List of Ketogenic Diet Foods with Less Carbs & More Protein

No matter what others say, following the Keto diet is a bit challenging, especially when you’ve no idea about the low-carb options. So, w’ve compiled the ketogenic diet foods list that helps you make the right food choices without any fuss and lose weight fast.

We also have a dedicated Keto friendly recipes page where you’ll find all varieties of meal plans with low-carb recipes.

If you don’t know already, Keto diet is an extremely low-carb and high-fat diet that not only helps in weight loss but also treats certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases, too.

The first challenge for any keto dieter is to stay within the limit of 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day, in order to enter Ketosis state & burn stored fat instead of carbs. Fortunately, this is possible and you can find many nutritious foods that fit this kind of lifestyle.

Foods to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Fiet Friendly Foods List

Below is a list of the most Keto friendly foods that are easily available at your local supermarkets.

1.Seafoods

The first food choice for any keto dieter is the sea food. Most of the seafoods are either carb-free or low in carbs and they’re a very good source of omega-3s.

Salmon, Sardines and other fish are carb-free and a rich source of B vitamins, potassium, selenium and omega-3 fats.

Omega 3 fatty acid is efficient in lowering the insulin levels and at the sametime increases insulin sensitivity in obese people.

You’ll find no carbs in Shrimps and most crabs, but should be careful with the shellfish, as they contain slight amount of carbs.

Including at least 2-3 servings of seafood every week will help decrease the risk of diseases and improved mental health.

Keto SeaFoods (100g) Calories Fat (g) Net Carbs (g) Protein (g)
Clams 148 2 5 26
Salmon (cooked) 117 4.3 0 23
Octopus 110 1.5 4 28
Oysters 79 2.7 4.2 9
Squid 158 1.4 1.6 32
Shrimp 99 0.3 0.2 24
Tuna 184 6 0 30
Sardines 208 11 0 25

2.Low Carb Vegetables

Most of the vegetables are low in carbs (net) and high in nutrients like Vitamin C and other minerals.

However, you should keep away those starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams or beets as they could easily make you exceed the daily carb limit.

One added advantage of including veggies in your keto diet is that they’re rich in antioxidants, which help you against free radicals that cause cell damage.

You can also substitute high carb foods like rice or potatoes with cauliflower.

If you don’t know already, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and kale are very efficient in decreasing the symptoms of cancer and heart risk.

As a thumb rule, the non-starchy vegetables contain net carbs ranging from 1 to 8 grams per cup. So, they’re definitely one of the best keto friendly foods for beginners.

Keto Vegetables (3.5oz/100g) Calories Fat (g) Net Carbs (g) Protein (g)
Cabbage 25 0.1 3.5 1.3
Broccoli 34 0.4 4.4 2.8
Cauliflower 25 0.3 3 1.9
Spinach 23 0.4 1.4 2.9
Lettuce 15 0.2 1.6 1.4
Onions 40 0.1 7.3 1.1
Tomatoes 18 0.2 2.7 0.9
Brussel Sprouts 43 0.3 5.2 3.4
Cucumber 16 0.1 3.1 0.7
Bell Peppers (green) 20 0.2 2.9 0.9
Green Beans 31 0.1 3.6 1.8
Asparagus 20 0.1 1.8 2.2
Mushrooms 38 0.5 3.2 1.5
Eggplant 25 0.2 3 1

3.Meat and Poultry

Since they contain no carbs, experts consider fresh meat and poultry as staple foods on a ketogenic diet.

They’re very rich in protein, B vitamins and minerals such as selenium, potassium and zinc.

Eggs doesn’t contain many carbs (<1 gm per whole egg) and is high in protein content (6 gms per egg). So, you can consider eggs as an ideal breakfast food on a keto diet.

It is also found that eating eggs will give a feeling of fullness and keep your blood sugar levels in check for a longer period of time.

Don’t worry about cholesterol content in egg yolks as it keeps the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in check.

Keto Protein Foods (100g) Calories Fat (g) Net Carbs (g) Protein (g)
Ground Beef (80/20) 254 20 0 17
Bacon (microwaved) 476 34 0.5 39
Steak 271 19 0 25
Chicken Breast (w/o skin) 110 1.2 0 23
Turkey Breast (w/o skin) 135 0.7 0 30
Ground Lamb 282 23.4 0 16.6
Egg (1 large) 78 5 0.6 6
Pork Chop 231 14 0 24

4.Dairy Products

Cheese (inc. cottage cheese, cheddar cheese etc) and Greek Yogurt are not only delicious but also high in nutritional value.

Most of the cheese you find in the market are very low in carbs and high in fat, thereby making them extremely suitable for a keto dieter.

Although it is high in saturated fat, it is not linked with the risk of heart disease. Moreover, the ‘conjugated linoleic acid’ found in cheese is linked to fat loss.

1 ounce of cheddar cheese contains 7 grams of protein, 20% RDA of Calcium and just 1 gram of carbs.

Greek Yogurt has got some carbs, but they can still be added in a ketogenic diet due to its high protein content and delicacy. So, they fill you up easily and decrease appetite.

A 5 ounce or 150 grams of plain greek yogurt contains 11 grams of protein and 5 gms of carbs, whereas the same amount of cottage cheese contains 18 grams of protein and 5 gms of carbs.

Even butter and cream contain negligible amounts of carbs and good fats per serving. They are also rich in fatty acid called ‘conjugated linoleic acid’, which promotes fat loss.

Although, most fruits are high in carb content, Berries can be included in the ketogenic diet due to their high fiber and low carb content.

Keto Dairy Foods (100g) Calories Fat (g) Net Carbs (g) Protein (g)
Greek Yogurt 59 0.4 3.6 10
Cottage Cheese 98 4.3 3.4 11
Mozzarella 280 17 3.1 28
Butter (1tsp) 102 12 0 0.1
Heavy Cream (1tsp) 51 5.5 0.42 0.31
Mayonnaise 94 10 0.1 0.1

5.Low Carb Fruits

Avocado is one of the most nutritious and delicious foods that improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It also increases HDL (good) cholesterol and decreases LDL (bad) cholesterol. So, basically it helps in improving heart health and promotes weight loss.

Most people call it a vegetable because of its green hue and savory taste. But, the Avocado is actually a single-seeded fruit (berry).

100 grams or 3.5 ounces or ½ of a medium avocado contains around 9 grams of carbs.

But, out of those 9, only 2 grams are net carbs and the remaining 7 are fiber. So, it is very safe to call it as a keto friendly fruit.

Berries are rich in antioxidants and shown to reduce inflammation and protects against several diseases.

100 grams of berries (different types) contain 5 to 12 grams of net carbs

Keto Friendly Fruits (100g) Calories Fat (g) Net Carbs (g) Protein (g)
Avocado (1 cup) 234 21 2 2.9
Olives 115 11 2.8 0.8
Strawberries 33 0.3 6 0.7
Blackberries 43 0.5 5 1.4
Raspberries 53 0.7 5 1.2

6.Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and Seeds are low in net carbs and high in fat and fiber content. They’re also linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers, heart diseases, depression and other diseases related to chronic health.

So, you’ll be getting less calories but they keep you full for longer periods due to their high fiber content.

They provide an average of 0 to 8 grams of net carbs per ounce (28 grams), depending on different types of nuts and seeds.

Keto Nuts/Seeds (1 oz) Calories Fat (g) Net Carbs (g) Protein (g)
Almonds 163 14 2.5 6
Walnuts 185 18 2 4.3
Peanuts 161 14 2.2 7
Chia Seeds 138 9 2 4.7
Macadamia Nuts 204 21 1.5 2.2
Coconut (1 cup) 283 27 5 2.7

7.Healthy Fats & Oils

Coconut Oil & Olive Oil are considered healthy oils and are well suited for a ketogenic diet.

The Coconut oil contains MCTs aka medium-chain triglycerides, which unlike the LCTs are directly converted into ketones by the liver and can also be used as a quick source of energy.

It is also found that just including coconut oil can help you lose weight without making any additional dietary changes.

Second is the Olive oil that is good for your heart. It is rich in oleic acid that decreases the risk of heart diseases, as found in several studies.

The extra-virgin olive oil contains pure fat and absolutely no carbs. So, it is an ideal source of healthy fat and well suited for a ketogenic lifestyle.

Olives and Avocados are one of the best monounsaturated fats, while butter, ghee, coconut oil are the best saturated fats. But, avoid trans fats completely.

Keto Cooking Oil (1 tbsp) Calories Fat (g) Net Carbs (g) Protein (g)
Coconut Oil 117 14 0 0
Olive Oil 119 14 0 0

8.Unsweetened Coffee and Tea

The unsweetened and no-milk coffee and tea are one of the healthy, carb-free drinks on the planet.

The caffeine present in them helps in boosting your metabolism along with improving your alertness and mood.

It is also found that people who drink coffee regularly seen a decrease of diabetes risk. As a note, people who regularly consume unsweetened coffee and tea are less likely to develop diabetes.

But, do stay away from adding milk and lattes that bulk up carbs and can delimit the health benefits of coffee/tea.

9.Herbs, Spices and Condiments

Most of the herbs, spices and condiments that you find in your kitchen are very low in carbs, but has many nutritious benefits besides adding superb taste to the recipes.

Few popular mentions are salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, mustard and oregano.

10.Shirataki Noodles

Shirataki Noodles are made from a viscous fiber known as ‘glucomannan’, which contains mostly water. So, it has very few calories (5) per serving and just 1 gm of carbs.

It is said to decrease hunger and minimize blood sugar spikes, thereby helping you lose weight naturally.

If you’re fan of noodles but worried about their calorie count, then you can simply substitute Shirataki Noodles for regular noodles.

11.Dark Chocolate and Cocoa

If you’re looking for the best foods that are rich in antioxidants and taste delicious, then you can have the dark chocolate and cocoa.

The flavanols in dark chocolate helps in reducing the risk of heart diseases by lowering your BP and improving the arteries health.

You can safely include Dark Chocolate in a ketogenic diet, but make sure that it contains at least 70% cocoa or more.

You get just 10 grams of net carbs in an ounce of dark chocolate with 70 to 85% cocoa. Whereas, you get only 3 gms of net carbs in the same with 100% cocoa. So, cocoa does make a lot of difference in the net carbs.

Foods to Avoid While on a Ketogenic Diet

List of Foods to Avoid on Ketogenic Diet

There are certain foods that are rich in carbohydrates, which should avoided completely if you’re on a keto diet.

1.All Kinds of Gains

You should completely avoid all grains including whole grains (such as wheat, oats, corn, barley, bulgur, millet, rice, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, rye, sprouted grains), quinoa and white foods (such as pasta, bread, cookies, crackers, pizza etc.)

2.No Sugar and Sweets

Sugar is undoubtedly the number one culprit that makes you gain weight. Avoid all kinds of sugar such as tablet sugar, artificial sweeteners (splenda, aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, corn syrup etc), HFCS, ice creams, cakes, soft drinks and sweet puddings.

Even chewing gums and mints contain artificial additives and are high in carbs.

3.Processed Foods

Avoid foods containing carrageenan (such as almond milk products), sulphites (such as dried fruits), MSG (found in some whey protein supplements), BPAs and wheat gluten.

4.Alcoholic Beverages

Most alcoholic drinks like beer, cocktails, sweet wine etc… are high in carb content and can easily push you out of the daily carb limit and spoil your diet.

5.High Carb Fruits

Avoid fruits that are high in carbs such as pineapple, mango, tangerine, grapes, banana, papaya etc…Also try to keep away from fruit juices as they’re still sugar water.

Dried fruits such as raisins, dates etc…are also rich in carbohydrates. So, better avoid them too.

6.Factory-farmed Fish and Pork

Unlike the naturally grown animals, these are high in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acid. So, avoid fish that may contain PCBs or mercury in high amounts.

7.Refined Fats and Oils

Avoid all kinds of refined oils such as sunflower, canola, cottonseed, grapeseed, soybean, corn oil and trans fats such s margarine. They can easily increase your carbs.

8.Milk

First of all, milk is very difficult to digest and has 4 to 5 grams of carbs per 100ml. You can have it in limited quantities but if possible try to avoid it completely.

Final Conclusion

Since the core concept of a ketogenic diet lies in the carb consumption, which is 20 to 50 grams per day, it is highly recommended to know the net carbs in all the foods and plan your meals accordingly.

Do note that the less number of carbs you consume, the more ketones are released and you lose weight faster.

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about what foods to eat or avoid on a ketogenic diet as we’ve provided the complete keto friendly foods list in this article to make your things easier. So, stick to the plan and reach your target weight without affecting your health.