You already know that switching to a low-carb diet means making some changes to what goes on your plate, but if you’re unsure of what you can eat on a Keto diet, this guide has got you covered.
When you go Keto, your goal is to lose weight by putting your body into a state of Ketosis (it burns fat or fuel rather than glucose)
To achieve this state, you’ll need to reduce the number of carbohydrates you eat and replace them with healthy fats while still ensuring that you’re getting all the essential nutrients from another significant food source, protein.
We’ll break down how to incorporate foods like fish, avocado, berries, and eggs into your daily diet and even recommend serving sizes to help you get your new weight-loss journey off to a flying start.
If you’re looking for even more keto options, check out our list of the best keto foods.
Table of Contents
Top 8 Foods to Eat on a Keto Diet
Below, we’ve outlined the top eight foods that are not only low in carbs and high in good fats but also deliciously tasty and full of nutrients.
The once humble avocado has experienced a massive boom in popularity over the last decade thanks to its tremendous array of health-promoting qualities.
Classed as a superfood, avocados are full of nutrients such as B vitamins, Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and more.
They’re also high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which reduce inflammation and improve heart health and are precisely what we need to eat on a Keto Diet.
A 100-gram serving of avocado contains 19.7 grams of healthy fats and just 1.8 grams of carbohydrates, making them the very definition of a low-carb, high-fat food. This is one of our picks for the 20 best keto vegetables.
How to Include Avocados in Your Keto Diet?
Besides its excellent nutritional properties, the great thing about avocado is that it’s such a versatile fruit.
While many enjoy eating it as-is, it can also be a great replacement for high-carb spreads and dips.
However, as good as avocados are, remember that they also pack 160 calories per 100 grams. As such, it’s worth paying attention to portion control to avoid eating more than you should.
2. Salmon and Other Seafood
Seafood is a staple in the ketogenic diet, with tuna, herring, mackerel, sardines, and oysters featured in countless Keto-friendly recipes. Among these, salmon is the best.
This high-fat, zero-carb fish is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for heart health, as well as B vitamins and the antioxidant, Selenium.
A good portion of salmon can also help you meet your Keto protein quote to ensure your bones and muscles stay healthy and strong while the pounds fall off you.
How to Include Salmon in Your Keto Diet
Like avocado, salmon is a calorie-dense food. One hundred grams of this succulent fish has 208 calories, a little less than a quarter of the medically recommended 2,000-calorie diet needed to maintain weight.
On the plus side, there are tons of ways you can enjoy fresh salmon as long as you get your portions right.
Grill it, bake it, add it to a soup or salad; the possibilities are abundant, meaning there’s no reason to get bored with eating the same old thing every day.
3. Olive and Coconut Oils
When it comes to cooking oils and dressings for your Keto-approved meals, olive oil and coconut oil are the top two options.
A hallmark of the Mediterranean diet, famous for boosting longevity, olive oil is a monounsaturated fat with a substantial amount of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties have also been linked to improvements in insulin sensitivity, which is good news when you’re training your body to rely on fat for energy instead of glucose.
Best of all, a regular table spoon of olive oil contains roughly 14 grams of fat and no carbohydrates. Thus, making it the perfect cooking oil for Keto diets.
If you prefer an alternative, coconut oil is another excellent addition to your pantry.
This versatile oil is in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), saturated fats that the body absorbs and turns into ketones.
If you read our complete guide to Ketosis, you’ll know that ketones are the chemicals produced as the body burns fat, so adding extra ketones through coconut oil will only aid the process.
How to Include Olive and Coconut Oil in Your Keto Diet
Both olive and coconut are ideal cooking oils for those keto meals that involve frying, roasting, or sautéing.
Coconut oil, in particular, also makes a great alternative to cream and sugar in your morning coffee.
If you’re not a fan of either oil, you’ll find other options in this guide to the best coconut oil alternatives for Keto.
4. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a perfect Keto food because they’re in carbs but high in healthy fats with just the right amount of protein.
The best types of nuts for keto include:
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamia nuts
- Pine nuts
The best types of seeds to eat include:
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower seeds
How to Include Nuts and Seeds on a Keto Diet
Eating a handful of nuts is a great way to stave off hunger without consuming a lot of food. Nuts make an invaluable snack when you’re first starting the Keto diet and getting used to eating fewer carbs.
Try different keto flavored almonds to switch things up.
If cutting sugar from your diet leaves you craving something sweet, pick up some tasty strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries.
As they are low in carbohydrates, they not only have that naturally sweet taste you’re longing for but also provide plenty of vitamins, fiber, and an antioxidant called polyphenols that can protect your body from damage caused by pollution and natural UV rays from the sun.
Polyphenols have also been linked to improvements in cardiovascular and neurodegenerative.
How to Include Berries in Your Diet
Although berries are low in carbs, they do still have natural sugars. The body uses sugar as its first choice for energy creation, so overeating them will hinder Ketosis.
As long as you keep your serving to no more than a quarter of a cup, you can incorporate berries into smoothies, yogurts, and even Keto-friendly cakes.
6. Leafy Greens
If you read our guide on what not to eat on a Keto diet, you may remember that many vegetables (especially those that grow in the ground) are off-limits because they contain high amounts of glucose-producing starch.
Fortunately, that doesn’t mean veggies are off the table altogether.
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, cabbage, and cauliflower will contribute very little to your daily fat intake. Still, they’re all a great way to ensure you get a host of vital nutrients such as iron, calcium, folate, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K without too many carbs.
How to Incorporate Leafy Greens and Other Vegetables into Your Keto Diet
Most of these vegetables and other popular Keto-friendly options, such as cucumbers, green beans, bell peppers, and eggplants, contain little to no carbohydrates.
As such, it may be tempting to pile your plate high. Be careful, however, as leafy greens have a reasonable amount of protein.
Eating too much protein can kick you out of Ketosis, so you don’t want to overdo it.
As a reference point, a single cup of leafy greens contains roughly 2 grams of carbohydrates and a gram of protein.
Eggs tick all the right boxes for an effective keto diet.
A great source of protein, they’re high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates, making them a great regular addition to your diet if you want to maintain ketosis long-term.
Eggs are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and choline, which can reduce inflammation and even improve brain health.
How to Include Eggs in Your Keto Diet
Whether you like them poached, fried, boiled, or scrambled, eggs make a delicious and nutritious choice for any meal.
A single, medium-sized egg contains just 0.6 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein.
Given that your protein intake should be no more than 20% of your daily food consumption, you may not want more than two or three per day, especially if you have a history of heart disease or high cholesterol.
Otherwise, feel free to switch things up by combining eggs with other low-carb foods to make an exciting array of different delectable dishes.
Generally, it’s best to avoid cheese spreads and other processed cheese products as they tend to be high in carbs and other Ketosis-blocking compounds.
Fresh cheese, however, is perfectly Keto-friendly as long as it’s consumed in small quantities.
If you’re worried that no longer consuming certain foods will negatively affect your bone health, the high quantity of bone-protecting calcium should alleviate those concerns.
Meanwhile, this delicious source of healthy fats and proteins also provides you with various essential vitamins such as Vitamin A, B12, and Vitamin K2, all of which can boost your immune system and encourage the formation of red blood cells.
How to Include Cheese in Your Keto Diet
A typical serving of cheese is approximately two slices or one cube, which are around 40 grams.
In one 40-gram serving, there are just 0.4 grams of carbs, 9 grams of fat, and 7 grams of protein.
That should give you some idea as to the portion size you should aim for when experimenting with the many different ways you can eat cheese on a Keto diet.
Just as good as a snack on its own as it is as a topping for meats, vegetables, and salads, cheese can also serve as a base for dips, low-carb cheesy potato chips, and more.
See our mouthwatering Keto Cauliflower and Pistachio Cheesy Bake recipe as a prime example of the many creative ways you can use cheese.
What to Eat on a Keto Diet – Key Takeaways and Final Tips
To sum up, avocado, salmon, olive and coconut oil, nuts, seeds, berries, leafy greens, eggs, and cheese are all among the best foods to eat on a Keto diet because they’re low in carbohydrates, high in healthy fats, and contain just enough protein to benefit from without leaving Ketosis.
Of course, sticking to the correct macro ratio and ensuring you follow the Keto diet safely and responsibly remains as healthy as ever.
For tips on how to do that, be sure to check out our complete beginner’s guide to Keto, and if you’re concerned about whether a low-carb diet is right for you, consult a healthcare professional.
Finally, one of the best things about Keto-approved foods is that they can be combined in endless ways to create all kinds of wonderful dishes that get you closer to your weight loss goals.
To get inspiration on using these foods in your Keto diet, check out our collection of Keto recipes.