Keto Diet Food List

The Standard Keto Diet is notorious for what you CAN'T eat. But what about the foods you CAN eat? Let's break it down into basic food groups to find the keto diet foods you can count on.

The hardest part about tackling a diet successfully? Figuring out what you can eat—and then sticking to it. The premise of the low-carb, high-fat keto diet is to train your body to burn fat instead of carbs. (Learn more about the pros and cons of this diet, along with some helpful tips.)

For most people, an elimination diet begs the question, “What can I eat?”

With keto, you’ll want to shoot for a daily nutrient intake that’s roughly 70% fats, 25% protein and 5% carbohydrates. Yep, that means, no bread, no grains—not even ketchup, but with any diet, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough iron to avoid becoming anemic.

But there are many keto diet foods that you can eat, so let’s focus on the positive. We’ve listed all the great food you can have on the keto diet. Don’t miss these keto-friendly recipes you can make from scratch!

Meats

Raw fresh marbled meat Steak and seasonings on dark marble backgroundLisovskaya Natalia/Shutterstock

While you need protein, too much interferes with ketosis. Choose the fattier cuts of meat if you have a choice (ribeye, pork belly), as well as organ meats like heart, kidney, liver, tongue and tripe. Cured meats such as sausages, deli meat, hot dogs, pepperoni, salami and bacon are usually acceptable, but check their ingredients first.

  • Alligator
  • Beef
  • Bison
  • Chicken
  • Deer
  • Duck
  • Elk
  • Goat
  • Goose
  • Kangaroo
  • Lamb
  • Moose
  • Pheasant
  • Pork
  • Quail
  • Rabbit
  • Reindeer
  • Sheep
  • Turkey
  • Veal

Fish

Fish dish cooking with various ingredients. Raw mackerel with lemon, garlic, herbs and spices on cutting board, top view. Healthy food or diet nutrition conceptPolianin Sergei/Shutterstock

Fish is packed with nutrients and a great source of protein. Always buy wild-caught fish if it’s available.

  • Anchovies
  • Bass
  • Cod
  • Eel
  • Flounder
  • Grouper
  • Haddock
  • Halibut
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Orange Roughy
  • Perch
  • Red Snapper
  • Rockfish
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Sole
  • Tilapia
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Turbot

Shellfish

Assortment of seafoodMagdanatka/Shutterstock

Nutrient-dense seafood is a low-carb, high-fat mainstay on the keto diet foods list.

  • Abalone
  • Caviar
  • Clams
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Mussels
  • Oysters
  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Squid

Vegetables

Fresh vegetables in wooden box on wooden background;Lisovskaya Natalia/Shutterstock

Veggies make up a large part of the keto diet foods list. Stick to the dark green leafy vegetables if you can—remember, the sweeter the veggie (think root veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes), the higher the carb count. In addition to the list below, fermented vegetables like kimchi and sauerkraut are also acceptable.

  • Arugula
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Bell Peppers
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chives
  • Collard Greens
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Jicama
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Leafy Greens
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard Greens
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peppers (all)
  • Pumpkin
  • Radicchio
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Scallion
  • Shallots
  • Seaweed
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnip Greens
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini

Legumes

Minty Sugar Snap PeasTaste of Home

For the most part, legumes are a no-no (say goodbye to peanuts). But there are two that make the list.

  • Green Beans
  • Peas

Fruit

Mix of soft fruit that are good for keto dietMinerva Studio/Shutterstock

Fruits are a very restricted category of keto diet foods. Small amounts of berries and limited citrus fruits are acceptable.

  • Avocado
  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry
  • Cranberry
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Olive
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry

 Dairy

fresh dairy products that are good for keto diet.MaraZe/Shutterstock

There is some controversy over including dairy in the keto diet. In fact, too much dairy is on of the major keto mistakes. Basically, the consensus is to stay away from milk and any low-fat dairy products. If you have a sensitivity to dairy, stick to ghee only.

  • Butter
  • Cheese (full-fat, preferably hard cheeses)
  • Ghee
  • Heavy Cream
  • Sour Cream
  • Yogurt (full-fat)

Fats

Composition of bottles with oil on wooden background. Keto diet-friendly oils.Africa Studio/Shutterstock

The largest daily percentage of keto diet foods are in the fat category. These should make up the majority of your daily calorie intake.

  • Avocado Oil
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Duck Fat
  • Lard (non-hydrogenated)
  • Macadamia Oil
  • MCT Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Palm Shortening
  • Red Palm Oil
  • Sesame Oil (sparingly)
  • Tallow
  • Walnut Oil (sparingly)

Seeds & Nuts

Nuts pile background. Keto diet-friendly foods like cashew, almond, hazelnut mix closeup. Organic food rustic banner template. Tasty healthy snack. Scattered nut on table top view. Nut assortment flat lay. Nut texture. Nut package;Davdeka/Shutterstock

While nuts are a good source of fat, they’ll add to your carbohydrate count for the day, so be careful how many handfuls you eat.

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Chia Seeds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Nut Butters
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Psyllium Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Walnuts

Herbs & Spices

Keto-friendly Herbs and spices on a wooden backgroundShutterstock / Dionisvera

Herbs and spices are a great way to add a flavor boost to meats and veggies, and there’s a generous list to choose from.

  • Allspice
  • Basil
  • Black Pepper
  • Cardamom
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Chili Powder
  • Cilantro/Coriander
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cumin
  • Curry Powder
  • Dill
  • Garam Masala
  • Ginger
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Sea Salt
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
  • White Pepper

Beverages

Glass of water with lemonAhanov Michael/Shutterstock

That nightly gin and tonic or glass of white wine? Sorry, no go. Many beverages are a major source of hidden extra sugars, so stick to the liquids on this list and drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated.

  • Almond Milk
  • Broth (beef, bone, chicken, vegetable)
  • Cashew Milk
  • Club Soda
  • Coconut Milk
  • Unsweetened Coffee
  • Herbal Teas
  • Lemon and Lime Juice (sparingly)
  • Seltzer Water
  • Sparkling Mineral Water
  • Unsweetened Tea
  • Water

Miscellaneous

Dark chocolate on a wooden table. Acceptable on Keto dietShutterstock / Jaroslaw Pawlak

These Keto Diet foods don’t fall neatly into any particular category, but they are allowed.

  • 100% Dark Chocolate
  • Almond Flour/Meal
  • Beef Jerky
  • Cacao Nibs
  • Cacao Powder (unsweetened)
  • Coconut Aminos
  • Coconut Flour
  • Eggs
  • Fish Sauce (check ingredient list)
  • Gelatin (powder or from bone broth)
  • Gluten-free Tamari Sauce
  • Hot Sauce (check ingredient list)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Monk Fruit
  • Mustard
  • Pickles
  • Pork Rinds
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Stevia
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Vinegars (without added sugar or wheat)

Bookmark this page so you have a handy reference guide to the keto diet foods that will help you succeed. Always make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and check with your doctor before starting any diet.

To help you get started, here are some keto-friendly recipes.
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Dana Meredith
Dana is an editor and writer who shares her passion for travel, food and the beauty of American landscapes. When she's not wielding her red pen, she can be found tending her flower gardens, remodeling her house, creating one-of-a-kind jewelry or dancing to "Uptown Funk."