FREE PRINTABLE: LOW CARB & KETO FOOD LIST!
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If you’re new to keto, you’ll quickly find out that there’s a lot of information to learn! I have put together a lot of easy keto resources over the years (such as a how to start keto guide, beginners tips, keto flu guide, and macro calculator, among others), but one of the most popular questions that comes up is, “What should I put on my keto shopping list?” This keto diet grocery list is the answer!
This keto grocery list provides a general idea for what to look for in the store so you can get started with keto ASAP. If you need more in-depth info on foods in your keto diet shopping list, such as carb counts and serving sizes, this printable keto food list is a great resource to bookmark as well (that one is more comprehensive, whereas the one on this page is more useful to just get started).
Let’s go shopping!
How To Make A Keto Grocery List
Putting together a keto diet shopping list for beginners is similar to making any other grocery list — the main difference is the foods you’ll add.
- Take stock of your kitchen. Most people have several keto foods already on-hand. See what you have stored in your fridge and cupboards before you head to the store.
- Get recipe inspiration. Use these keto recipes as inspiration for using up the ingredients you already have. Or, use a customizable keto meal plan to plan ideas for the whole week in minutes.
- Build meals around what you have on-hand. If you have keto proteins, veggies, and fats on-hand, you already have the basic components of a keto meal!
- Add everything that remains to your keto shopping list. Write down what’s missing from the recipes you want to make this week, and just like that — your keto grocery shopping list is ready!
What To Put On Your Keto Shopping List
Now that you know the general process, let’s dive into what things you should put on your low carb grocery list! I’ve broken down the main categories and store sections to focus on – and included some links to things you can order online, too.
Meat, Poultry & Seafood
Meat is a staple on a keto diet grocery list — it naturally contains zero carbs, and helps meet your daily protein needs in a delicious way.
- Chicken – Chicken breast is the most versatile, but dark chicken meat, like chicken thighs or drumsticks, has higher fat content for keto.
- Beef – Any cut of beef can be keto-friendly. However, fattier cuts (or ground beef with a higher fat ratio) will keep you satisfied for longer.
- Pork – Bacon, chops, roasts, and more — pork is a great meat choice for a keto friendly grocery list.
- Fish – Much like beef and chicken, the most keto-friendly fish has more fat. Salmon (or smoked salmon) and shrimp are great choices, but you can fit any fish into a keto diet.
- Seafood – Besides fish, other seafood is keto as well, including scallops, lobster, crab, etc.
Fresh produce, including keto fruit and vegetables, is essential for a clean keto shopping list. Produce is packed with nutrients that will keep your diet balanced, and can even help you avoid keto flu.
- Bok choy
A good rule of thumb is most veggies that grow above ground are okay, but there are some exceptions – get the full low carb vegetables list here! Here are the most popular options:
- Bell Peppers
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green Beans
- Spaghetti Squash
All fresh herbs are up for grabs – and make your food so flavorful! Here are some ideas to get:
Eggs & Dairy
If you’re looking to make a cheap keto grocery list, eggs are the perfect way to supplement your meat intake. The right kind of dairy, including keto milk and cheese, add delicious fat, protein, and flavor to meals.
- Eggs – Pastured eggs are ideal, but any kind will do.
- Cheese – Most cheese is keto, but prioritize hard, whole milk cheeses because they contain fewer carbs. (Cream cheese is also low carb.) Get the full keto cheese list here.
- Heavy Cream – This is one of the best keto milk swaps because it has a higher fat content.
- Almond Milk – A neutral-flavored milk that works perfectly in recipes. Get an unsweetened variety.
- Coconut Milk – Another great keto milk alternative. Get it canned or in a carton, unsweetened.
- Sour Cream – Sour cream is great for a topping on its own, or in sweet or savory recipes.
Fats & Oils
Keto requires more fat intake than many diets. On keto, fat helps you feel full and makes every dish delicious, so it’s essential for every keto grocery list.
- Butter Or Ghee – Ideally from grass-fed cows.
- Coconut Oil – Refined or unrefined works. Great in fat bombs!
- Avocado Oil – Has a neutral flavor and high smoke point, which makes it ideal for sauteing.
- MCT Oil – Great for adding to coffee and smoothies.
- Olive Oil – Delicious on its own or made into dressing.
Keto isn’t all focused on fresh foods… lots of shelf-stable ingredients can fit on a keto diet shopping list.
- Keto Flours – Almond and coconut flours are some of the best low carb options. You can also get keto baking mixes online, like keto bread mix or pancake mix.
- Keto Sweeteners – Get monk fruit, allulose, or erythritol. They’re totally keto and taste great.
- Dried Herbs & Spices – Most are keto if you avoid fillers. Salt and pepper, cinnamon, ground ginger, onion powder, and paprika are all delicious choices. Avoid anything with sugar or starch in the ingredient list.
- Condiments – Use ones that are naturally low carb, such as vinegar, high-fat dressings, mayonnaise, mustard, and salsa.
- Coffee & Tea – As long as you avoid added sugar and fillers, tea and coffee are low carb!
- Protein Powders – Use collagen for smoothies and/or baking, and gelatin for thickening and special keto desserts.
- Broth, Bone Broth & Soup – Use keto broth & soup from pastured sources. Any kind of broth is naturally low carb, but vegetable broth will be higher in carbs than chicken or beef.
- Cocoa Powder & Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips – Use unsweetened cocoa powder and milk, white, or dark chips for all your keto baking.
- Extracts – All are naturally keto (vanilla, fruit, mint, etc.) I often use these to impart a sugar-y fruit flavor into desserts, like keto apple pie.
Not everyone adds snacks to a keto grocery list for beginners, but it can make this lifestyle easier! Go with more natural options with no white flour or sugar and fewer fillers, when possible. Some of these are available at the grocery store, while others may be best to order online.
You can find more keto snack options than ever, including:
- Keto Bars – Choose low carb bars with clean ingredients.
- Meat Snacks – Air-dried jerky, meat sticks, and pork rinds all capture meaty flavor with minimal carbs.
- Nuts & Seeds – Including almonds, pecans, walnuts (and other keto nuts), sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds.
- Nut Butters – Try a portable variety for easier portion control. If you buy it at the store, watch for sugar in the ingredients, and enjoy it on keto bread.
- Cereal – Cereal is rarely keto, but some brands are!
- Chocolate – Always choose sugar-free varieties that use keto sweeteners.
What To Avoid On Your List
Now that you know what to put on your low carb shopping list, it’s just as important to be aware of what to avoid. Check labels and watch for these things to skip:
- Grains – Including anything with wheat (and white flour!), rice, oats, and all other grains. Watch for flour and other starches added to many dry pantry items and even canned goods, like soups.
- Starchy Veggies – This includes corn, potatoes, most root vegetables, and legumes (most beans, except green beans are okay). The low carb vegetables list has a more detailed list of what to avoid with these.
- Most Fruit – Low carb fruit, like berries, is fine, but most fruits are too high in carbs for a keto diet.
- Regular Dairy Milk – Due to the lactose (a form of sugar) in it, milk is not keto. But, you can still enjoy cream, almond and coconut milk.
- Bread and Baked Goods – These will contain wheat or sugar, or both.
- Candy and Sweets – Again, these have sugar you’ll want to avoid. You can make your own using keto sweeteners.
- Processed Ingredients – Keto isn’t just about macros, it’s also about eating cleaner, real food. Watch for artificial preservatives, or as a rule of thumb, avoid most ingredients you can’t pronounce.
- Anything With Added Sugar – Read labels on anything that has a label. Condiments and things that come in a box are notorious for having sugar added.
Conclusion: How To Build A Keto Diet Shopping List
Building a keto grocery list is easy, and it looks a lot like creating a regular grocery list. Take note of keto foods you have on-hand, use them in upcoming recipes, and add all the missing components to your easy keto diet grocery list.