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What can you eat on a Ketogenic Diet?

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Similar to Paleo, Keto is a lifestyle change. Many following the Keto diet adopt a ketogenic lifestyle and intend to adopt long-term habits of reduced carb and sugar intake What can you eat on a ketogenic diet and what exactly is it? Find a full list of foods and the why behind those foods here.
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

The Ketogenic diet is focused on low carbs and high fat. The idea is that you switch your body’s default energy source from glucose to stored fat. That creates Ketones, putting you in a state of Ketosis, hence the name ketogenic diet.

The basis of the Keto diet is high fat, low carb, low sugar. But, you also need to make sure that the high-fat foods come from good, healthy sources.

Just want to know if Popcorn is allowed? –> Skip here.

The macronutrient ratios for the Ketogenic Diet are:

75% fat
20% protein
5% carb

Curious about the history of the Ketogenic diet as well as research into its health benefits and risks? Take a look at this beginners guide to the ketogenic lifestyle and diet first.

So what can you eat on a Ketogenic Diet?

Eat meats and healthy fats. Eat low carb vegetables. Avoid most fruits and avoid all grains and refined, processed sugars.

Allowed Food List

Foods to Eat:

  • Healthy fats and oils
    • olive oil
    • coconut oil
    • avocados
  • Grass-fed meats
  • Organ meats
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Lean fish and seafood
  • Herbs and spices
  • Non-starchy vegetables
    • cucumbers
    • leeks
    • cabbage
    • lettuce
    • kale
    • zucchini
    • yellow summer squash
    • collard greens
    • spinach
    • celery
    • kohlrabi
    • radishes

Drinks to Enjoy:

  • Bone Broth
  • Unsweetened coffee and tea
  • Water

Foods to eat in moderation:

  • Full fat dairy
  • Starchy vegetables
    • carrots
    • artichokes
    • sweet potatoes
    • yams
    • parsnips
    • turnip
    • beet
  • Nightshades
    • tomatoes
    • eggplant
    • peppers
  • Cruciferous vegetables
    • broccoli
    • cauliflower
  • Winter squash
  • Berries
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Nut and seed butter
  • Unsweetened coconut or almond milk
  • Lemons and limes

What foods can you eat on the Keto diet? find a list of approved and forbidden ketogenic diet foods.

Drinks to enjoy in moderation:

  • Wine
  • Spirits


Forbidden Foods List

Foods to avoid:

  • Processed foods
  • Grains
  • Refined sugars
    • corn syrup
    • granulated sugar
    • powdered
    • brown sugar
  • Low-fat products (they usually replace fat with sugar)
  • Processed vegetable oils (canola oil)
  • Factory farmed meats
  • Legumes
  • Soy
  • Potatoes
  • Tropical fruits
    • mangos
    • kiwi
    • dragon fruit/pitaya
    • acai

Drinks to Avoid:

  • Beer
  • Sugary Drinks
  • Cola/Soda/Pop
  • Fruit Juice

Ketogenic Recipes:

Roasted Chicken

Simple Whole Roasted Herb Chicken Recipe - Just 5 minutes of active time and 1 hour baking for this clean eating head-to-toe recipe

Cucumber Avocado Soup

Bone Broth

Bone Broth over winter greens

Try this nourishing bone broth over winter greens recipe is a quick and healthy meal that will reset your body after overindulging. Healthy + Delicious

Bone Broth Cabbage Bowls

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What can you eat on a ketogenic diet and what exactly is it? Find a full list of foods and the why behind those foods here.

About Alicia

I love cooking almost as much as I love eating so I try to make sure I feel good about what I'm eating. I believe it's always a good occasion for some bubbly and I also love feeling healthy and being outdoors. I try to buy, cook and eat whole nutritious foods that promote a fun active lifestyle.


  1. […] diet doesn’t recommend fried foods and canola oil. And although bacon and eggs are allowed Keto foods, it doesn’t mean bacon all day every […]

  2. Hey Dan – thanks for asking! There is a huge difference in quality of meat and the impact on the land between feedlots and pasture-raised and grass-fed animals. True grass-fed animals rotate on the pastures and in the process of eating the natural diet that is most nutritious and healthy for them, they fertilize and aerate the grasslands which sequester carbons and increase soil quality making it more resistant to drought. You do bring up an important point of deceptive marketing. Someone can technically feed hay to the cows in a feedlot and call it grass-fed. This can be important for ranchers to do, especially in cold climates. And even if it is hay in a feedlot, it will be healthier for you because the grass hay does not lead to as much inflammation in the cow. Those inflammation markers (hormones) are still in the meat and can cause inflammation in your body when you eat grain-fed meat. Hopefully, that helped to clarify. Happy to talk further if you have more questions!

  3. Is there a vegan option? Our diet is already limited and if we cut grains out it’ll be rather complicated to replace the proteins we don’t get from a plant-based diet. I’d appreciate some suggestions! Thanks 🙂

    1. Hey there! Keto focuses on lots of fats, so I would try adding lots of avocados, coconut and coconut milks to the diet. You can also get quite a bit of protein from leafy greens and nuts and seeds. I think for a vegan version you would have to take some of the things in the “moderate” column and eat a bit more of them. There are also some that recommend things like tofu or tempeh, though I personally avoid processed soy products. The pure ketogenic diet is pretty restrictive. A moderate low carb diet focusing on reduced sugars and processed foods might be a better fit. I’m writing more on the ketogenic diet and how it compares to others and that should come out this week! Stay tuned! It should answer some questions of how and when this is a good fit.

      1. Thanks Alicia. I appreciate your reply. It was very helpful indeed and I look forward to reading more.

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