The Complete Keto Shopping List for Beginners

As a new keto dieter, grocery shopping can make you feel intimidated. You know that the keto diet limits your carbs to just 20-50 grams per day so you can burn fat and produce ketones (1). However, you’re not sure which foods to buy.

This keto shopping list includes essential items for nutritious and delicious meals all week.

Meat & Poultry

Meat and poultry are the best sources of dietary fat and protein. They provide B vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc (2). When you can, choose unprocessed and grass-fed options.

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

Fish & Seafood

Seafood contains minimal to no carbs, plus it provides omega-3 fats from fatty fish, which have been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease (3).

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

Keto Fruits & Vegetables

Non-starchy fruits and vegetables can help you get fiber. They also add variety to your diet. Additionally, various fruits and keto-friendly vegetables can be used to prepare delicious salads and smoothies.

Note that some of the options below should be eaten only in moderate amounts since they have a higher carb count per serving, and these carbs can add up pretty quickly. For reference, I’ve included the number of carbs per 100-gram serving for each item below:

  • Avocados – 1.8 g net carbs
  • Strawberries – 6 g net carbs
  • Watermelons – 8 g net carbs
  • Raspberries – 5 g net carbs
  • Lemons – 6 g net carbs
  • Peaches – 8 g net carbs
  • Cantaloupe – 11 g net carbs
  • Blackberries – 6 g net carbs
  • Blueberries – 12 g net carbs
  • Tomatoes – 3 g net carbs
  • Coconut meat – 6 g net carbs
  • Broccoli – 6 g net carbs
  • Cauliflower – 3 g net carbs
  • Asparagus – 2 g net carbs
  • Spinach – 1 g net carbs
  • Kale – 4 g net carbs
  • Lettuce – 2 g net carbs
  • Celery – 1 g net carbs
  • Olives – 3 g net carbs
  • Brussels sprouts – 5 g net carbs
  • Cabbage – 4 g net carbs
  • Cucumber – 3 g net carbs
  • Bell peppers – 3 g net carbs
  • Arugula – 2 g net carbs
  • Zucchini – 2 g net carbs
  • Bok choy – 1 g net carbs

Dairy & Eggs

As long as you don’t have lactose intolerance or dairy allergy, you can have dairy and eggs. Dairy has the fat and protein your body needs to stay in ketosis. Just keep in mind to avoid fat-free or low-fat versions at the grocery since these tend to be high in sugar (4).

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

Fats & Oils

Fats become your major source of fuel on keto. They also help absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. It’s important to focus on good fats, such as monounsaturated fats.

  • Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Bacon fat
  • Butter
  • Ghee
  • Tallow

Avoid trans fats because they may impair your insulin sensitivity, cause inflammation, and increase your risk of heart disease. Sources of trans fats include non-dairy coffee creamer, margarine, and commercially baked goods.

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.

Keto Sauces & Spices

Add flavor to every meal with sauces and spices. They make foods more palatable and interesting, especially for the beginner keto dieter.

  • Mayonnaise (avoid options with canola oil and soybean oil)
  • Sugar-free barbecue sauce
  • Coconut aminos
  • Mustard
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Coriander
  • Mint
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Garlic
  • Black pepper
  • Oregano
  • Cumin

Keto Deli Meats

The deli section is also an option for ketoers, although it’s best to eat mostly unprocessed animal foods. Deli meat is fine during days when you’re too busy to cook but still want to keep your carbs low. As a helpful tip, always choose hormone-free products and check the ingredients list for added sugar.

  • Sausages
  • Hotdogs
  • Salami
  • Pepperoni
  • Bacon

Keto Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds make a healthy addition to your keto diet. They’re rich in good fats and fiber (5). Eat them in moderation since they contain plenty of calories that may lead to a weight loss stall.

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

Keto Pantry Items

Most traditional pantry essentials are high in carbs. They trigger spikes in your blood sugar and insulin — wheat flour, for example. Thankfully, there are healthier alternatives for your recipes and beverages.

  • Almond flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Psyllium husk powder
  • Egg white protein powder
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Sugar-free chocolate chips
  • Full-fat coconut milk
  • Bone broth
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • Sugar-free maple syrup
  • Erythritol
  • Stevia
  • Monk fruit sweetener
  • Black coffee
  • Unsweetened tea

Conclusion

Keep your grocery items low-carb and high-fat. Most importantly, go for fresh and unprocessed options. We hope this food list helps grocery shopping and meal planning be easy. To learn more about the ketogenic diet, read this detailed beginner-friendly guide.

References:

  • Masood W, Annamaraju P, Uppaluri K. Ketogenic Diet. 2022 June 11
  • Marangoni F, Corsello G, Cricelli C et al. Role of poultry meat in a balanced diet aimed at maintaining health and wellbeing: an Italian consensus document. 2015 June 09
  • Kris-Etherton P, Harris W, Appel L. Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Disease. 2003 February 01
  • Harvard T.H Chan. Fats and Cholesterol
  • Ros E. Health Benefits of Nut Consumption. 2010 June 24
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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.