The Complete Keto Shopping List for Beginners

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Imagine visiting the grocery as a new ketoer. While you’re used to grocery shopping, you have to admit — it feels like the first time. You’re not alone! What you need is a reliable keto shopping list that has all staples and ingredients to help you thrive on your diet.

A quick run-through:

To implement the keto diet properly, you need to limit your carb intake to 20-50 grams per day. Reducing carbs enables your body to burn off its fat stores and create ketones. This puts your body in a state of ketosis(1).

Meanwhile, you’re going to increase your dietary fat while keeping protein moderate.

Use this as your guide whenever you check food labels.

Now we know what you’re thinking: That you need a specific keto shopping list. One that you can take notes from to prepare healthy and delicious meals.

At first, you may have to rely on the list of keto foods below. But eventually, you’ll memorize what you can and cannot eat.

So let’s get started, shall we?

Meat & Poultry

Meat and poultry are considered keto staples. They’re a good source of protein, B-vitamins, and minerals like iron and zinc(2). Unprocessed and grass-fed options may be better for your health.

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Game
  • Veal
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Duck

Fish & Seafood

Seafood deserves a spot on your keto diet shopping list. The reason? They contain minimal to no carbs at all. You can also get lots of omega-3 fats, which are important on a keto diet, from fatty fish(3).

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Anchovies
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Clams
  • Mussels
  • Shrimp
  • Crabs
  • Squid
  • Oysters
  • Octopus

Keto Fruits & Vegetables

Produce is great to have for they contain essential vitamins and minerals. Not to mention, you can use various fruits and keto-friendly vegetables to prepare delicious salads and smoothies.

For your keto diet food list, make sure you pick low-carb options. Some of them should be eaten only in moderate amounts since the carbs can add up pretty quickly. A common example would be blueberries.

  • Avocados
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelons
  • Raspberries
  • Lemons
  • Peaches
  • Cantaloupe
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Coconut meat
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Olives
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Bell peppers
  • Arugula
  • Zucchini
  • Bok choy

Dairy & Eggs

As long as you don’t have lactose intolerance and dairy allergy, you’re good to go. Many dairy products contain the fat and protein you need to stay in ketosis. Just keep in mind to avoid those that are labeled fat-free or low-fat since they tend to carry loads of sugar(4).

  • Eggs
  • Soft and hard cheeses
  • Butter
  • Ghee
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Greek yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sour cream

Fats & Oils

You already know that on a keto diet, fats become your primary fuel. Fats help with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. It’s important to focus on good fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

  • Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Coconut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Hazelnut oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Macadamia oil
  • Palm oil
  • Bacon fat
  • Butter or ghee
  • Tallow

Keto Snacks

Snacks help you get through the day. They also give you the extra fuel you need to power through your workout. You can choose prepackaged keto-friendly snacks for convenience or you can do some prepping at home!

  • Pork rinds
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Beef jerky
  • Cheese chips
  • Salami bites
  • Coconut chips
  • Parmesan chips
  • Roasted seaweed
  • Stevia-sweetened dark chocolate
  • Ready-made keto cookies or bars

Keto Sauces & Spices

Add flavor to every meal with sauces and spices. They make foods more palatable and interesting, especially for the new keto dieter. These should definitely be included on your basic keto shopping list.

  • Coconut aminos
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sugar-free barbecue sauce
  • Mustard
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Coriander
  • Mint
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • Cumin

Keto Frozen Foods

The deli section is still an option for ketoers, especially if you’re living a busy lifestyle and want to save time cooking meals from scratch. Always choose hormone-free quality products.

  • Sausages
  • Hotdogs
  • Salami
  • Pepperoni
  • Bacon

Note: While these processed meats can be enjoyed on keto, you should choose natural meats as much as possible. And before you buy deli, check the ingredients for added sugars.

Keto Nuts & Seeds

If you know the right options, nuts and seeds make a healthy addition to your keto diet. They’re rich in fats, quality vegetable protein, and fiber(5). Just remember to eat them in moderation since they still contain lots of calories.

  • Brazil nuts
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

Keto Pantry Items

A lot of traditional pantry essentials are high in carbs. They trigger spikes in your blood sugar and insulin. Flour, for example. Luckily, there are healthier alternatives that are a “must include” on a keto grocery list. Check them out below.

  • Almond flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Bone broth
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • Sugar-free maple syrup
  • Erythritol
  • Stevia
  • Lakanto monk fruit sweetener
  • Xylitol
  • Egg white protein powder


Now that you have your grocery list for the keto diet, all that’s left is to plan recipes. But that’s a topic for another day!

Again, if you’re not sure of a grocery food item, read the label. Keep it low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein. Most importantly — go for fresh and unprocessed options. We hope our food list helped!

To learn more about the ketogenic diet, read this detailed beginner-friendly guide.

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Tiffany Joy Yamut, RN
Tiffany Joy Yamut, RN
Tiffany Joy Yamut is a registered nurse and author of hundreds of health and nutrition articles focused on the ketogenic diet. Her diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), along with being overweight and a family history of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, prompted her to find a diet strategy that would allow her to live as healthy as possible. She discovered the keto diet in 2019, which helped her lose 44 pounds and achieve healing. Tiffany directs most of her efforts to studying, applying, and writing about the keto diet to help others. She’s been featured in Perfect Keto, Ketogenic, Kiss My Keto, and other top health and wellness websites. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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Evidence based

This article is based on scientific evidence, written and reviewed by experts.

The founders of Ketogenic Buddies are health care professionals. As we grow, we include other qualified subject matter experts as part of our content team.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.