Keto Shopping List: Starting On A Ketogenic Eating Plan

Starting a keto diet for weight loss means you’ll have to revisit the types of foods you’re used to eating. It also means revisiting the types of foods you keep in your kitchen and pantry.

Most people who cook regularly have keto staples like butter, extra virgin olive oil and leafy greens on hand. However, relying on a small stock of keto-friendly ingredients can leave you with a very limited set of menu options.

One big shopping trip can let you put away the flour, sugar and ice cream (well, maybe you’ll want to finish off the ice cream before starting keto), and stock up with everything you’ll need to make delicious ketogenic meals on a regular basis.

For a big grocery shopping trip, of course, you’ll need a big keto-friendly food list. Luckily, we happen to have the ultimate keto shopping list right here.

Basic Keto Guidelines

Keto is a low-carb diet, with a recommended macronutrient balance of 5% carbs, 20% protein and 75% fat. (1) Those percentages mean that to prepare keto meals, you need a plentiful supply of healthy fats, fatty proteins and low-carb veggies – and you’ll need to toss (or pack away) the pasta, rice, bread and packaged snack foods.

It’s important to remember that keto is not a high-protein diet, so you shouldn’t overdo it on the meat and bacon. A moderate amount of protein (in general terms, no more than one-quarter of your plate) should be surrounded by a bounty of low-carbohydrate side dishes, along with “good” fats like butter, olive or coconut oil, and heavy cream. That’s enough to reduce hunger and keep you from eating too much. (2)

Here’s one piece of good news: the keto diet’s popularity has led more and more companies to produce keto-friendly prepared foods that you can find on the supermarket shelves. From vegetable-based pasta and rice, to bread and tortillas made from almond flour, there are many choices that can make you feel like you’re eating the way you always have, even if you’re not. Look for the keto, low-carb or diet section – but be sure to check the labels for net carbs and ingredients to make sure there are no hidden starches or sugars.

Here’s more good news: once you’ve shopped for keto diet foods a few times, you probably won’t even need a list. You’ll be familiar enough with the “right” keto foods to buy that you’ll be able to stop at the grocery store and shop like you normally do. You’ll just be purchasing different foods.

Ready? Let’s go shopping.

The Ultimate Keto Shopping List

Fats

Since ketogenic eating means lots and lots of healthy fat, we’ll start there.

Proteins

When you’re on keto, it’s pretty much open season for meat, poultry, fish and seafood. Most are carb-free or have very-low carb content, so they fit perfectly into keto meal plans. However, the healthiest choices are pastured and grass-fed meat, free-range chicken and wild-caught fish. You should also look for fattier cuts of meat, and fish that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Vegetables and Fruit

Plan on spending quite a bit of time in the produce section on your keto shopping trip.

Dairy

We’ve already discussed butter and eggs, but there are some other dairy goodies to pick up.

Nuts and Seeds

Many types of nuts and seeds are good keto snacks when eaten in moderation, since they contain lots of fat but also lots of calories.

Sweeteners

There are alternatives to sugar you can use if you’re cooking keto recipes or need to sweeten coffee or tea. Stevia drops and erythritol (a sugar alcohol) contain no carbs; powdered Stevia and similar products, on the other hand, have more than 10 carbs per serving.

Beverages

Bottled water (including sparkling water and club soda) are healthy no-carb choices. Unsweetened coffee and tea also contain zero carbs, as does diet soda. However, diet sodas are less healthy and addicting, so they’re usually not recommended for a keto diet. Better choices are healthy bone broth or easily-blended keto smoothies.

Condiments

Mayonnaise, mustard and hot sauce are your friends when you’re eating keto, as is ranch dressing. You can find lower-carb and sugar-free ketchup, BBQ sauce, steak sauce and gluten-free soy sauce (made from coconut) at most grocery stores as well. Just be sure to check their labels first, and use them in moderation.

Other Groceries

Other keto-friendly foods to put on your keto grocery list or watch for as you cruise the supermarket aisles include:

And finally on your keto diet shopping list:

Yes, you read that right. Dark chocolate that’s at least 70% cocoa is not only good for you, it’s a keto-friendly treat if eaten in moderation. (5) 80% or 85% is even better, but it’s also quite bitter. It may take some getting used to, but you’ve earned it.