goals.

    It could add a moist and tender texture to your baked goods while also providing a nutty flavor profile. It is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy fats that might help improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

  4. Cottage cheese

    You can add cottage cheese to your diet due to its high protein content with a creamy texture and mild taste.

    Opt for full-fat cottage cheese to align with the high-fat requirements of the keto diet. You can also pair cottage cheese with keto-friendly toppings like chia seeds, flaxseeds, or sliced almonds to add healthy fats and extra texture to your diet.

    However, it is crucial to balance cottage cheese with other low-carb, high-fat foods to maintain your ketosis and support your health goals.

  5. Cream and half-and-half

    Cream and half-and-half are commonly utilized in keto meal preparation for their high fat and low carb content. It is a mixture of heavy cream and whole mild.

    Half and half may help enhance the richness and flavor of your dishes. Its cream content is thicker due to its higher fat content, making it ideal for sauces, soups, and coffee.

  6. Eggs

    Eggs contain all essential amino acids, which makes them a high-quality protein source that could support muscle maintenance and growth.

    They are a source of healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, which could support heart health and inflammation reduction. You can consume eggs if you are following a keto diet due to its minimal carbohydrate content.

    You can cook eggs in numerous ways, such as scrambled, boiled, poached, or as an omelet, providing you flexibility in your meal preparation.

  7. Cauliflower crust and cauliflower rice

    Cauliflower crust offers a crispy and satisfying base for your favorite toppings. It is a low-carb alternative that significantly reduces the carbohydrate profile of your meal compared to regular pizza crust.

    Cauliflower rice provides a healthy replacement for grains like white rice. While one cup of white rice contains a high amount of 44.6 grams of carbohydrates, ¾ cup of cauliflower rice contains only four grams, making it a suitable option for your ketogenic diet.

  8. Cheese

    Cheese is a rich source of saturated fats and protein while being low in carbohydrates, which makes it suitable for you if you are following a ketogenic eating plan.

    When selecting cheeses for a keto diet, opt for minimally processed varieties with fewer additives. Hard cheeses like cheddar, gouda, or parmesan could be good as they have lower lactose content and are higher in fat. You can also consume soft cheeses such as brie or cream cheese in moderation.

    Including cheese in your keto diet could help prevent feelings of deprivation that may arise from restricting carbohydrates. However, it is essential to be mindful of portion sizes, as cheese is energy-dense, and consuming excessive amounts may hinder weight loss goals.

  9. Fish

    You can include fish in your ketogenic diet due to its low carbohydrate amount and rich content of B vitamins, potassium, and selenium.

    Fish may provide B vitamins, such as B12 and niacin, which may support energy production and nerve function. It also contains potassium, which is essential for managing electrolyte balance and proper muscle function. Selenium in fish works as an antioxidant, protecting your cells from damage and supporting the immune system.

    Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and are beneficial for heart health.

    When selecting fish for a ketogenic diet, opt for wild-caught varieties whenever possible to ensure higher nutrient levels and avoid added antibiotics or hormones found in farmed fish.

  10. Frozen green vegetables

    Frozen green vegetables are picked at their peak ripeness and flash-frozen to preserve their nutritional value, making them a convenient and healthy choice.

    Frozen green vegetables retain their vitamins and minerals, offering you enough nutrients in every serving.

  11. Herbal tea

    Ginger, turmeric, or cinnamon could be a refreshing and sugar-free hydration option that could add variety to your beverage choices.

    • Ginger Herbal Tea: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties and assisting digestion.
    • Turmeric Herbal Tea: It contains curcumin, a compound with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
    • Cinnamon Herbal Tea: It may help control your blood sugar levels and could add a warm, comforting flavor.
    • Peppermint Herbal Tea: It could soothe digestive issues and provide you with a refreshing taste.
  12. Grass-fed beef

    Grass-fed beef is a rich source of quality red meat that may provide essential nutrients and align with environmentally friendly practices. It is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins like vitamin E. Grass-fed beef is leaner and lower in unhealthy fats, making it a healthier choice for you during your ketosis.

  13. Leafy greens

    Leafy greens are low in carbohydrates, which makes them ideal for a keto diet where carb intake needs to be minimized to stay in ketosis.

    Fiber in leafy greens may assist in digestion, promote gut health, and help keep you full, which can be beneficial for weight management.

    • Kale
    • Cabbage
    • Broccoli
    • Spinach
    • Lettuce
    • Brussels Sprouts

    These vegetables contain antioxidants that could help reduce oxidative stress, decrease inflammation, and lower the risk of chronic diseases.

    Leafy greens contain vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, and potassium that could keep you energized while also maintaining a low amount of daily carb intake.

  14. Lean Meat

    When following a keto diet, including lean meats like non-processed chicken breast and turkey breast in your meals may help you meet your protein needs while keeping your carbohydrate intake low.

    Protein could help in muscle repair, maintenance, and overall satiety, making lean meats a valuable addition to your keto diet.

    Non-processed meats are low in fat and may provide nutrients like iron, zinc, and B vitamins. Combining lean meats into your keto meal plan could help you feel full and satisfied, making it easier to follow a diet over the long term.

  15. Nuts

    Nuts such as pecans, Brazil nuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, and pine nuts are beneficial low-carb, high-fat options that can be utilized as snacks or meal toppings. These nuts possess healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, which could provide you with a convenient and satisfying snack option that can help keep you satiated between meals. While nuts are nutrient-dense, they are also calorie-dense, so it’s essential to practice portion control to stay within your daily calorie goals.

    Pecans are high in fat and could be considered a keto-friendly option to add to your diet. They contain around 3.94 grams of grams in its 28.35-gram serving.

    Brazil nuts contain 185 calories in their 28-gram serving and could be added to your keto food list. They may provide around 3.29 grams of net carbs. However, consume Brazil nuts in moderation to avoid excessive selenium consumption.

  16. Low-carb snack bars

    When looking for convenient and satisfying snack options that align with a keto diet, you could consider including low-carb snack bars.

    They are high in fiber and protein to keep your hunger at bay and support your nutritional goals. Here are some low-carb snack bar options you can consider:

    Nut and seeds bar: Nuts and seeds bars contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which may support your ketosis while providing sustained energy.

    Protein bars: Snacking over a low-carb protein bar may help you keep stable blood sugar levels, preventing spikes that may disrupt your ketosis.

    Chocolate bars: Keto chocolate bars often contain high amounts of healthy fats from cocoa butter, coconut oil, or MCT oil. It may provide you with a quick and sustained energy boost, which is needed to maintain a ketogenic diet.

  17. Herbs and spices

    Adding herbs and spices to your keto diet could enhance flavors and make your diet more enjoyable, providing a satisfying culinary experience while staying on track with your health goals.

    Spices like garlic and ginger are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, while turmeric is a potent antioxidant. Some keto-friendly herb options include:

    • Basil
    • Oregano
    • Thyme
    • Rosemary
    • Cumin
    • Paprika
    • Chili powder

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I Drink Alcohol if I am on the Keto Diet?
    Alcohol consumption on the keto diet may hinder your progress due to its impact on ketosis and metabolism. It is advised to limit alcohol intake, choose low-carb options like dry wines or spirits, and monitor their effects on your body.
  • Are there any specific herbs and spices to avoid in keto?
    BBQ sauce, ketchup, and other sweet dressings should be avoided on a keto diet. Opt for natural, unprocessed herbs and spices.
  • What to Avoid on a Keto Diet?
    Avoid high-carb foods like grains (wheat, rice, oats), sugar and sugary foods, and starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn). You must steer clear of processed foods and unhealthy fats like trans fats during your ketosis process.
  • Can legumes and beans be added to a keto diet?
    Legumes and beans, like peas and lentils, contain excess amounts of carbs and may not be suitable for a keto diet. However, small amounts of green beans and black soybeans can be included occasionally.
  • How do you manage cravings for sweets on a keto diet?
    You can manage sweet cravings by eating keto-friendly desserts made with low-carb sweeteners like stevia or erythritol. Dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher) could also be enjoyed in moderation during ketosis.


The keto diet may help improve your overall health by making you consume foods that are low in carbs and high in fat. It could help with weight loss, better blood sugar control, and increased energy levels.

Understanding keto-friendly food options may help you make informed conclusions while planning your keto meals.

It may also help you combine essential nutrients and protein in your diet without compromising your ketosis process and diet.

However, it is essential to stay aware of the potential effects that might occur during the initial days of your ketosis.

You could experience symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and irritability as the body adjusts to the low-carb intake.

  • The details in this article are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this article.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • It is recommended to consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before trying any tips.
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This project was supported in part by NSF Grant IIS-03-25867 (ITR: An Electronic Field Guide: Plant Exploration and Discovery in the 21st Century) and by the Washington Biologists' Field Club.
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