As you begin a ketogenic diet, grocery shopping may become a confusing task. You may begin to question each item, unsure if it supports or hinders your new eating approach. Is this the right kind of fat? What cut of meat should I be buying? Does this constitute “very low carb?”
I created this guide to simplify your trip to the grocery store. Of course, don’t feel like you have to buy every item listed. See these as options to get you started. As you learn what you like and don’t like, and what your version of keto looks like, you can customize as you go along.
Here’s a breakdown by section in the typical grocery store or farmer’s market. I also suggest considering online resources for good deals to fit your budget, as well as co-ops and community supported agriculture (CSAs) shares.
Produce (Fresh or Frozen)
All vegetables are “allowed” on keto. The trick is finding the ones that have the fewest carbs and, hence, the most bang for your macro buck. Fruit is harder to include because of the relatively high sugar content, but it’s not strictly forbidden. Thus, there is some nuance to choosing the most keto-friendly produce options. Here are some of my favorites to get you started, but it’s not an all-inclusive list:
Lettuce (romaine, red, green, bibb, etc.)
Cabbage (red and green)
Mushrooms (all varieties)
Onions (green, red, white, yellow)
Fermented vegetables (refrigerated)
Prioritize pastured, grass-fed, or organic meat and wild-caught seafood when possible.
Cured/Preserved Meats (sugar-free)
Prioritize pastured, grass-fed, or organic varieties.
Full-fat cottage cheese
Full-fat Greek or regular plain yogurt
Half & half
Heavy whipping cream
Healthy Fats and Oils
Butter (preferably pastured and organic)
Extra virgin olive oil
Lard (preferably pastured and organic)
Macadamia nut oil
Tallow (preferably pastured and organic)
Pantry Items (Packaged, Shelf-stable, and Bulk Bin Foods)
Canned wild fish (anchovies, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, tuna)
Coconut (manna aka coconut butter, shredded coconut)
Dark chocolate (85% or higher cacao content)
Nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, walnuts, etc.)
Nut butter (choose no-sugar, natural varieties)
Seeds (chia, flax, pumpkin, sunflower)
Condiments, Sauces, and Flavoring
Ketchup (sugar-free or low-sugar)
Mayo made with avocado oil
Salad dressings made with avocado oil
Vinegar (apple cider, balsamic, red wine, white wine, etc.)
Herbs and Spices
Any and all! Watch for added sugar in pre-made spice blends.
Sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
Cooking/Baking Supplies (Optional)
Monk fruit extract
Tapioca starch or arrowroot powder
Electrolyte drinks or powders (sugar-free)
Unsweetened nut milks (e.g. cashew milk, almond milk)
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