Nutrition

Which Foods Can You Eat On A Keto Diet?

If you’re keeping up with the latest diets trends, then the keto diet seems like the obvious option. Starting out can be pretty confusing though — what can you actually eat? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. When following a ketogenic diet, you want to choose healthy foods from each group that are the lowest in carbs and ideally contain healthy fats. Here’s what you can eat to keep you in ketosis. 

 

Seafood

 

Seafood and shellfish are high-protein, lowcarb, healthy options on almost any diet  including keto. Tuna and salmon are packed with hearthealthy omega-3 fatty acids. Shelfstable, cheap options include sardines and anchovies packed in oil. From the shellfish family, clams and mussels contain high levels of fatty acids. Eating/consuming seafood at least twice a week is a good recommendation for any diet. 

Seafood (100g)  Fat  Protein  Carbs 
Salmon  8g  22g  0g 
Sardines  18g  22g  0g 
Tinned Tuna  31g  5g  0g 
Tinned Anchovies  16g  35g  0g 
Mussels  20g  2g  4g 

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Low-carb vegetables

 

Vegetables are high in fibre and typically low in carbs, making them the healthiest foods in a ketogenic diet. To choose the lowest in carbs, stick with cruciferous vegetable (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) and those with a high water content (celery, tomatoes, bell peppers). Onions and garlic are great low carb veggies that can add a lot of flavour to your dishes.

Vegetables (100g)  Fat  Protein  Carbs 
Broccoli  0g  3g  7g 
Cabbage  0g  1g  6g 
Cauliflower  1g  3g  4g 
Brussels Sprouts  1g  3g  4g 
Pepper  0g  1g  9g 

 

 

High-fat dairy

 

Milk is naturally high in carbs due to the lactose (milk sugar) it contains. To get your calcium foods on a keto diet, focus on some of the following sources:  

  • Cheese: Hard varieties like cheddar are usually lower in carbs than goats’ cheese or feta. 
  • Whipping cream is a good option if you want some dairy in your coffee. 
  • Butter can be consumed in small amounts (try not to use too much, as it’s high saturated fat). 
  • Olive oil or Coconut oil are great alternatives to butter 
  • Full fat, unflavoured cream cheeseyoghurt, or cottage cheese: Yoghurt, cream cheese, and cottage cheese should be used more like condiments – in small amounts because they are the highercarb options in this list. 
Dairy (100g)  Fat  Protein  Carbs 
Cheddar Cheese  33g  25g  1g 
Butter  81g  1g  1g 
Olive Oil  100g  0g  0g 
Coconut Oil  100g  0g  0g 
Cottage Cheese  4g  11g  3g 

 

 

Animal protein sources

 

All meats, poultry, and pork products are low in carbs, but their fat content varies. Although a giant pile of bacon sounds delicious, it isn’t the healthiest option. Try to make good choices from this group by looking for organic, free range beef products, and minimally processed pork products (limiting sodium intake). Dark meat chicken or turkey has more fat to balance your macro intake. Eggs are a good high-protein breakfast option, or snack throughout the day. 

 

Animal Protein (100g)  Fat  Protein  Carbs 
Chicken  2g  24g  0g 
Lean Beef Mince  10g  20g  1g 
Pork Loin  5g  29g  0g 
Turkey  1g  16g  3g 
Eggs  12g  11g  1g 

 

 

Vegan Protein Sources

 

Your protein doesn’t have to come from an animal, as this can often be high in saturated fats, you may wish to opt for some plant-based options too. In fact, if you can follow a keto diet as a vegan or vegetarian too as long as you carefully track your macros. Be aware that common plant-based sources of protein such as beans and pulses also contain carbohydrate, so you may need to avoid these too. Foods such as nuts and seeds, as well as soy products can be a good option.  

Vegan Protein (100g)  Fat  Protein  Carbs 
Tofu  7g  13g  1g 
Walnuts  65g  15g  14g 
Peanut Butter  53g  24g  10g 
Chia Seeds  29g  22g  3g 
Brazil Nuts  66g  14g  4g 

 

 

Snacks

 

Nuts and seeds are packed with healthy fats and are low in carbs — watch out for any that are flavoured or have a tonne of salt added though. Avocado and guacamole are great keto snacks to eat with low carb veggies. Olives and hummus are other easy options, while you can always combine low carb foods from other groups — like meat and cheese — just skip the crackers. 

Snacks (100g)  Fat  Protein  Carbs 
Hummus  25g  7g  11g 
Avocado  15g  2g  9g 
Olives  22g  1g  1g 
Spreadable Cheese  22g  6g  4g 
Ham  3g  22g  2g 

 

 

Take home message 

There are healthy, lowcarb options in all of the foods groups. Just try to select those which contain healthier fats (plant based instead of animal fat) and the right amount of protein foods to make sure you’re hitting your macro goals to stay in ketosis. 

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.



Claire Muszalski

Claire Muszalski

Writer and expert

Claire is a Registered Dietitian through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a board-certified Health and Wellness Coach through the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master’s degree in Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh.

Talking and writing about food and fitness is at the heart of Claire’s ethos as she loves to use her experience to help others meet their health and wellness goals.

Claire is also a certified indoor cycling instructor and loves the mental and physical boost she gets from regular runs and yoga classes. When she’s not keeping fit herself, she’s cheering on her hometown’s sports teams in Pittsburgh, or cooking for her family in the kitchen.

Find out more about Claire’s experience here.


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