150+ Approved Foods for the Keto Diet
- August 28, 2020
Thinking about making the keto diet your new solution to shedding some pounds? Then it’s time to find out what foods you can eat on keto—and we’ve got you covered!
According to the Cleveland Clinic, a keto high-fat eating plan aims to change your metabolism from carbohydrate to fat; the theory is that you’ll then burn fat using ketones as energy as opposed to glucose. A fat-based diet like keto will stop your insulin levels from spiking when you eat, so you don’t store fat.
Then, your liver will make ketones, so your energy is compensated for. Within a couple if days on a keto plan (eating between 70-80% fat, 15-25% protein, and around 5-10% carbohydrate), your metabolism will most likely get faster and you’ll start losing weight. You want to focus on eating “good” fats on keto, which are unsaturated and monounsaturated.
So what foods can you eat exactly on keto? Focus on your favorites, but don’t be afraid to try new things, too—being on keto can truly open up your taste buds, in addition to shrinking your waistline.
Keto diet foods
Keto dairy foods
1. Butter. Cooking with it on Keto is OK.
2. Heavy cream. Add it to recipes rather than the low-fat variety.
3. Plain yogurt. Make it high-fat, but avoid any sugary varieties.
4. Mayonnaise. Top a cheeseburger with it instead of ketchup.
5. Sour cream. Use as a dip with veggies, avoid reduced-fat.
6. Cottage cheese. High in protein and calcium, cottage cheese can be a great mid-day snack.
7. Cream cheese. Surprisingly delicious with berries! Give it a try.
8. Parmesan cheese. Tasty with veggies for a quick lunch.
9. Swiss cheese. Packs a protein punch, with 27 grams per serving.
10. Feta cheese. Make a Greek salad with feta, bell peppers, olives and onion—so good!
11. Cheddar cheese. The ideal addition to a Chef’s salad with egg, ham, chicken, lettuce, onion and dressing.
12. Brie cheese. Protein-rich and rich-tasting, too.
13. Monterey jack cheese. Mix with scrambled eggs for a different spin on breakfast.
14. Mozzarella cheese. Go Caprese by adding tomato and dressing, and season to taste.
15. Bleu cheese. Add to ground beef burgers with fresh onion and lettuce.
16. Plain Greek yogurt. No need to give up your favorite breakfast on keto!
Keto protein sources
17. Eggs. The perfect solution for breakfast, lunch or dinner? A cheesy, veggie-filled omelet.
18. Salmon. Heart-healthy and packed with Vitamin D.
19. Tuna. Tuna salad for lunch on the go is perfectly keto.
20. Mackerel. Try this tasty fish if you haven’t—it may become a go-to.
21. Clams. Steamers with drawn butter seem like a luxury, not diet food.
22. Mussels. Another real treat when you serve them steamed.
23. Squid. Sautée with butter, garlic, onion, parmesan and lime juice.
24. Chicken. Avoid breaded varieties, but baked or stir-fry chicken with a big salad is perfect for dinner.
25. Turkey. From roast turkey to deep-fried to deli meat, turkey is a great keto option.
26. Bacon. Have it with eggs to get your day off to a substantial start.
27. Sausage. Any kind is fine—delicious with bell pepper and onion.
28. Goat. If you’re a meat eater, you can give it a try if you’re curious.
29 Liver. If you think you don’t like liver, reconsider—this iron-rich organ meat is great with onions.
30. Trout. Rich in Vitamin B12.
31. Halibut. An excellent source of Vitamin V12, too, as well as Vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium.
33. Cod. Delicious when sautéed with olive oil and pepper.
34. Catfish. Try baking it with oil, cayenne pepper and lemon juice.
35. Mahi-mahi. Delicious when prepared with lemon juice, basil and pepper.
36. Quail. It can be roasted like chicken.
37. Duck. Duck can be as well.
38. Heart. If you’re up for the challenge … organ meats are A-OK on keto!
39. Tongue. Again … if you’re up for it …
40. Kidney. Don’t let us stop you!
41. Hen. Can be roasted like chicken as well, as can …
42. Goose. As can …
43. Pheasant. A good source of phosphorus and selenium.
44. Venison. Low in saturated fat.
45. Steak. Enjoy your favorite cut along with a salad and/or sautéed veggies.
46. Veal. Make a keto-friendly veal parm by baking with fresh tomato and cheese.
47. Roast beef. Enjoy with cheddar cheese and salad.
48. Ground beef. A burger on keto can be topped with any number of cheeses or veggies, plus condiments.
49. Oysters. Try baking them with cream and cheddar cheeses, plus bacon … a new taste sensation.
50. Shrimp. Mix with mayo and celery for a simple but delicious shrimp salad.
51. Crab. High in folate.
52. Snapper. A good source of niacin.
53. Lobster. Enjoy it with butter—a great benefit of keto!
54. Roast pork. Serve it with seasoned sautéed veggies for a weekend meal.
55. Pork tenderloin. Makes delicious leftovers for lunch when you pair it with high-fat cheese.
56. Pork chops. Sauté in olive oil and season to taste.
57. Beef ribs. Skip the high-sugar barbecue sauce—you may find the taste of the meat itself is much more satisfying.
58. Lamb. Roast it with garlic, olive oil and rosemary.
59. Flounder. A great source of Vitamin D.
60. Scallops. Sautéed in butter—simple and delicious.
61. Ham. Fry up ham slices for a quick and easy dinner, served with seasoned summer squash—a great combo.
62. Ground pork. You can use it to make burgers in a fresh way.
63. Sardines. You can take them on the go and snack from the can—convenient if you like the taste.
Healthy Now Tip
Frozen may be healthier than fresh. Frozen fruits and veggies are picked at the peak of their season, so their quality is less likely to degrade and their nutrient levels are higher. Another plus: Frozen fruits and veggies are sometimes cheaper than their fresh counterparts.
From Our Partners at the Cleveland Clinic
Keto diet oils
In addition to butter, you can cook with any of these on keto:
64. Extra virgin olive oil
65. Coconut oil
66. Avocado oil
67. Palm oil
68. Cocoa butter
70. Poultry fat
Keto diet veggies
Any of the vegetables below can be used in any combination to make a keto salad with high-fat dressing. Keep in mind that avocado is especially useful on keto because it’s rich in good fat, so enjoy it often.
78. Swiss chard
81. Bok choy
85. Brussels sprouts
87. Bell peppers
90. Summer squash
92. Black olives
93. Green olives
94. Red olives
Related: Keto Diet Tips for Beginners
Keto diet fruits
Because you want to limit sugar on the keto diet, most fruits are off-limits. However, the fruits below, especially berries, are OK to consume in moderation. Mix a fruit salad of three of the fruits below to eat as a yummy breakfast, snack or keto dessert. Top with heavy whipped cream if you want as well.
Keto diet nuts and seeds
The perfect snack to carry with you at all times? A bag of nuts and seeds mixed from the list below. Choose any of the listed ones you love, and mix with a few berries, such as cranberries, for a keto-friendly trail mix.
106. Chia seeds
107. Sesame seeds
108. Pumpkin seeds
109. Hemp seeds
110. Flax seeds
111. Macadamia nuts
113. Brazil nuts
Related: 24 Low-Key Keto Dinner Recipes
Keto diet herbs and spices
Feel free to add any of the following to recipes on keto, or use them to season meals.
122. Cayenne pepper
123. Chili powder
127. Lemon juice
128. Lime juice
More keto diet foods
131. Dark chocolate. A piece after dinner can feel like a decadent treat—but it’s allowed.
132. Cocoa. Drink the unsweetened kind.
133. Coffee. Don’t add sugar and you’re good to go.
134. Tea. You also want to skip sugar here as well.
135. Yellow mustard. Use as sauce to compliment fish dishes; it’s a surprisingly tasty combination.
136. Red wine vinegar. Feel free to add it to recipes as you cook.
137. Ketchup. Read the label to make sure you’re choosing the reduced-sugar variety.
138. Mayonnaise-based salad dressing. Mix with raw veggies and season to taste for a side dish.
139. Horseradish. If you love the taste, go for it!
140. Hot sauce. You can enjoy it as hot as you can stand!
141. Worcestershire sauce. Can add flair to almost any meat dish.
142. Sauerkraut. Make sure the one you pick has no added sugars.
143. High-fat Thousand Island salad dressing
144. High-fat ranch salad dressing
145. High-fat French salad dressing
146. High-fat Russian salad dressing
147. High-fat Bleu Cheese salad dressing
148. High-fat creamy Italian salad dressing
149. Stevia sweetener. A natural choice.
150. Erythritol sweetener. Another way to indulge your sweet tooth naturally.
151. Monk fruit sweetener. Another healthy natural sweetener.
152. Xylitol sweetener. Yet another great non-sugar option.
153. Shirataki noodles. They’re water-based and can powerfully curb hunger—give them a try!
Follow these tips to avoid the dreaded keto flu.