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The Ultimate Keto Diet Shopping List

The Ultimate Keto Diet Shopping List

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The rumors are true: You can eat bacon on the keto diet.

That seems to be a sticking point for prospective dieters—and for good reason. The ketogenic diet is heralded as one of the strictest eating plans around, but the fact that greasy, fatty strips of meat get a stamp of approval makes it feel sorta-kinda doable.

SHOP NOW

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The whole point of going keto is to reach ketosis, a cult-y sounding name for the metabolic process that happens when your body uses fat instead of carbs for energy. To get there, you’ve gotta do the obvious: eat a whole lot of fat and little to no carbs. It’s restrictive, but if you hack the the system just right, you can still create surprisingly delicious food—like taquitos and cookie dough bites. (These are our favorite keto recipes, by the way.)

This list is your ultimate guide to everything you can and can’t eat when you go keto—plus the foods you’re allowed to spring for every once in a while. Keep it with you everywhere you go: to the grocery store, to restaurants, to book club.

Note this: When it comes to keto-approved foods, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg. Yes, it’s suggested your meats are either grass-fed or cage-free and your seafood wild-caught. For produce, organic is recommended. That said, you will not mess up your chances of achieving ketosis by purchasing farmed or non-organic foods. Do what best fits your budget and goals.

And fyi, Regina Georges of the world: Go for the butter; it’s not a carb.

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Allie Folino

PROTEIN

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*Look for wild-caught and grass-fed protein sources.

Always:

  • Bacon
  • Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel)
  • Low-carb shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster)
  • Poultry (dark meat)
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Bison
  • Organ meat (liver, tongue, tripe)
  • Full-fat dairy (butter, cream, yogurt)
  • Cheese

Sometimes:

  • Poultry (white meat)
  • Uncured meats (salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, and cold cuts)
  • Whey protein powder
  • Low-fat milk
  • Almond milk
  • Tofu
  • Pasture-raised eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Edamame

Never:

  • Breaded meat
  • Chickpeas
  • Peas (except for sugar snap and snow peas)

VEGETABLES

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*Look for low-carb, organic vegetables.

Always:

  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale, arugula, romaine, swiss chard, mustard greens, collard greens)
  • Bell peppers
  • Bok choy
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Sprouts (alfalfa, bean)
  • Cucumbers
  • Radishes
  • Summer squash (zucchini, yellow)
  • Avocado

Sometimes:

  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Eggplant
  • Broccoli
  • Ginger
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Artichokes
  • Jicama
  • Fennel

Never:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Leek
  • Corn
  • Beets
  • Winter squash (butternut, pumpkin)

FRUITS

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*Look for low-carb, organic fruit.

Sometimes:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Kiwi
  • Rhubarb
  • Coconut meat
  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice
  • Honeydew
  • Tomatoes
  • Olives (black, green)

Never:

  • Dried fruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Cranberries
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Apricots
  • Mango
  • Cherries
  • Papaya

GRAINS AND LEGUMES

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Sometimes:

  • Peanuts

Never:

  • Lentils
  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Lima beans
  • Navy beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Quinoa
  • Farro
  • Wheat
  • Oats
  • Popcorn
  • Rye
  • Rice (white, brown, wild)
  • Pasta

FATS

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Always:

  • Avocado oil
  • Brain octane oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Fish oil
  • MCT oil
  • Olive oil
  • Cocoa butter
  • Avocado
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Full-fat dairy (butter, cream, yogurt)

Sometimes:

  • Nut butters (almond, pecan, hazelnut)
  • Pistachios
  • Brazil nuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds

Never:

  • Sunflower oil
  • Canola oil
  • Margarine
  • Cashews

HERBS, SPICES, AND CONDIMENTS

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Always:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Basil
  • Cayenne
  • Dill
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Paprika
  • Full-fat mayonnaise
  • Ranch
  • Musatard

Sometimes:

  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Ginger
  • Oregano
  • Turmeric
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup

BEVERAGES

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Always:

  • Bone broth
  • Herbal tea
  • Full-fat milk
  • Water
  • Seltzer

Sometimes:

  • Almond milk
  • Low-fat milk
  • Alcohol (unflavored liquor, low-carb beer and wine)

Never:

  • Soda (unless it’s made with Stevia!)
  • Fruit juice

OTHER

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Sometimes:

  • Dark chocolate (80% or higher)
  • Fat bombs
  • Low-carb sweeteners (Swerve, Stevia)

Never:

  • Sugar (granulated, brown, coconut)
  • Honey

Deputy Editor Sarah Weinberg is the deputy editor at Delish and has covered food, travel, home, and lifestyle for a number of publications, including Food Network Magazine and Country Living.

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