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11 Surprising Foods You Can’t Eat on the Keto Diet

To see the results you want, knowing what not to eat on the keto diet is just as important as knowing what you should. With that in mind, here are the top foods to avoid.

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Sweet bananas on white wooden table; Shutterstock ID 626207750; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home5 second Studio/Shutterstock


Even though they’re loaded with nutrients and are surprisingly good for your hair and skin, bananas are basically off the table when you’re eating keto. Why? They’ve got a whopping 31 grams of carbs per banana. Eat one, and you’re almost at your quota for the day. Pick up a few of these keto snack bars, instead.

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Mango. Tropical Fruits. On a wooden background.YARUNIV Studio/Shutterstock


If there’s a fruit even worse on the keto diet than bananas, it’s mangoes. These tropical treats have a high carb content, packing in 50 grams per fruit! Learn about some other common keto mistakes.

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Raw sweet potatoes on wooden backgroundmama_mia/Shutterstock

Sweet Potatoes

While many vegetables are welcome on the keto diet, sweet potatoes are not one of them. Each one carries 27 grams of carbs. So, if roasted sweet potatoes are one of your favorite dinnertime staples, try swapping them with a less starchy option. Looking for keto dinner inspiration? Try these recipe ideas!

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Quinoa salad with broccoli, sweet potatoes and tomatoes on a rustic wooden table. Three-color quinoa salad. Superfood and healthy eating concept. ; Shutterstock ID 380364796; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHLosangela/Shutterstock


Quinoa may help balance hormones, but it’s off the keto-approved food list for a few reasons. It’s high in carbs, for one thing. It also has a high glycemic index and, as such, takes longer to digest. So while there is a more active version of keto dieting that allows it, usually this superfood is out.

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Detail of glasses with red wine samples, on wood counter.ArchonCodex/Shutterstock

Red Wine

There are lots of reasons to enjoy a glass of wine. (It may improve your oral health, for example!) But when you think about what wine is made from, it’s no surprise it’s off keto meal plans. High in sugar and carbs, grapes can easily slow down ketosis—and the same goes for drinks made from ’em.

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rapeseed oil (canola) and rape flowers on wooden tableMaya Kruchankova/Shutterstock

Canola Oil

While eating keto does mean enjoying high-fat foods, that doesn’t mean any and all kinds of fat. Canola oil, like most vegetable and seed oils, is not allowed. Better options include MCT oil, coconut oil and extra-virgin olive oil. Read about the healthiest fats here.

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Cashew nuts in bowl on black background.Vladislav Noseek/Shutterstock


Given that keto is all about healthy fats and proteins, you might think nuts are a safe bet. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, at least when it comes to cashews. These nuts may be delicious and versatile, but they’re also too high in carbs to support ketosis. The same goes for pistachios.

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Spaghetti with eggs and baconTaste of Home


For a diet that’s low in carbohydrates, it’s no surprise that carb-heavy pasta is off the menu. But did you know the same goes for whole-grain or even bean-based varieties, too? Should a pasta craving strike while you’re on this diet, consider making your own zucchini noodles instead.

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maple syrup in glass bottle on wooden tableshowcake/Shutterstock

Maple Syrup

Sure, most diets will restrict your sugar intake, but eating keto means avoiding all forms of the substance. This includes even maple syurp, honey and dates. They’re too high in carbs to support ketosis. Discouraged about skipping your sugar fix? Check out this list of foods you can still enjoy!

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Even worse than carb-loaded fruits for the keto diet are blood-sugar-spiking fruit juices. So, when taking part in this eating regimen, skip the sweet drinks altogether and grab another glass of water. While you’re at it, here are some ideas for how to drink more water every day.

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Salty snacks. Pretzels, chips, crackers in wooden bowls.beats1/Shutterstock

Processed Foods

Chips, crackers, cookies and snack foods are all off-limits on the keto diet. Low in fiber and high in carbs, these items do not support the goal of keto eating: reducing carbs enough to stay in ketosis and burn stored fat. Check out what happens to your body when you stop eating processed foods.

Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is an experienced copywriter and food blogger with a master's degree in Writing. She likes tested recipes, organized refrigerators and the pleasure of a good bite.